What’s in a name? A story in stages

Sometimes a stage is just a stage. A festival main stage, particularly, usually represents the ethos of the event itself. But with smaller stages, there’s often something else going on.

We take a look at two venues bringing very different stories to a field near you this summer.


Lancashire teenager Sophie Lancaster was murdered in 2007. The Observer newspaper described the assault on Sophie and boyfriend Rob as part of a “rash of violent attacks targeting punk, goth and metal kids”. The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was set up in her memory to Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere (S.O.P.H.I.E).

The foundation, supported by The Lancashire Criminal Justice Board, tackles prejudice against members of subcultures through education while campaigning for similarly motivated attacks to be recognised as hate crimes. In 2009 Bloodstock heavy rock festival renamed its second stage The Sophie Lancaster Stage, and newcomer AltFest, itself a celebration of difference, has followed suit with a stage featuring heavy rock, electronica, goth and punk.

As well as appearing on S.O.P.H.I.E stages, artists, like Gary Numan who’ll appear on AltFest’s main stage, show support by wearing the S.O.P.H.I.E wristband. In April 2013, Greater Manchester became the first UK police force to adopt new procedures for recording crimes targeting subcultures.

Join the celebration of individuality at Bloodstock or AltFest.


Tim Peaks

Emerging from the former Charlatan’s whimsical tweeted musical breakfasts, Tim Burgess‘s virtual cafe first came to life through a 2011 ‘outside broadcast‘ for BBC 6music. The name puns on director David Lynch’s cult nineties TV series, with its coffee-obsessed Agent Cooper.

Kendall Calling 2012 brought the concept into 3D reality, supplying log cabin diner and instigating the blending sessions resulting in Tim Peaks Fairtrade coffee. Tim tweeted about his OTT breakfast cereal, Totes Amazeballs, and by August Kellogg’s had helpfully created that too. With the addition of Yorkshire tea and that Twin Peaks staple, cherry pie, the Tim Peaks diner was manifest. The songs he’d been tweeting were on the jukebox, twitter followers and performers popped by for coffee, and impromptu sets from stars like Edwyn Collins and invitations from other festivals followed.

Proceeds, logically, go to the David Lynch Foundation, which works to address the social impact of stress by promoting meditation practice.

Visit Tim Peaks at Kendall Calling, Festival No 6 or Macclesfield’s Barnaby Festival Big Weekend.

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