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.
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