Let Us Entertain You; Festivals Are All the Rage, So Who's Behind This Summer's Hog Roasts and Dancing Mice, Asks Alistair Duncan

The Evening Standard (London, England), May 20, 2005 | Go to article overview

Let Us Entertain You; Festivals Are All the Rage, So Who's Behind This Summer's Hog Roasts and Dancing Mice, Asks Alistair Duncan


Byline: ALISTAIR DUNCAN

Barry Hogan,32

Founder of All Tomorrow's Parties

Lives In East London with fiancee Debra, 30, who runs the festival record label, ATP records.

Festival This alternative music festival, at Pontin's, Camber Sands, has been going since 2000.

Each festival is curated by a different celebrity, most recently Vincent Gallo, and Dinos and Jake Chapman. 'It's like going through someone's record collection,' says Barry, who set up ATP with Helen Cottage. A sister ATP takes place in California each year; Simpsons creator Matt Groening has programmed the line-up. The next ATP takes place in December.

Life Barry's entry into the music business was promoting his friend's punk band. 'They were awful - I used to pretend they were the Beastie Boys to get them gigs,' he says. He grew up in Muswell Hill, where his mother was a nurse and his father a wine merchant.

Finest hour 'We managed to get the seminal post-rock band Slint to reform and curate a festival this year.

They wrote my all-time favourite tune, "Spiderland".

Watching them perform that was a special moment. It made me realise why we do all this.' Festival stress 'When Iggy Pop was performing with his band The Stooges in 2003, I opened the door to his trailer and his pet poodle jumped out and darted off. Iggy wouldn't play until we found him. Fortunately we did.' Ultimate booking 'Leonard Cohen, Neil Young or Tom Waits. Who knows?

Maybe they will play for us one of these days.' Says 'It's amusing when we get bands over from America. They've never seen anywhere like a British Pontin's holiday camp. They love it.'

Jo Bartlett, 39

Founder of The Green Man Festival Lives In Brecon with husband and cofounder Danny, 43, son Spike and daughter Tex. Danny and Jo have a band called It's Jo and Danny.

Festival The Green Man Festival is a folk festival incorporating acts from the currently hip 'folktronica' movement. The inaugural festival in 2003 was held at the remote castle hotel of Craig Y Nos in Wales, but it has since moved to the larger Baskerville Hall in Hay-on-Wye (where Arthur Conan Doyle wrote Hound of the Baskervilles). This year sees cult singer Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy) and Joanna Newsom perform. The festival takes place 19 to 21 August.

Life Jo grew up in Frimley Green, Surrey, where her father was the village doctor and her mother ran the nursery school. Jo worked in record shops and organised gigs, while playing in bands. She moved to London to work at independent record labels Ultimate Records and Planet Dog. She and Danny moved to Wales five years ago.

Finest hour 'Having Four Tet on stage last year was amazing. He's a hot "folktronica" producer that everyone's talking about.' Festival stress 'We had a bit of a communication breakdown two years ago that resulted in us having no generator two days before the festival. We managed to find one that a festival in Bath wasn't using that weekend. We hired it from them cash in hand.' Ultimate booking 'We'd love to book Devendra Banhart.

He's a very cool young folk singer from San Francisco.' Says 'We don't get any sponsorship, so it's a very non-corporate event. People come from London to chill out in the mountains.'

Katrina Larkin,35

Founder of The Big Chill Lives In East London with Murray, a musician and DJ.

Festival Katrina and partner Pete Lawrence set up The Big Chill 11 years ago. 'We'd been out clubbing at an underground party and started thinking: "Wouldn't it be nice to have a non-beat-led music event?" Starting off as a laid-back Sunday afternoon club event at the Union Chapel in Islington, it developed into a festival the following year. Now taking place at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, this year's line-up includes reggae legend Horace Andy, as well as art trails, theatrical performances, kids' areas and 'boudoir' dressing-up areas for grownups. …

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