I book the bands and look after the advertising and promotions.
First Farmer Phil’s Festival:
2005… I think!
What do you do, in your own words?
I’m the promoter and deal with the programming of the festival, basically booking the bands and working out a line up with minimal clashes(!). This involves painstakingly reviewing all demo submissions we receive (and we receive thousands annually!), liaising with booking agents around the globe, attending countless gigs to see applying acts in action and carefully managing a set budget to ensure we have a superb line-up each year which doesn’t break the bank!
It’s usually me you’ll be nattering with on Facebook and Twitter. Farmer Phil does keep up to date with it all but he’s more of a tractors and diggers kind of guy rather than status updates, calendar countdowns and tweets!
On site over the festival weekend I can usually be found running around making sure bands have arrived, are being looked after and know where everything is. Like the rest of the team, I’ll turn my hand to anything to keep the show going, and this has included cleaning toilets, pulling pints, litter picking and working the ticket office, among other things.
Biggest claim to fame?
I’ve been blessed and grown up around and worked with some incredible musicians, some of which I now call my friends. I pull my inspiration from them. Without them and their help and guidance I’d have been stuck on more than one occasion so although I’m not name dropping, I hope they’ll read this and know I’m thankful.
Favourite Farmer Phil’s Festival Memory:
There’s too many to pick just one. I work with an amazing team, we’re like a family. And as I said earlier, I also get to work with some incredible musicians. There are stand out moments each year but watching Ferocious Dog open the show in 2016 with their acoustic set was so special. If you could bottle up that whole thing and sell it, you’d have to label it ‘festival magic’!
Watching Scott Doonican crowd surf to the bar (and back again), watching Brad Dears’ fans encourage one of the biggest conga lines I’ve witnessed in a field, Farmer Phil paragliding in to the festival site, looking out to the crowd and watching many of them wiping away tears as Dan Owen absolutely blew them away… I could go on and on – they’re all memories I’ll treasure.
Put quite simply, year after year, standing back and watching a sell out crowd enjoy themselves – that’s a buzz that you just can’t explain, a feeling that you can’t reproduce. Every emotion surging around mixed with the tiredness and adrenaline pumping. It takes 50 weeks (ish) to plan Farmer Phil’s Festival each year and every second is worth it. There’s always a moment when I stand with Farmer Phil and we say “we did it”, tears in our eyes and beaming with pride.