11 months ago

Open Air Business February 2018

The UK's outdoor hospitality business magazine for function venues, glamping, festivals and outdoor events

EVENTS What provisions

EVENTS What provisions do you make for power, lights and sound? We run the festival with the mindset that we tread lightly upon the land and do as little disruption to the environs and community that surround it – this includes sound moderation, the use of solar energy and as much green power as is viable, and we ask that guests take nothing but photos and leave nothing but photographs. We use a local recycling company to help us clean up and keep things green! How do you manage admissions and visitor safety? We have a fantastic team of volunteers who run our ticketing booth and parking, as well as trained on-site medical staff and security staff to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all festival-goers. What entertainment do you offer? I love the scheduling element of the festival. As it grows each year, more and more phenomenal acts get involved, ranging from musicians from all over the world, to reggae artists of great repute, as well as folk artists, with a regular Welsh language contingent and the annual Twmpath. We have acts like Natty, Jamie Cato (Faithless), Soom T, Undercover Hippy, Boy Azooga, and so many more. The musical acts need to fit into either the world, reggae or folk music categories. We schedule these particular acts so as to create an architecture of experience throughout the weekend. The talks are a big part of the event - these are scheduled largely based on the topics they are covering, and we endeavour to introduce ideas and themes which push the boundaries of our understanding. A great example of this is when author, former physicist and priest Don MacGregor gave an absolutely superb talk about science and spirituality. “THE MUSICAL ACTS NEED TO FIT INTO EITHER THE WORLD, REGGAE OR FOLK MUSIC CATEGORIES. WE SCHEDULE THESE PAR- TICULAR ACTS SO AS TO CRE- ATE AN ARCHI- TECTURE OF EXPERIENCE THROUGH- OUT THE WEEKEND”

EVENTS Performing artists range from circus performers, magicians, fire performers, stilt walkers, trapeze artists, poets, wood carvers and more. How do you publicise the event? The festival has grown exponentially year on year, and although we harness the power of social media, and have a fantastic website and marketing team, we are very lucky that the enjoyment of our guests means that word of mouth and sharing of experiences bring more people to our beautiful event each year. What are your plans for this year? Plans for this year are revealed in stages over the next few weeks and months, but we can confirm exclusively to you that we’re welcoming the fantastic Captain Accident this year, as well as returning artists Skybarkers and Los Pulpos, who always draw the crowds. Check out our Facebook page, @unearthedinafield, for exciting updates as we reveal the top artists for 2018. What are your favourite memories? One moment that springs to mind is a story about a heavily autistic gentleman who came along to Unearthed Festival. He finds social interaction difficult, but was seen speaking to people, laughing and dancing. When his wife was told about it, she burst into tears of happiness. This is why we do Unearthed Festival. Another favourite memory would be watching Natty playing the headline gig - everyone was in great spirits, and I was dancing with my girlfriend Miska; it was a beautiful moment. I remember thinking, no matter how many tickets sold, it would have been worth all the work just for that moment. There may have been some kissing going on, too! Each year we have an epic fire sculpture which we light on the last night of the festival. In 2017, the sculpture was especially large, and the flames could be seen for miles. Seeing the sparks of light refract across people’s faces as they danced joyfully around the fire as the drums beat and folk sang was an epic few moments… “EACH YEAR WE HAVE AN EPIC FIRE SCULPTURE WHICH WE LIGHT ON THE LAST NIGHT OF THE FESTIVAL” until we thought the sparks would set the trees on fire, then we panicked! What other outdoor hospitality sectors do you operate in? I run the glamping accommodation agency Quality Unearthed. The glamping industry owes a debt of gratitude to festivals, and more specifically, to festival go-ers. These are the people who are developing the skills and have the creative minds to build unusual structures. There aren’t many festivals that don’t have tipis or yurts - these are what you might say were the original UK glamping structures. What advice could you give to someone coming into the outdoor event industry? Get a great team behind you. This festival would not be able to take place annually without the support of a strong management team, marketing team, loyal volunteers and fantastic suppliers. Always support local businesses where possible, as people come to Pembrokeshire to experience the authenticity of the area. Communicating well with your local council should be a priority, as well as ensuring you have all relevant insurances in place before you begin thinking about acts and events. It is also important to organise events and artists that you enjoy, as the more that staff, management and artists are enjoying themselves, the more this sense of happiness transfers to festival goers. DETAILS 29 June – 1 July St Davids, Pembrokeshire WWW.OPENAIRBUSINESS.COM 51