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.
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.
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.