An Interview with Beki Dover

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Haddstock is returning to Haddington this Saturday. The Mumble managed to catch a wee blether with its organiser…


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Hello Beki, where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking
Beki: I’m originally from East Lothian and after growing up in Perthshire and Edinburgh have returned to Haddington. I went to Music and Movement in Poldrate Mill in 1976-77 so great to be involved in bringing music to the community in 2018.

You’re coming full circle then. So this is your second year of running Hadstock. Where did the idea come from?
Beki: The idea came about at the start of 2017 when I realised how many creative people live in and around Haddington and what a friendly town it is. This, together with the need for music and arts events in rural towns and a trend/ appetite for quality festivals in East Lothian made me wonder whether a venues music festival might work. I grew up in a musical family where we were encouraged to ‘keep music live’ and felt inspired to create a platform for young musicians and local bands to play to their community. Very quickly we had the support of local cafes, bars and halls and funding from East Lothian Council. Haddstock 2017 filled Haddington’s venues with live music, a celebratory atmosphere and the event was great for local business.

When was the moment you said to yourself, I want to do this again
Beki: I think it was during the afternoon of last year’s Haddstock when i realised it was all going to plan and people kept coming up to me and asking, ‘Are you the organiser? This is great, I hope you re doing it next year’

How do you decide on the acts who play at Haddstock
Beki: We do a call out on Facebook for local 2 months before the event. Sometimes musicians respond themselves and other times people recommend names. We also collaborate with ELjam (East Lothian youth music forum) and Lamp House Music and the Bridge Centre to find acts. Also word of mouth amongst musician friends throws up ideas and possibilities. I find the more we do this the more connections we make in the area. We already have the beginnings of plans for 2019!

So what venues are on board this year?
Beki: We have all of the same venues as last year as well as new venues such as The Waterside Bistro, No.7, Masonic Hall and The Bell. We also have 2 busking locations at the Mercat Cross and the Fountain.

Great – so how many acts have you get this year, and can you give us a few to watch out for?
Beki: We have 70 acts this year of various genres including folk, rock, blues, americana, tango, pop, indie, bosanova, and jazz. Acts include Aaron Wright, The Sunshine Delay, Dropkick, The Wynntown Marshals and Miracle Glass Company. There are so many brilliant young bands and newcomers who are playing throughout the town we encourage people to go and listen. Have a drink or a bite to eat and enjoy the atmosphere.

You have a team of volunteers, where do they come from and what are their roles?
Beki: We have local volunteers, Napier University events students and Edinburgh College sound engineer students helping us this year.

And finally… which three words spring to mind that describe the organising of a musical festival
Beki: Exciting, bonkers, satisfying

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