WHERE TO BE!: Ghostfest 2010

Event: Ghostfest 2010
Location: Leeds University, UK
Date: June 26th – 27th
Time: 1.00pm – 11.00pm (1.00am for after parties)

Current line-up: Gallows, Devil Sold His Soul, Knuckle Dust, The Seventh Cross, Lower Than Atlantis, More Than Life, The Eyes Of A Traitor, Ingested, TRC, Throats, Bleed From Within… and many more still to be announced!

Interviewee: Mike Jones (co-founder/promoter)
Interviewer: Zach Redrup

Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/ghostfest

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In music world, summer is all about going as many great fucking festivals that you can afford to go to. Whilst most of the big momma’s of festivals are outdoors over the weekend for around £100+ for tickets, Ghostfest is situated indoors at the Leeds University for a whole weekend of amazing acts… all for just £20 a day or £30 a weekend. What a bargain! Since starting in 2005 it’s been a host to many amazing bands, and with what’s been revealed so far it looks like 2010’s festival will be no different. DEAD PRESS! decided to get in touch with co-founder and promoter Mike Jones to talk about this year’s event, how it all began, and a few tips for those of you who are looking into starting a festival of your own.

Zach: So Mike, Ghostfest is getting pretty big nowadays, when did the idea of starting and organising Ghostfest first come about?
Mike: The idea was first thought up in early 2005 from watching DVDs from Hellfest/New England metal festivals, etc. Seeing the energy and atmosphere at those festivals really made me want to create a similar yearly event for kids in the UK, and so Ghostfest was born!

Zach: It tends to sell-out quite early every year, did you expect it to ever reach the popularity it has gained today?
Mike: No, never. In the first year I don’t think the thought of continuing after that year’s festival really crossed our minds at all. It’s only due to the overwhelming support we recieve year in and year out that we’re able to keeping doing the festival today.

Zach: Where did the name Ghostfest come from and what other names were in consideration?
Mike: There’s no real story behind the name. People just seemed to like it, and I guess it stuck!

Zach: With 5 years gone by, what’s been your favourite year of the festival so far?
Mike: They’ve all been special for different reasons really; 2005 was special as it was the first one and it was all so new to us, and in 2006 the Job For A Cowboy set was very special as it was the first time they’d been to the country. We gave them a chance first! Dead Swans headlining our second room last year was special too, they were stuck in the lift for half an hour beforehand, and we didn’t know if they’d even get out at all nevermind in time to play! It’s great to see the bands who have played our smaller stages in previous years take the step up to the main stage too. A lot of these bands grow up and mature with the festival as we grow too which is great to see.

Zach: With so many year’s there’s also been many bands, what’s been your favourite act you’ve ever had play at the festival to date?
Mike: Again, they’ve all been special for different reasons. Personal favourites would be Sikth in the first year, Architects in 2008, Whitechapel and Despised Icon flying over especially to play for us last year was great too. Some of our favourite bands are not neccessarily the biggest bands to play either though, Ingested in particular were incredible in the second room in 2009, and we’ve got them back again for the main stage this year!

Zach: I imagine there’s a lot of planning involved, how early do you begin preparing to organise the upcoming Ghostfest?
Mike: In our heads we’re planning the following year’s festival before that year’s had even taken place! In terms of getting solid plans in place we generally have them 10 months prior to the festival, but our announcement dates for the festival change year in and year out.

Zach: For people planning to organise gigs and events themselves, what advice can you give to them?
Mike: The first point needs to be identifying what you want your event to be about, and who it’s going to appeal to. Once that’s established you can begin booking, again you need to think about the type of audience you want to attract and bring in the right acts and brands to encourage this. In terms of budgeting and working with prices always work within your means. There can be a lot of money at stake with any live music event and you need to ensure it’s at a level that you’re comfortable with. Promoting gigs is supposed to be fun, so don’t get yourself stressed and let it effect other aspects of your life. Effective ways of promoting? Well that’s the golden questio. Any way you can physically get your event out to people you should do it! You need to live and breathe the event you are working towards.

Zach: Many great bands to look forward to so far, but aside from the acts already mentioned why else should people look forward to this year’s festival?
Mike: Because it’s the party weekend of the year! This is our biggest festival yet, and we’ve thrown in a lot more to give the fans better value for money and a better weekend than ever. Aswell as the usual incredible day long line-up of live music we’ll have two consecutive after parties running when bands have finished to keep the party going into the small hours of the morning. We’ll be continuing the live theme even for the after parties though, and a live stunt show from Pritchard Vs. Dainton of Dirty Sanchez fame is our first announced act for the main room.

Zach: Finally where do you hope to see Ghostfest in 5 years time from now?
Mike: I hope to see us continuing the success we’ve had from the first five and still be in a position to give people a great weekend surrounded by good friends, good music and good times!

Well there you have it. If the line-up and events aswell as this interview hasn’t convinced you to even consider attending this year’s festival then you must be hella crazy! Tickets have been on sale via various online ticket outlets since 9.00am on April 16th, so get your cash on this. Another line-up announcement is on the way soon, so keep your eyes peeled for what can only be more good news!

Written by Zach Redrup