Camden Rocks is returning for its fifth year and it seems to get bigger every year. Why do you think the festival has continued to grow?
It’s part natural progression. Year on year with the support and hard work of everyone involved it gets more established and on people’s radars. But also we’re an independent event organiser – we keep the festival true to an authentic day of rock and roll live music. People know what to expect from the festival and are coming back year on year, and the word seems to be spreading!
Camden Town is known for being a very cultured and vibrant area of London. How do the location and music complement each other?
Camden is steeped in musical history and the streets breathe it. There’s so many legendary venues in such a small area, nowhere else I can think of has this. I grew up reading about these venues and ended up playing most of them in my own bands.
From a logistical stand point, how difficult is the festival to organise when it is spread across over twenty different venues?
It is quite a mammoth task but the venues and their management teams are all great and as we’ve been doing it for five years now, it’s just about making improvements each year. It’s not just twenty different venues though, there’s 200 bands with all their band members and crew, trying to make sure everyone’s in the right place at the right time is all part of the fun.
You have already announced over 60 bands for the festival including Young Guns, SikTh, and We Are The Ocean. However you always showcase up and coming talent. How important is having those new acts to Camden Rocks?
Hugely important. I started running a weekly club night called Jubilee at Camden Barfly four years ago with four live bands each night and was really excited by the talent coming through. I work year round choosing bands for the club so I pick the most exciting of those to play Camden Rocks. I’ve always said it’s not just about the bigger more established acts. I hope people come to Camden Rocks with an open mind to wander round and see something new.
With the UK rock festival market offering plenty of options in recent years, we’ve seen some festivals unfortunately disappear. What do you think are the key factors to establishing and maintaining a successful festival today?
I’ve been in the music industry for twenty years both as a musician and a promoter so I’ve got a good head of experience behind me. I’ve also lived in Camden for the last twenty years and put on three club nights a week here, so being well established in the area and with the venues really helps. You can put on a great event but if you haven’t got the business right, then it isn’t sustainable.
Clearly over 200 bands for £35 is more than enough for any rock fan to attend, but for those who haven’t been Camden Rocks before, why should they buy a ticket?
It’s a great chance to see some of the best new emerging bands the UK has to offer, all in one place, in one day. It’s also amazing value for money when you consider how many great established bands are also playing. If you like discovering new music then it’s such a great fun day out.