Author Archives: yodamo

An Interview with John Fell

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The Mumble managed a wee blether with the mastermind behind Birmingham’s funkiest party…


Hello John, where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
I was born and live in South Birmingham in a town called Northfield.

How did you develop an appreciation of Music?
I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember. I have memories of dancing to ‘Surfing USA’ as a child, listening to my parents Dubliners record growing up, getting into Punk in my early teens and discovering Dylan and picking up the guitar. Through out my twenties I was trying to be a musician whilst having a very business oriented job.

When did you first get into events?
I dipped my toe into promoting when I was around 20 years old. I put a show on and made £200 then I lost £600 on the next. That put a stop to it for a while. Naturally, the business job didn’t sit well with trying to be a musician. The manager of my band also ran a festival so as soon as the job came up at the festival I jumped at it starting off as a festival assistant and now I am the festival manager.

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You’ve got three famous musicians coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starters, mains & dessert?
Ha! Definitely Dylan. He is invited everywhere. I like Black Flag but for his personality and intrigue Henry Rollins. Finally, I’d probably invite Jimi. I think that would be some party. As for food they are coming to England so it would be Fish. Chips and Mushy Peas 🙂

Where, when, why & how did you get involved with the Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival?
As mentioned I was working for a company running the office and this job opportunity came up. It was for less money initially but doing something that I really wanted to do was the key. Definitely recommend it to anyone.

Who have been some of your favorite bookings over the years?
I think we’d all agree here that Chic was the best booking for Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul. We booked them just before they released Get Lucky and the Chic resurgence began. It sold out and the atmosphere was incredible. Another Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul booking would be Public Enemy. Sugarhill Gang pulled out with a month to go. There was a lot of panic to get a new headliner but we managed to get public Enemy and the announcement couldn’t have gone any better. Plus they were all lovely and played a killer show!  Away from the festivals we promote other shows. I think my favourite would have to be John Prine. A lot of people in Birmingham had been waiting for John to come to Birmingham so I was glad to be the man behind that. Robert Plant came down as he is a big Americana fan.

What have you got for us this year?
This year is the 10th anniversary so we really wanted to deliver something special with our headliners. We managed to get Burt Bacharach as our Sunday night headliner which we were all buzzing about. After that we managed to secure The Jacksons for Friday night and The Brand New Heavies for Saturday night. We then rounded off the line up with some cool contemporary artists such as Ibibio Sound Machine, JP Bimeni & The Blackbelts, Oscar Jerome, Ishmael Ensemble and probably the act I’m most excited about Khruangbin!

How the hell did you get Burt Bacharach to play?
When it comes to booking the bigger artists there is always a little bit of luck. We got in contact with Burt’s team just at the right time. They were planning a couple of dates in London and were looking for interesting events for him to play. Our date landed two days before his London shows. It is the way it works out sometimes. What works one year won’t work the next.

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What allowance do you make for local acts gracing the stage?
We pride ourselves on promoting local music at our events. We have 2 stages that sit side by side and alternate so the 2nd stage artists play in behind the main stage artists to the same crowd. This means the music is pretty much constant all day! It also means we can programme local artists on the second stage so for example, Delta Autumn (Birmingham band) will be playing between Khruangbin and Burt Bacharach.

The Festival is held in Birmingham’s Moseley Park, how does that help the vibes?
Moseley Park is definitely one of the more interesting festival sites in the UK. It is set in heart of Moseley which is a village recently voted as the #1 place to live in the UK in Sunday Times. The park is set in a gated park was has natural slopping amphitheatre towards a lake. It truly is a beautiful site. As we are surrounded by houses we finish in the park around 22:30 and the crowd head into the village and local pubs. Perfect format for a music event!

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How has the Birmingham community taken to the festival, & do you have a wider catchment?
We actually achieve between 30-35% from outside of West Midlands which is quite good for a non camping event. The local community has taken to it extremely well. It has contributed to culture and vibe around Moseley and we rarely get complaints. We are quite forthcoming in conversations on how to improve and make it easier for local residents.

To someone who has never been to MJF&S, what can they expect?
I think the venue will steal the show when you first walk in. Its a welcoming site and extremely small so the atmosphere is incredible. Plus it is always good to not have to walk far. I think how close you can get to the stages is a real selling point as well. The stages are low so you can really get into the set and music. We have plenty of cool little bars, food stalls and you can re-enter which is a rarity at festivals. Above the music is what we all go for. There is a great mix flowing from Jazz, Funk & Soul with some addition of Hip Hop, Afrobeat etc. I really do think its one of the parties of the summer.


Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul

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Moseley Park, Birmingham

July 12-14, 2019

An Interview with Anton Lockwood

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Nottingham’s wonderful Splendour Festival goes from strength to strength, thanks in no small part to the man that books the bands…


Hello Anton, so where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
Originally South Yorkshire, but came to Nottingham in ’84 for university and not left.

How did you develop an appreciation of music?
Raiding my much older brother’s record collection, and he took me to my first gig – which was The Specials!! So very much looking forward to them at Splendour.

Who are DHP, what is your role & how did you secure it?
We are a live music & venues company based in Nottingham. I started independently, but joined in 2002 to open Rescue Rooms – I’m now Director of Live for the company – which is much bigger these days.

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Where, when & how did the idea for Splendour originate?
We saw the possibility of a larger scale live music event, approached the council – and they agreed…

How much time do you spend on the festival throughout the year?
It’s a year round thing, though most of the booking conversations are in November/December the year before.

Tell us about the venue & how you secured it in the first place?
Wollaton is a beautiful park, in an amazing setting with the hall in the background – we also had a history of doing live events there, so it was the obvious choice for Splendour.

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How is your working relationship with Nottingham City Council?
Really good – they recognise how the event benefits the city, and want to work together to make it a success.

How do you choose the line-up?
We always look for a good mixture to appeal to a cross section of people, and then see which artists are available – and of course fit into our budget!

Do you make waves with the local bands?
Yes! We always have the winner of the Future Sound Of Nottingham competition that we do with Nusic opening the main stage – and almost all the courtyard stage plus several of the bands on the other stages are Notts. And it’s great to see when Notts artists go higher up the bill- Jake Bugg being the biggest one!

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What have you guys got for us this year?
Lots – it’s all on www.splendourfestival.com

How did you book the Specials, that’s quite a coup?
We’ve actually had them before! But with a great new album they were one of the ones we really wanted.

For someone who has never been to Splendour before, what have they to expect?
A great day of music and fun!!

Will there be a Festival in 2020?
Oh yes!


SPLENDOUR FESTIVAL

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Wollaton Hall & Deer Park, Nottingham

Saturday 20 July

An Interview with Walton Folk Festival

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L-R: Nigel Greenaway, Ed Butcher, Peter Shaw, Caroline Smith


The Walton Folk Festival is charging into its second year… The Mumble met the organisers down the pub…


Hello Ed – how did you develop an appreciation of Folk Music?
ED: In the same way that I developed an appreciation for blues, metal, rock, classical and baroque… I just like it. I started listening to Steeleye Span, and developed a taste for folk rock, and then bought a lot of compilation CDs (all before the interwebs) – that’s when I realised how varied the genre is – it’s a verrrry broad church, and that’s exciting. When I got involved with Riverhouse Barn, I discovered that the artists are the most approachable bunch you could hope to meet. It’s basically a big musical family that relies on grass-roots live music venues and events, and when I get the chance to be a part of that, it’s incredibly rewarding.

Hello Caroline, so what is it about Folk Music that makes you tick?
CAROLINE: It make me smile and sing a long and tap my feet. I also like the community and the friendliness of folk music. If you got to a folk festival the acts will be wandering round; chatting to the crowd and listening to the other people on stage. The musicianship impresses me too – so many multi-instrumentalists which as a non-musician is even more impressive. 

So where, when & how did the idea for Walton Folk Festival originate?

ED: It happened fairly organically, building on conversations between us all after our regular monthly Sunday lunchtime gigs. Riverhouse Barn has been booking great acts for a long time, and audience numbers had been growing, so that definitely gave us some confidence that we could pull it off. Having a venue available also helped fan the flames, but I can’t remember who said “let’s run a festival” first of all. I’ll take credit if no one else does 😉

How did you get involved with WFF?
ED: I was in the right place at the right time: I’ve been volunteering at the Barn for a few years, usually behind the bar on comedy nights, and coiling cables for Nigel before and after folk gigs. Nigel, Caroline and I had had the “wouldn’t it be great to put on a festival” chat a few times and that progressed to a “what would a festival look like” drink in our local (you know things are serious when Nigel convenes a meeting in the pub), and then when were confident, we had a formal chat with Emily Boulting who is Director of Riverhouse Barn about dates and budget.

Hello Peter – last year was the debut for Walton Folk Festival, how did it all go?
PETER: It was a fabulous day. Great weather helped but the real stars were the musicians both on the main stage and in the courtyard. As most of my role in the team is publicity – and eating crisps, frankly – I basically came as a punter with a few friends. So I got to experience the day as the festivalgoers would and it was brilliant. There were so many highlights but I felt particularly proud of Jack Cookson. He’s a friend of my brother, a BBC 2 Young Folk Awards nominee and a stunning guitarist, singer and songwriter. I championed him to the team so it was a real thrill that his set was so mesmerising, and he has a compelling stage presence. In the evening the atmosphere changed a little, the blazing sun died down and after a few beers were flowing, people began to dance and really show their appreciation. Kim Lowings and the Greenwood warmed the crowd up marvellously and The Urban Folk Quartet rounded off a brilliant day in true style. I remember walking home just buzzing at how great the day was and not quite believing the quality of acts that had played in my home town.

At which point was it decided to go again for 2019?
ED: At about 10:00pm on the day of 2018 festival. We’d had a blast, the audience loved it, the acts loved it, and we didn’t lose money! For a first attempt, that ticked all the boxes and then some. We really want this to grow into a “proper” multiday event, and be rooted in the heart of our community, so we have to keep going to make that happen.

Can you describe one of your team meetings?
CAROLINE: There’s usually a pint or two. We all live locally and can walk or cycle to the Riverhouse or one of the local pubs which means we can meet up regularly for a chat. There’s a lot of laughing, and we get on really well but manage to get through what we need to as well. Nigel knows the ins and out of the venue and all the tech possibilities , Peter knows the up and coming acts and has some good connections, Ed will go out scouting for local acts and talk to anyone who we need to chat to on the marketing front and I remind them all what we need to get done and speak to the promoters so we have a good mix.

What allowance do you make for local acts gracing the stage?
PETER: We’d love to have more, and we are actively reaching out to local performing arts schools, open mic nights and so on. The courtyard, where performers can play a few songs between the main stage acts is an open opportunity to showcase local acts. We will prioritise people from Walton and the surrounding area in the courtyard. Last year we had some fab performers but Zach Johnson – a Surrey-based performer – really stood out for me. He’s been back at the Riverhouse and we want to see more of him before he gets too big.

How are the acts selected for the WFF?
CAROLINE: We recover from the previous festival and then use a couple of ways. We ask our usual promoters who is touring in May to see what we can fit into and then we all throw in suggestions of who we would like to see. We end up with a big playlist that we listen to and then get together to shortlist based on what we like, and who we think would work in our venue. We also chat to the other local folk festival in Guildford which is a few weeks after ours to make sure we don’t book the same acts.

Who are you most excited for this year?
PETER: I can’t believe the lineup we’ve attracted to the main stage and I am looking forward to each and every artist. Megson will start the day off with their infectious and heartfelt songs. I’ve seen them a few times and they really win crowds over. I was introduced to Hannah Ashcroft by Alex Gallagher from Folk Radio (who is really supportive of the festival and our folk gigs). I reviewed Hannah’s EP last year for Folk Radio’s website and I’m keen to see her live – her performances on youtube are stunning. Lukas Drinkwater is another friend of the Riverhouse, he’s played plenty of times with different acts. But I remember the first time I saw him with Jim Causley and Lukas did a solo song. No disrespect to the brilliant Mr Causley, but Lukas’ solo spot was amazing, just him and a guitar. So I want to see a full set, and that’s what we’ll get.

Last year the rest of the WFF team went on a field day to the London Folk Festival. Which, strangely, all three of them forgot to tell me about. Anyway, they came back raving (in a good way) about The Trials of Cato. And so is everyone else apparently. Mark Radcliffe described them as, ‘One of the real discoveries on the folk circuit in recent times.’ Daria Kulesh is the act I know least about, but Ed really rates her and I’m looking forward to something a little more exotic in the lineup. Although based in the UK, Daria has Russian and Ingush roots. What I’ve seen and heard of her music really makes me want to see her live. And in (deliberate) contrast to Daria, we close with False Lights. I’m still kind of in shock that they will be at the festival. Jim Moray is probably the most important innovator to emerge on the UK folk scene in the last few decades. I’ve seen him live but teamed up with Sam Carter and the rest of the Lights is a real thrill live. They are such a powerful and impressive band. They are following the folk-rock electric band setup of the likes of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, Oysterband and The Levellers but taking it in exciting new directions. But I kind of won’t believe they’re coming until I see them on stage. And Nigel’s face when they unload all their gear.

How has the Walton community taken to the festival, & do you have a wider catchment?
CAROLINE: We have a group of regulars who come to the Sunday shows and the festival and then the acts bring in some of their own following. In 2018 we held the festival on the Sunday of the May Bank Holiday with the Riverhouse May Fair on the Monday so we had two days of sunshine and smiling faces around the venue. We wanted to bottle the atmosphere.

Will there be a Walton Folk Festival, 2020?
PETER: We don’t have a big budget or sponsorship (yet). So we have to have a good attendance to pay for the festival. So, if it’s a sell-out like last year we will definitely be back for 2020. And we hope to expand to an extra day and maybe other venues. Ideally, it would be Walton Folk Week, but that may have to wait until 2021.


WALTON FOLK FESTIVAL

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Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre

Saturday May 4th 2019

Mainstage Times
12.15-13.15: Megson
14.00-15.00: Lukas Drinkwater
15.45-16.45: Hannah Ashcroft
17.30-18.30: Trials of Cato
19.30-20.30: Daria Kulesh
21.00-22.30: False Lights

www.riverhousebarn.co.uk

An Interview with Graham Parker

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The festival season is fast approaching & the Mumble managed to catch a wee blether with one of the organisers of a Nottinghamshire shindig called MAC-STOCK


Hello Graham, so where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
Born and bred in Mansfield, just up the road from where the festival is held. I’ve since lived in Liverpool, Cheslyn Hay but am now back at where I call home, the mighty city of Sheffield

Where, when & how did the idea for Mac-Stock originate?
When my father lost his battle with cancer I vowed to raise £100 for every year of his life. Mac-Stock 1 was the final push to hit, and pass, the £6,800 mark. It went so well that people told me I had to repeat it and the rest is festival history

How is the festival’s working relationship with the venue – The Black Market in Warsop?
Dave and Colleen at The Black Market have been brilliant in supporting Mac-Stock, as have the people attending in supporting the venue. It’s hard for a provincial venue to survive these days, but events like ours help a lot.

How has the festival evolved in the years since your father’s passing?
Mac-Stock was always devised to have to aims; to raise finds and to give a platform to up and coming acts. It’s continued to do both and this year looks like being our biggest to date.

What do you think your father & sister would say to you if they could have attended Mac-Stock?
That we did what we set out to do; make people happy, raise funds and help keep music live. I believe both would be rather proud, just like my mum, who has attended and loved every minute.

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Who have been your favorite Mac-Stock acts in the past?
That would be mightily unfair of you to ask but Kissmet’s set last year is a great memory… but so was watching The Brewers’ Daughter play King of Rome in front of it’s author who she had never met and I invited along

What does Graham Parker like to do when he’s not organising brilliant festivals?
Attend other festivals/gigs, write and perform poetry, go birdwatching, spend time with my girlfriend, write a cook book, attend a film discussion club, cook for friends and occasionally – sleep.

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How do you decide upon the acts?
We split things between who we have seen that grabbed out attention in the last year, known crowd favourites and those people that put themselves forward.

What have you guys got for us this year?
Apart from booking three top headline acts withy 3 Draft Monkeys, Gaz Brookfield and Grace Petrie, we are delighted to welcome more Mac-Stock virgins like Ren Stedman, Cara Means Friend and Darwin’s Rejects. I’m personally delighted my old favourites The Pink Diamond Review and The Fox and The Pirate will be with us too, and of course, the Balliamo Belly Dancers will be adding something special to the day.

How did Neville Staples get on board?
My friend lost his aunty to cancer that year and he used his inheritance to pay Neville’s fees. He said it would have made his aunty smile looking down and seeing the gig take place.

Do you cater for local bands?
We always look for local bands. The Star Botherers are one of only two or three acts that have played every Mac-Stock and they are from Warsop. Ujahm, The Star Copiers and Darwin’s Rejects are local and we’ve had many more on in the past.

To someone who has never been to Mac-Stock, what can they expect?
A celebration of live and living with some of the best alternative music scene acts and the most lovely people in the audience.


MAC-STOCK 2019

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THE BLACK MARKET, WARSOP

SATURDAY MARCH 23rd 2019

From Leccy Fields to Lecturing in Fields

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Electric Fields: Drumlanrig Castle (Aug 30 & 31)
Lindisfarne Festival: Beal (Sept 1)


I always enjoy the last weekend in August/first in September in which Electric Fields happens – for myself the Fringe is over & I really enjoy having a good rave & letting off some steam. In recent years, a couple of other festivals have spring up near Edinburgh – Midstock & Lindisfarne. So, after last year’s doubling up of Leccy Fields with Midstock, this time round I thought I’d hit Lindisfarne second instead. Luckily, I managed to get a spot down Englandshire doing a talk on 9/11 of all things, so the pressure was on to keep it together enough at Leccy Fields in order to whizz across the border & pull off a spankingly good talk.

So it was Thursday day, I had to make my way to Musselburgh where an old pal had agreed to be my photographer for Leccy Fields. The indespensibly brilliant James Wallace is his name, & both being in our early 40s were absolutely delighted to leave the wife, kids, dogs & chores behind & hit the open road for a road-trip & a party! We left Musselburgh in the late afternoon, from where he drove us along the relatively quick passage through Biggar & the ever gorgeous Dalveen Pass.

Arriving at Drumlanrig, & its epic tree-lined bowl in which the festival is sited, reminded me again that this is perhaps the most gorgeous festival site in Britain – except of course for when they do those occasional one-off Summer specials down Townley Park in Burnley. Waiting for us on arrival were some not too shabby friends of James’ &, for me, old faces from my mis-spent party days – John, Paul, Scotty & Jason, the ‘Pass-Out Beatles’ who’d all earned permission from the wives to have a wee rave, & did indeed on certain occasions, pass out (thanks for the photys lads)!

It was Thursday evening, surprisingly busy, & a joy to be amongst such a musically-educated crowd. Hitting the site, we were ready for a braw, raw, barry time – which we easily succeeded in. Ride were wicked, with no-one gazing at their shoes as we reveled in being out of doors on a sunny night, surrounded by trees & people well up for it. Then James smashed it – not my pal, the band – playing a mix of tunes from the new album, & of course the old classics. I then found myself dancing about like a fanny in the open air at the Sketchy Beats Tent for a happy, happy bit, before waking up in the middle of the night under my duvet in my tent. I’d almost staggered back to it on my own, but fell flat on my face at the tent entrance. Luckily James – the pal – took me over the line.

Scotty, John & Paul

 

Sketchy Beats…

My Friday worldscape dome – I’m alseep at this point…

So I’m 42, I’m a bit of a lightweight these days, & the next day – a Friday – I didn’t leave my tent all day, even peeing in the middle bit between the two bedrooms. We were off the next morning so it wasn’t that big of a deal. I just snoozed & listened to the bands & the often hilarious chat all around me. James & the boys toed & froed – I believe they had a great day basking in the serene sunshine listening to the mixed line-up, which included Ibibio Sound Machine and Teenage Fan Club. The last of these, Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds, I really engaged with in my duvet-tented head-space, a great sound with a few Oasis numbers tossed into the mix. This was followed by Young Fathers, I think, & then a lovely bunch of Weegies a few feet away from my tent, who sang some classic tunes with perfect musicianship & electric harmonies.

Leccy Fields is an extremely kid-friendly festival

James hardcore Mumbling in the field…

Scotty, John & Paul

Scotty & Jason

Noel Gallager…

At 6PM on the Friday, James stopped drinking & finally got to his kip. 12 hours later we were both up, packing up the tent & our brains, & got ready to set off back to Musselburgh. James had a wedding to go to & I had another festival to hit, at Lindisfarne. Half-way up the road we both had a full English at Abingdon Services – my first food in nearly two days – then an hour or so later we were back at Musselburgh, a bit tired, partied out sure, but buzzin! An hour later I was back, I’d driven all the way to the wife’s house & realised I’d left my laptop & all its photos for the – of all things – conspiracy talk on 9-11 which was my raison d’etre for going. I took my wee dog Daisy along for the ride, & after securing the laptop, went back to the wife’s, picked her up & headed south.

Lindisfarne festival is in its third year & is gaining a growing rep. Set on the mainland by the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, it really is quite a pretty spot & the perfect place to bring Scots & English together in harmony. The wife commented actually on how tamer it feels compared to a pure Scottish festival – they really do find an extra gear of bucky-fueled nonsense north of the border. This year, David Blair of Colonel Mustard fame had helped orchestrate the Scottish Invasion, & quite a lot few of our pals were down. Not that we saw many of them, I was in a right nick, but did hold it together to give my talk on 9-11 – it was basically Zionists, drones & CGI – on the conclusion of which I received a warm applause. We then pottered about the site for an hour so, wee giving Daisy her first taste of festival life, then the wife drove us home where I hit a new duvet for my recovery period. It was about 5 PM. Proper lightweight.

David Blair & his harem

The wife & Daisy

Bez

Sean Ryder

As for Lindisfarne, there was a proposal on stage at the Colonel Mustard gig, this particular Sketchy Beats tent got told off for jamming for too long into the nights (a side effect of the Scottish Invasion), & on the Friday the Happy Mondays were apparently magnificent. This led to my pal-performer, Victor Pope, attempting to sneak round the fence into the back-stage area, about to announce to Mr Ryder his infinite respect, only to get collared by four security guards as if he was shoplifting in Marks & Spensers. Another pal-performer, Martina Cannon Ball, had, well, a ball, & I shall leave this review with her Facebook Post.

Martina & her band

Lindisfarne was epic, but it didnt start so smoothly, disaster struck as soon as we got there and parked up, realised when we were about to make our way to the campsite that my only car key had fell off somewhere! Looked all around the grass with no joy for ages, then Carmen Allison appeared and saved the day, she found it in the boot! Must have fell out after pulling bags. Legend! That was a relief. Finally got to the camping area, and started laying our tents out, then a guardian angel appeared just in time to put my tent up, uncle Fergie. Karens burst so we had to share in the end. Sketchy beats pulled out all the stops and put on a great tent and weekend of music, its where I spent most of my time. Nearly slept in for my gig, even though we, Danny Appolinari agreed that if none of us were awake at 3pm we would go in for them. Danny woke me at 5pm, with half an hour to get to the stage, and the fact I had to run about 2 miles to get my guitar from the car I just made it by the skin of my teeth. However, Danny made up for it by supplying straight vodka on stage, and it was a good gig. Had a great time all in, amazing community vibe! Big up the Sketchy beats crew! Until next year! Martina Cannon Ball

An Interview with Ste Chesters

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What a decade its been for the Audio Farm collective On the eve of this year’s festival – which will be the last for a while – The Mumble managed a wee blether with one of the directors…


Hello Ste, so where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
Ste: North Wales, Audio Farm Crew originate from North Wales

Where, when & how did the idea for Audio Farm originate?
Ste: Manchester in 2008. The 6 founding members who are all still directors moved to Manchester with 15 others from N Wales in the Summer of 2008. We met the rest of our crew and started talking about putting on a club event that different to the rest. A fun, non corporate event with good ethics and lots or decor and fun. Audio Farm was born and first event was Jan 2009.

How, when & why did you get involved?
Ste: For the love of music.

Who are the beneficiaries of the charity funds you guys generate?
Green Paw Project.
Ste: Audio Farm Festival 2018 is a Non Profit, non-corporate, fundraising roots festival in which all profits go towards UK registered charity, Green Paw Project (UK Charity Registration Number 1166316). 100% of the shares of One Tribe Festival Ltd are owned by Green Paw Project, therefore the directors and organisers receive no profits. As we are a non-profit fundraising charity event, all ticket money income has no Vat implications, meaning 100% of ticket money goes towards the running of the event with all remaining profits going to Green Paw Project. For more information on Green Paw Project and how the money raised for this this festival and all past and future events and festival visit www.greenpawproject.org.

How different is the vibe at Audio Farm on all levels, compared to that of a corporate festival?
Ste: Very different. We have wonderful varied crowd of all ages. From babies to the old ravers. Our event is about putting on a top show, with quality world music, high end production, vegan food, lots of healing and workshops. The objective is to plant seeds of positive change. Whilst also making money for charity. We are stand against the rising corporation of festivals that is ruining the industry by buying festivals out, making them soulless, herding people in like sheep and making the top cats rich. Exactly the opposite of what festivals should. We are a roots festival with its original ethics.

How is the festival’s working relationship with Worcestershire County Council?
Ste: Shropshire County Council. Yes all good there. No issue at all.

Is Audio Farm child friendly / dog-friendly / disabl’d-friendly, etc?
Ste: Yes it is. Audio Farm is a reminder that we’re one big family on this planet, so it’s important that there’s exciting, interesting and fun things to do and see for all members of any family. The Kids Area is open from 7am until 7pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The area is a special little enclave for our junior festival goers with a bumper selection of fun workshops, circus classes, games, activities, shows, face painting, environmentally friendly glitter painting, slacklines, actors, clowns and even children’s yoga and children’s trance dances. Everything especially tailored for the young and enquiring mind.Yes its very accessible for disabled also.

Ste: What does Ste Chesters like to do when he’s not organising kick-ass festivals?
Ste: I would like to include us as collective here, as Audio Farm is about a core crew and 7 directors. Not just myself. We spend our time (obviuosly) going to festivals, building other festivals, putting on wellbeing events and also work hard towards the goal of Green Paw Projects Mission Malawi. (For more info https://www.onetribefestival.org/greenpawproject/). We are also big travellers too. We are all very lucky to have each other as a collective of friends. Audio Farm is all about the collective. “You are are only as good as the team around you”.

How has the festival evolved over the past decade or so?
Ste: Our ethics and ideas have always been the same since the first festival in 2013. We have just grown from 300 to 1500 people with bigger production, bigger artists, more family friendly, more emphasis on positive change and healing, and we are now a fully vegan festival which we were originally vegetarian festival.

How do you decide upon the acts?
Ste: Between us a collective. We aim to mix the legends with the new across many generas of music. Also we book some of the best energetic festival bands around, and aim to showcase bands from Europe like Olive Tree Dance.

What have you guys got for us this year?
Ste: A new concept with the focus being on the celebration of of the sun in a beautiful new site. Magic will happen!

To someone who has never been to Audio Farm, what have they got to expect?
Ste: Audio Farm Festival reopens the gates in 2018 under the original alias, keeping to its evolving nomadic roots at a new site, whilst One Tribe Festival takes a fallow year. 2017 saw One Tribe Festival blossom like a magical flower from its Audio Farm tree, from a seed that was planted at the first festival in 2013. So from the crew that brought you One Tribe, expect more of the same magic, music, people, energy, love, laughter and beauty, but in a more intimate space at Audio Farm Festival 2018. The journey continues in a new and exciting venue at Shropshire’s Hopton Court. Nestled in the heart of breathtaking borderland countryside, the watercolour beauty of this Georgian country estate has uniquely stunning parklands, walled gardens, ponds and a beautiful out buildings, where Audio Farm will transform the site into a microcosm of light, sights, sounds and new experiences, etched together into a mesmeric harmony lasting over 4 days. Audio Farm Festivals innovative stages play host to a wealth of hand-picked bands, artists and DJ’s, playing a glittering array of music from all corners of our known universe. From sun kissed House beats on the Sundance Stage and clinical Techno pulses in Home of the Drum, to sporadic breaks and rattling subs in the Depths of Bass, and the psychedelic beats of The Trip. The Mandala Stage and The Nest is a galaxy of eclectic bands, world musicians, vocal acrobats and solo sirens that will take you to places both familiar and new, all interwoven with a rich tapestry of drumming collectives, circus performers and fire dancers, colouring the day and illuminating the night. The Festival is a wealth of experiences, stimulating all the human senses and opening the portals to a world of possibilities in an explosion of imagination. A safe space to expand skill sets with progressive workshops and talks, where talented and knowledgeable healers offer alternative treatments to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul through holistic disciplines, massage, guided meditation, gong baths, yoga and shamanic journeys. Independent throughout, Audio Farm Festival is proudly a non-profit, non-corporate organism that funds the work of The Green Paw Project with its profits. A charity that resolutely works to save and improve the lives of helpless and vulnerable animals in third world countries. So join the tribe again at Audio Farm Festival this summer and create indelible memories where footprints fade.

So this will be the last Audio Farm for a while, what’s the back story ?
Ste: We are undecided where our future lies within the festival industry and will be putting our minds together to work out our direction and where to best place our collective energies. So this could potentially be the last ever Festival that Audio Farm curates. It would therefore be amazing to see all of the Audio Farm family who have been part of the festivals since 2013 to be a part of this one, you have made it what it is today and we’re so grateful for each and every one of you.


Audio Farm 2018

Hopton Court, Shropshire

August 30th – September 1st