Interview by Woody
Hi Rick, I believe you are the mastermind behind a new Midlands based melodic rock festival called Skyfest! What inspired you to put on a melodic rock festival?
Woody pleasure to meet you and thank you for the interview. I think the inspiration to put on the festival came out of pure madness and thinking ah what the hell why not… Seriously though Firebrand Rock Radio as a business has been going for nearly 3 years now and Skyfire PR just over 18 months and we thought it was about time to do something a bit special and a bit different than just promotional giveaways through the station and that is how the idea of the festival came about, the ability to have the bands play we all wanted to see… and hopefully that the public do as well.
Is there a reason the festival is called Skyfest?
Simply this one of our businesses is called Firebrand and the other Skyfire… so as the use of the ‘fire’ name was a no go lol, we decided on using Sky instead it was that simple.
How did you decide who was going to play? Was it all your decision or did others help bring bands onboard?
Ah the source of many arguments with my team over here at Firebrand lol, there is such a wide variety of incredible talent out there, that we all went into a pit and slugged it out to the last man standing and that is how the list was chosen. We wanted something different and that meant the ability to mix styles a bit to put on a showcase of bands that we knew the audience would love, some not having been seen in England before and some not for a good few years… all amazing talents and worth the time of the audience.
All the bands fit under the tag of ‘melodic rock’ but it is very varied musical line-up was this a conscious decision or just how the line up formed?
Yes, there is no point having a load of the same sounding bands on the bill so the variety was planned from the start.
Who are you most specifically looking forward to see perform?
There are several people I am looking forward to seeing most but in particular Rob Mancini, a good friend of mine, Ged Ryland’s Rage Of Angels, as I believe this band to be a phenomenal future talent. Plus really looking forward to seeing Daylight Robbery after their blistering performance at HRH AOR and one person in particular who has a great rock voice and a very eclectic style and that would be Doris Brendel (ex Violet Hour) who I believe is a very much under-rated talent and firmly deserves to be on this bill as her body of work is exceptional.
There are quite a few smaller or lesser known bands on the bill, was it always the plan to offer slots to smaller bands who may not otherwise get the opportunity to play in front of a larger festival audience or again just how the line-up came together?
Everything we do at FBRR/Skyfire is geared to help the smaller bands progress, so yes it was a big part of the plan to mix established bands and less well known ones as we firmly believe in helping out promote the music of smaller bands in an industry that is very unforgiving to the up and coming artist.
Skyfest is taking place at the Intake Club in Mansfield. What factors made you decide on this town and venue?
The Intake is the perfect venue for us, being the right size for our first ever festival, we took the view that a bigger venue for this first trial was too much of a financial risk, especially in a market that is saturated. Not much pointing in having a 2000 cap venue if you only sell 700 sets of tickets. We want this festival to be a huge success so that next year we can put on a bigger event.
I’ve heard there are two rooms at the Intake, will they both be used for bands or will one be utilised as a rest room and place for merchandise stalls?
Yes we plan to use both stages the second mainly for meet & greets plus the addition of acoustic sets which is something we are going to announce shortly.
What can fans expect from the Skyfest festival experience? And do you have any special things planned that we may not be aware of yet?
All the bands are of an exceptional pedigree when it comes to live performances and all we hope the fans can expect is to have a great time and enjoy the bands… if they do then we have done our job right.
Is this a one off festival or will Skyfest become an annual event? Will it stay in Mansfield and at the same time every year?
If the festival this year turns out to be the success we hope it will be then we will be making it an annual event. However where it will be next year we have no idea as yet, depending on how this year’s goes really … so ask me in six months
I think putting on a melodic rock show is always risky, as many shows are notorious for poor turn outs. I think the success of HRH AOR has proved there is room for more shows and festivals within the melodic rock scene, but are you worried about turn-out or the festival being a success overall or are you just taking it all in your stride?
I think there are times as a business owner that of course you get no sleep worrying if everything will be a success or not, that is just part of being in business and with the economic climate as it is, yes turn out is a worry however having said that if you do not take the risk then you cannot achieve the results you want. I believe that the line up we have will make way for a fantastic experience both for ourselves and the public.
Is there anything else you’d like to add or tell us about?
Yes there is and for anyone that knows me you could say that is a fatal question to ask as I can talk for England given the chance. But I would just say simply this time that if you wish to find out more please feel free to check for news on www.firebrandrockradio.com or join our Facebook group to keep up on all the latest gossip. If there are any questions please feel free to drop me a mail at email@example.com
Hi Woody , Nice one sir as always well thought out and even handed :))
Great interview and gives some interesting background to how the festival came into being. Its gonna be a good un! Thank you, Woody for doing this interview and for the well-chosen questions.
No worries Melissa and thanks for your comments!
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