Lo­cal mu­sic fes­ti­vals in tune with their au­di­ence

York­shire plays host to a se­ries of in­ti­mate mu­sic fes­ti­vals over the com­ing month. Nick Ahad on the re­gion’s bou­tique events.

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - MUSIC -

THE or­gan­iser of the new­est of York­shire’s mu­sic fes­ti­vals, Bea­cons, thinks he has the an­swer.

Ash Kol­lakowski, has been work­ing in gig and events pro­mo­tion in Leeds for a num­ber of years, find­ing a slot for the Arc­tic Mon­keys six years ago, when they were just a group of lads from Sh­effield.

He is the man be­hind Bea­cons Fes­ti­val, a Skip­ton based event that is re­plac­ing MoorFest, held in the area in pre­vi­ous years. Along with a busi­ness part­ner, he has joined forces with the or­gan­is­ers of MoorFest, to help the event step up a gear. It pre­vi­ously at­tracted around 1,000, but the team is hopeful that Kol­lakowski’s ex­pe­ri­ence of work­ing with bands will swell that num­ber to 4,000 for this sum­mer’s event.

“We’re the sort of peo­ple who want to go to a lo­cal butcher, to a lo­cal shop. We like to sup­port lo­cal busi­ness – we don’t like go­ing to big su­per­mar­kets where ev­ery­thing is the same and ev­ery­thing comes wrapped in per­fect pack­ag­ing,” says Kol­lakowski of him­self and the team be­hind Bea­cons.

“And that’s what we’re look­ing for in a fes­ti­val. You can go to the big ones, but they are like cor­po­rate events now, with bands flown across the at­lantic play­ing a set for £200,000 and no real con­nec­tion to the fans or the mu­sic. We’re es­sen­tially the an­ti­dote to that, with bands that care about the Skip­ton, the pre­vi­ous site for MoorFest. Kol­lakowski says the use­ful thing about set­ting up a new, big­ger event at a spot which has pre­vi­ously hosted a fes­ti­val, means that an all-im­por­tant re­la­tion­ship with the lo­cal com­mu­nity is al­ready well es­tab­lished.

“The re­la­tion­ship with the lo­cal com­mu­nity is gen­uinely im­por­tant to us. With big­ger fes­ti­vals, many of them have grown to a size that are just un­man­age­able. You spend the whole week­end walk­ing around the site, try­ing to find your friends. Bea­cons is a

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