Event Industry News
Peter Hook & The Light will perform Joy Division’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’ in full with additional songs to be selected online by the crowd at the first ever crowdsourced international music festival.
Killing Joke photo by Alterna2
Alt-Fest, a new 50,000 capacity celebration of alternative music, art and culture, is the first music festival to be successfully backed on Kickstarter since the crowdfunding platform’s April 2009 launch.
The festival, set up by Club AntiChrist promoters Dominic and Missy Void, will take place on 5-17 August 2014 at in the beautiful wooded grounds of Boughton House in the Northamptonshire countryside.
The bill, also featuring Killing Joke, Fields of the Nephilim and Cradle of Filth was selected by poll via the promoters’ Facebook page and further headliners will be announced.
The process started in late 2012, with a Facebook poll asking festival fans what issues they had with current festivals, what they would like from an alternative and which bands they would like to see.
Funds raised by donation or ‘Dismembership’ fees at this stage were used to book around 30 of those bands, and with the £10,000 raised, a concept and a preliminary bill, a Kickstarter campaign was launched in early March.
During the 30 day funding period the festival raised twice it’s original £30,000 target, with £61,762 committed by 593 backers, all of whom received rewards ranging from a web-site thank you through £55 tickets to on-site five-star accommodation.
Steampunk image by Martin SoulStealer
The festival’s eclectic interpretation of the ‘alternative’ includes live stages presenting Goth, Industrial, EBM, Electronica and metal plus an immersive steampunk experience.
Other attractions include a huge clubbing marquee, hosting the best alternative clubs including Nocturnal Emissions, Slimelight and Analogue Trash, a full circus programme, Alt shopping village, fairground and art installations.
Families will be welcomed, with accompanied under-12s getting in free, a dedicated kids’ area, age-appropriate circus shows, family camping and even a crèche for tinies.
With even fan-centred events like All Tomorrows Parties appearing to struggle in an increasingly cash-strapped market, Alt-Fest is launching a new model – the truly punter-powered festival with ticket-holders and volunteers fully invested in all decisions.
Its unprecedented success suggests fans sick of bumped-up booking fees, food price-fixing and the same old acts are ready to create a real alternative, and organisers predict the current £70 or 2-for-£125 super early bird offer will sell out in days.
The festival supports ‘S.O.P.H.I.E’ (the Sophie Lancaster Foundation), a charity working to creating understanding and respect for subcultures in communities.
Download Festival scooped the major accolade at the UK Festival Awards 2013 at a ceremony presented by comedian Phill Jupitus at London’s Roundhouse on Monday, beating the venerable Glastonbury to the fan-voted Best Major Festival award.
Download 2013 photo by Anthony Pujol
The accolade, for the rockers’ festival which won overall Best Line-up last year, suggests Download has found the sweet-spot between a strong musical identity appealing to a distinct community and the fuller, more positive overall experience all festival-goers now expect in return for substantial ticket prices.
The 90,000 people who attended in June 2013 were rewarded by blistering main stage sets from a broad range of rockers including Slipknot, Iron Maiden, Rammstein, Queens of the Stone Age, Motorhead, Limp Bizkit, Korn, Alice In Chains, Enter Shikari and The Hives while The Red Bull Studios presented hot emerging bands. Gig highlights included some energetic audience participation during Slipknot’s Spit It Out and a spitfire in the sky heralding the arrival of stalwarts Iron Maiden.
The ten year old event at the historic site of the original heavy rock festival, Donington Park in Derbyshire, is still very much about the music, but now also features substantial markets, late-night entertainment, funfair and cinema. The classic weather – Saturday mudbath followed by sunny Sunday – the carefully selected, diverse food on offer and friendly security may have helped Download shine in the memories of voters.
Another interesting winner was Daft Punk, who played no festivals this year but still won Anthem of The Summer for “Get Lucky”, suggesting the music in bars and markets is as much a part of the festival experience as the onstage action. The award was accepted via video message by Chic’s Nile Rodgers, who played bass on the track.
Other names to watch (if you weren’t already) are Dot to Dot, Kendall Calling and Bearded Theory, while the coveted Best Toilets award went to ArcTanGent, brand new cousins to Best Grassroots Event, 2000trees. There were also gongs for stylish food concession Strumpets With Crumpets and green festival trailblazers Shambala, with the Outstanding Achievement Award going to inspirational pioneer Fiona Stewart, owner of world-class sustainable boutique festival Green Man.
Rudimental photo by villunderlondon
Glastonbury did receive acknowledgement from voters, winning Best Headline Performance for the Arctic Monkeys, while Rudimental, who turned up at everything from Glasto through Best Overseas Festival, Snowbombing, to Best New Festival, We Are FSTVL, pipped Disclosure to Breakthrough Act of The Year. The journalist-judged Best Line-up went to the estimable Latitude which this year featured a spectacular performance from Kraftwerk plus an impressive list of festival exclusives including Mark Lanegan, White Denim, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Yo La Tengo.
Among the festivals we worked with this year, we were delighted to see Camp Bestival reclaim its Best Family Festival crown and Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time take home the brand new, jury-selected Best Use of New Technology prize. Peppermint Bars sponsored the panel-judged 2013 Promoter of the Year Award, which went to the wonderful Paddy Glasgow of Northern Ireland’s grass-roots year-long new-music festival, Glasgowbury.
As the temperatures plummet, the British inclination to socialise out of doors doesn’t seem to diminish. Whether you’re having a bonfire-side gathering or welcoming home skaters or holly-and-ivy foragers, warm their cockles with a lovely communal hot tipple. Don’t forget to make a more innocent version for any kids, as they won’t be happy to miss out on a warming treat.
Photo by Wheeler Cowperthwaite
Orange & Ginger Mulled wine
There’s nothing more festive than mulled wine, and this recipe foregrounds two of its flavours making it distinctive and zingy.
Boil 500ml water and stir in 100g sugar. Zest two oranges and a lemon. Halve the lemon, peel and slice one orange. Stick the other orange with 15 cloves. Peel a 2cm piece of root ginger and halve lengthways. Stir in the fruit, peel, zest, ginger and a stick of cinnamon then add two bottles of red wine. Cover and heat gently without boiling for 15 minutes. Strain before serving in a big bowl that’s been pre-warmed with hot water.
Pimms Hot Punch
This simple treatment of the spiced, brandy-based variant of the ready-mixed fruit cup transforms it into a delicious punch with ease.
Gently heat 150ml Pimms Winter Cup with 400ml apple juice, with an apple and half an orange both cut into small chunks and a cinnamon stick. As soon as it simmers, take out the cinnamon and serve from a warmed glass jug.
Hot Buttered Rum
Make a batch of this winter classic because everyone’s going to want one these scrummy circulation-boosters.
Blend 100g of unsalted butter, 3 tablespoonsful of honey, a tablespoon each of vanilla and rum extracts and a teaspoon each of ground nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice and keep the mix in a sealed jar in the fridge. To make a mugful, add a tablespoon of the mix to a measure of white or dark rum and top up with hot (not boiling) water.
If that all sounds like too much effort, you can work wonders by adding a dash of brandy or whisky to an ordinary hot beverage. Here are a couple of fancy versions you can use to impress your guests:
Photo by Damien McMahon
Combine half measures of Kahlua and Irish Whiskey in a large mug, top up with strong, freshly made coffee and top with cream for an ultra-sophisticated version of Irish coffee.
After Dinner Mint
Make a big mug of strong hot chocolate more grown up by adding a measure of peppermint schnapps. Stand a mint candy cane or chocolate mint ‘matchstick’ in it for extra decadence.
Best enjoyed in front of festive TV with no plans to go back outside.
A packed crowd at Camden’s Roundhouse last night for the annual UK Festival Awards.
The full list of winners:
The following categories were decided by public vote
BEST MAJOR FESTIVAL: Download
BEST MEDIUM-SIZED FESTIVAL in association with Eventbrite: Kendal Calling
BEST SMALL FESTIVAL in association with Intelligent Venue Solutions: Bearded Theory
BEST NEW FESTIVAL in association with Robertson Taylor: We Are FSTVL
BEST DANCE EVENT: Creamfields
BEST METROPOLITAN FESTIVAL: Dot To Dot
BEST FAMILY FESTIVAL: Camp Bestival
BEST GRASSROOTS EVENT in association with ID&C: 2000trees Festival
BEST TOILETS in association with XL Video: ArcTanGent
BEST OVERSEAS FESTIVAL: Snowbombing (Austria)
HEADLINE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR in association with Relentless Energy Drink: Arctic Monkeys – Glastonbury
ANTHEM OF THE SUMMER in association with Jagermeister: Get Lucky – Daft Punk
BREAKTHROUGH ACT OF THE YEAR: Rudimental
The following awards were decided by industry juries:
AGENCY OF THE YEAR in association withIQ Magazine: CODA
BEST LINE-UP in association with J20 Lates (decided by a panel of renowned UK music journalists): Latitude
CONCESSION OF THE YEAR: Strumpets with Crumpets
THE GREENER FESTIVAL AWARD in association with AGreenerFestival: Shambala Festival
BEST BRAND ACTIVATION in association with the European Sponsorship Association: Virgin Media
THE EXTRA-FESTIVAL ACTIVITY AWARD: Wilderness
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR in association in association with Peppermint Bars: Paddy Glasgow (Glasgowbury)
BEST USE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY in association with Stuff magazine: Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time (in Hyde Park) – Intelligent Venue Solutions on behalf of Barclaycard
THE OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD in association with Festival HQ: Fiona Stewart, Green Man Festival
Follow the results of the UK Festival Awards 2013 LIVE on this page tonight!
You won’t miss a beat, so visit this page from 8.30pm to find out the winners as they come in, one by one.
THE GREENER FESTIVAL AWARD in association with AGreenerFestival
The winner is… Shambala Fest !
BEST USE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY
The winner is… Barclaycard British SummerTime!
THE EXTRA-FESTIVAL ACTIVITY AWARD
The winner is… Wilderness HQ!
THE BEST TOILETS AWARD
The winner is ATG Festival!
BEST METROPOLITAN FESTIVAL
The winner is Dot to Dot!
BEST DANCE EVENT
The winner is Creamfields!
BEST NEW FESTIVAL in association with Robertson Taylor
The award goes to… We are FSTVL!
THE BRAND ACTIVATION AWARD in association with the European Sponsorship Association
Goes to… Virgin Media!
BREAKTHROUGH ACT OF THE YEAR
THE GRASSROOTS FESTIVAL AWARD in association with ID&
The winner is… 2000trees!
BEST FAMILY FESTIVAL
The winner is Camp Bestival!
BEST LINE-UP in association with J20 Late (decided by a panel of renowned UK music journalists)
The award goes to… Latitude!
ANTHEM OF THE SUMMER in association with Jagermeister
Get Lucky by Duft Punk!
Agency of the Year (decided by a panel assembled by IQ Magazine)
The winner is CODA!
BEST OVERSEAS FESTIVAL
The award goes to… Snowbombing!
HEADLINE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR in association with Relentless Energy Drink
The winner is The Arctic Monkeys!
BEST SMALL FESTIVAL in association with Intelligent Venue Solutions
is Bearded Theory!
BEST MEDIUM-SIZED FESTIVAL in association with Eventbrite
The winner is Kendal Calling!
BEST MAJOR FESTIVAL
of 2013 is… Download!
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR in association with Peppermint Bars
This award goes to Paddy Glasgow (Glasgowbury)!
The winner is… Fiona Stewart!
You’ve barely recovered from Bestival, you’re gearing up for the festive season, and next year’s Glastonbury has sold out already. If you’re not one of the lucky ones, there’s not much you can do about that until Spring, but fortunately plenty of other well-established festivals do have tickets on offer for 2014, many with early bird offers or payment plans available to the super keen.
We take a quick lookat a few possible alternatives with tickets currently available.
Primavera pic by alterna
Parc del Forum, Barcelona, Spain
A friendly urban event with six outdoor stages, some on the beach, and a huge auditorium, this is the centrepiece of a massive Barcelona Spring party week. Confirmed live music includes Arcade Fire and Neutral Milk Hotel with more tba.
Prices are tiered, with 3-day arena tickets at 160 euros (around £135) until 7 January, or pay in instalments or check out their special festive bonus offer. You’ll need to arrange accommodation separately.
3-6 July 2014:
Festivalpladsen, Roskilde, Denmark
Denmark’s answer to Glasto is four-day international music and culture festival with warm up-events from 28 June. There are no acts confirmed yet but expect another impressive bill and the inimitable vibe of a huge forward-looking gathering.
An eight day camping ticket costs 1910 DKK (approx £215), or you can pay in 4 instalments.
11-13 July 2014
T in the Park
Scotland’s rock-and-beer picnic outgrew the park and is now the second biggest festival in the UK. Its 21st will feature a varied bill (details tba) headed by Arctic Monkeys, with seven main stages, a big funfair, comedy tent, silent disco and charity and ‘kaleidoscope’ fields.
Some ‘Early Bird’ tickets were released last week, with a four night camping ticket on offer for £205 or secured with a £50 deposit.
Benicassim pic by Rafale Tovar
17-20 July 2014:
Benicàssim (Festival International Benicassim)
Recinto De Conciertos, Benicassim, Spain
This Valencian resort festival attracts young indie music fans and sunseekers. Cutting-edge rock and electronica, short films and fashion shows occupy the cooler evenings, leaving days for the beach and nights for clubbing. Bill tba.
£120.00 early-bird tickets include the four-day festival plus camping from 14 July so you can make it a week’s holiday.
ALSO 17-20 July 2014:
Henham Park Estate, Beccles, Suffolk
If you prefer the quirkier Glasto fields, you’ll love this small family-friendly event near the sea. Comedy, theatre, cabaret, dance, poetry, literature and art are presented across ten arenas, the woods and a lake and there’s a full kids’ programme. Theme and bill tba.
Tickets are currently on offer at 2013 prices, eg £182.50 for weekend adult ticket with camping.
Don’t forget to budget for any extra travel, and book your transport early to make sure you get the best-timed journeys and take advantage of advance booking prices.
It’s that time of year again. If you’re thinking about strapping on the skates for a graceful pirouette across the ice or a touch of skidding on your rump with the rest of us, there are plenty of decent UK rinks to choose from. We’ve picked just half-a-dozen offering an extra dash of festive spirit.
Londoners are spoiled for choice, but Somerset House offers the ultimate Victorian-style outdoor Christmas experience in the heart of the capital. Its atmospheric historic buildings enclose a magical winter wonderland complete with huge Christmas tree and horse and carriage. The champagne and chocolate package is an indulgent treat and their club nights feature star DJs, but for yuletide overload, choose a Glad-Tidings Tuesday for traditional seasonal music, food and shopping.
14 November 2013 – 5 January 2014 (Session times)
Is there anything more festive than a turn on the ice in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle? The outdoor ice rink on East Princes Street Gardens Terrace is also overlooked by the city’s Big Wheel and has great views of the evocative Edinburgh skyline. While you’re there visit one of the many theatre shows or parties on offer as part of Edinburgh’s Christmas in conjunction with Underbelly, or work a skate into your day exploring the city’s festive markets, rides and attractions.
14 November 2013 – 5 January 2014 (Session times)
Where else in the UK can you skate in a tropical garden in the microclimate of a bio-dome? This year’s ice skating season at the Eden Project becomes Christmassy between November 30 and January 6, with Nordic winter scenery featuring Christmas trees, fairy lights and a festive choir. This year they’ve added beginners’ sessions, Friday discos and a menu featuring prime-quality burgers and bangers, sweet potato chips, yummy crepes and delicious warming drinks like organic spiced mandarin hot chocolate.
19 October 2013 – 2 March 2014 (Session times)
Brighton’s Royal Pavilion is a monument the city’s hisotry as an indulgent holiday destination, making it the natural choice for an annual city-centre ice rink. This year the city will reinforce its reputation for eco-consciousness by creating the UK’s first ever ‘green rink’ beside the beautiful oriental-style building. Sourcing the formidable amount of energy to freeze and power up the attraction from renewable sources. Trust Brighton to come up with the ultimate in guilt-free seasonal fun.
9 November 2013 – 19 January, 2014 (Session times)
Glide under the Christmas lights of Glasgow’s George Square on an open air rink in the heart of this bustling party city then visit the marquee next door for a full-on yuletide festival of free live music and entertainment. The eclectic family fun includes everything from Santa storytime to premium jazz, with Monday evenings showcasing new local bands, Wednesdays screening Christmas films and Thursday offering a chance to join the Big Big Sing of festive favourites.
23 November 2013 – 5 January 2014 (Booking info)
All the above offer either training supports (usually penguins) or extra-stable twin-blade bob skates for tinies, some only available at separate sessions. Check details at your chosen venue.
If you just fancy giving skating a try, check The National Ice Skating Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (NISA) site for an interactive map of permanent and seasonal UK ice rinks.
by Hope Wisechild
It’s nearly time to write that letter to Santa, so when better to think about upgrading your summer festival gear? We take a look at five items we’d love to find in our own stocking on Christmas morning.
While you don’t want to end up with icicle fingers from doing indoor things outdoors, there’s little more annoying than having to yank off a bulky pair of gloves every time you want to light a cigarette or pay for a beer. Pulse spots play a role in your overall temperature, and, unlikely as it may seem, fleece-lined wool wrist warmers that leave your fingers and thumb free can also keep your hands warm as toast.
Wool and fleece wrist warmers from Fur Feather & Fin
A self-sufficient torch
There are many options, but whether you choose a wind-up torch or one with a built in solar panel, make sure you have a light small enough to keep on you that’s not completely dependent on batteries. You may be able to buy new batteries on site at bigger events, but that’s small consolation when the light fades as you’re trying to locate your tent at four in the morning. A low-consumption LED torch will make the very most of the power you generate.
Wind-up LED pocket torch from Nigel’s Eco Store
A lightweight warm coat
If you take a heavy wool overcoat you’ll probably end up wearing it to lug your stuff on and off site – a bit much even if the sun’s not blazing. But you will need something to keep you warm when you’re out and about in the chilly night-time. This is where it helps to get hi-tech. You can now get brilliant jackets as warm as a duvet but lightweight enough to pack down tiny – great to keep on you or as an extra late-night layer .
Women’s style ultralight warm jacket with carry pouch from UniQlo
A proper drink container
Most of us know reusing a disposable plastic water bottle only works for a while. Sooner or later an enthusiastic recycler, efficient barperson or litter-obsessed toddler always seems to make it disappear. Take control with a camper’s lightweight metal water bottle complete with a loop so you can hook it to your bag or belt. And if you like to buy bottled water, so much the better – a reusable bottle’s ideal if you don’t want to spill your cider or cocktail.
Eurohike aluminium drink bottle from Millets
It’s the great packing dilemma – to take wellies, or not take wellies? They take up so much space, it’s annoying if you don’t then need them – then again, you don’t really want to need them! Compromise with a neat folding pair that you can stash in a rucksack pocket and, hopefully, forget about. They come in a range of great colours so you won’t need to compromise on fashion if the heavens do open.
Folding rainboot from Redfoot
by Hope Wisechild
You’ve seen Lapland’s IceHotel on television, you’re intrigued by the thought of staying there overnight, and yet… you can’t quite gather up the resolve to move away from the fire and do something about it.
Well, if you’re living in or visiting London this winter, you could sample modern ice living in less than an hour. IceBar by IceHotel provides a 40-minute experience including a cocktail served in a hollowed-out ice cube.
At a consistent 5º below zero, and with a £13-£16 entry fee, this is an attraction rather than a place to arrange to meet friends, yet Londoners who’ve known about it since 2005 keep going back. So what’s going on?
The original ice bar is at the IceHotel in Jukkasjärvi, on the banks of the wild Torne River in Swedish Lapland, but the idea of taking the experience to the city soon led to the IceBar Stockholm.
The London bar’s current directors had already chosen pedestrianised Heddon Street, off London’s bustling Regent Street, for their new cocktail bar when they visited Stockholm’s IceBar and were smitten.
Perhaps it’s their passion to recreate its welcoming atmosphere and delicious cocktails as well as the challenging ambient temperature that makes it such an irresistible treat.
With the exception of non-slip metal floors. the environment, including chairs, tables, walls and bar, is all hewn from specially imported, crystalline, pure ice from the Torne River and redesigned twice a year.
This season’s theme is by Jens Thoms Ivarsson and Mikheal “Nille’ Nillson, who use lighting and 34 tons of ice to explore the concept of architecture, creating the ambience of a slick, relaxed city loft apartment decorated with ice-carved architectural drawings. Cool, up-to-the-minute sounds complete the effect.
Before you pass through the airlock, what they call ‘Designer thermals’ are provided for you – actually a festive-looking blue cape with a fur-trimmed hood and special gloves. Pleasingly daft, they certainly do the job more conveniently that changing into your Damarts.
A drink occasionally slides off the slick surface of an ice table, and you’ll probably start shivering after about half-an-hour, but it all adds to the fun in this grown-up grotto, and the staff (also only allowed to stay for 40 minutes at a time) are efficient and witty yet laid-back.
Make a night of it with cocktails in the waiting area, a reasonably-priced top-up in the ice bar itself, and a warming cocktail in the snug leather sofaed Wolf Bar to get your circulation back.
A visit to the adjoining BelowZero restaurant, which more than holds its own as a West End eatery, completes the evening, and look out for special offer packages. Or children are also welcome, making it a fun afternoon excursion. You can book in advance from the website.
If you’re one of those people who likes to pinch a glass as a souvenir (you know who you are) be warned – you could end up with a chilly puddle in the bottom of your bag.
by Hope Wisechild
2013’s UK Festival Awards Shortlists for Jury-decided awards have now been announced, and solar energy pioneers Croissant Neuf are again in the running for the A Greener Festival award.
Croissant Neuf Summer Party, an independent family festival run entirely on renewable power, has already won this Award three years in a row, while its many other accolades include Highly Commended by Green Parent magazine in 2011 and 2012.
The August event at a beautiful Monmouthshire site is built around Glastonbury Festival’s longest running stage – the Green Fields’ Croissant Neuf tent. This magnificent Big Top’s massive, industry-quality sound system and stage lights are powered entirely by solar panels.
The Summer Party was created in 2007 as a flagship green festival, and while most festivals work to mitigating their environmental impact, Croissant Neuf boasts its average festivalgoer uses on 90% less water and generates less than half the CO2 they would over a normal weekend at home.
All electricity used on site, including by caterers and traders, comes from solar or wind generators, and last year’s event was run on just 11Kw. This was achieved by a comprehensive energy-saving policy including low-consumption LED lighting -with the main stage lights using less than a typical hairdryer – and hand pumps at the bar.
A committed recycling team makes sure everything possible is recycled – in 2012 achieving an impressive 95% recycling of waste produced. Other sustainability initiatives include an organic food and drink policy, with ingredients sourced locally and/or fairly-traded wherever possible.
Festivalgoers are actively encouraged to minimise the impact of their travel to the festival by choosing trains or buses, car sharing or, ideally, cycling. Cheerful stewards greet them at the gate, using wheelbarrows and horses and carts to ferry guests and their camping equipment around.
To compensate for emissions generated by revellers driving to the event, more than 4000 native British tree saplings have already been planted on and around the event site – three trees for every car journey.
If all this sounds a bit worthy, you probably haven’t yet experienced the festival’s water balloon fights, jousting, tea dances and general air of friendly silliness uniting all ages, or enjoyed the site’s pristine site, clean air and stunning Usk valley views.
A typically balanced and consistently lively, funky bill this year featured Nizlopi, Ellen & The Escapades, Zervas & Pepper, Smerins Anti Social Club and everyone’s Glasto greenfields favourite, the Biggles Wartime Band. Sunday’s headliners Gabby Young and Other Animals contributed to the playful spirit by performing their set wearing horses’ heads.
Your own event may not share this focus on green ethics or attract a Green Parent-reading crowd, but there’s bound to be something you could do to make it greener. Whether you’re inspired to hear that it can be done, or daunted by the challenge, why not visit Julie’s Bicycle for all the ideas, inspiration and tools you’ll need to make a start or up your game.
The UK Festival Awards are sponsored by Peppermint Bars, and you can follow the results live here.
Thanks to Hope for the pictures in this article