VF founder Steve J's inside track on the goings-on inside what has to be the busiest dot com on Earth, especially this time of year!
I've just walked an hour and a half in cold drizzle through London's streets to get into VFHQ, but it's given me time to contemplate that perhaps tube drivers should indeed be paid more (I'd be a rubbish Prime Minister).
Then I made the big mistake of checking the weather forecast for Inverness this weekend. I really should have known better. Looks like I'll be wearing my wellies on the plane up to Rock Ness – could be awkward if I have to take my shoes off through customs. Still, I can't wait – I've never been before and I'm genuinely very excited. Things are looking a bit better for our teams at Download and Isle of Wight.
Over the last few weeks I've been getting out there and chatting to all the major festival organisers about their thoughts and experiences over the last decade, tying in with VF's 10th Birthday this year. It's been a fascinating experience. I think, when you read some of the interviews, you'll be as surprised as I was to see just how utterly passionate these characters are about their events, and for the right reasons. No less so than any smaller, independent festival organiser. It's just that events of this scale, in this day and age, need to have a big corporate machine wrapped around them to sustain them. These festivals cost tens of millions of pounds to stage, and with all the health and safety requirements, as much as anything else, I can see how you need that structure in place. I detected hints of frustration from several of these guys at having to operate within this corporate framework and the fact that it distorts how the public perceives their creative integrity.
Our editor Dan was just on-air chatting to Steve Berry on the 106.1 ROCK Radio Breakfast Show, Manchester, about festival survival. Apparently Mr. Berry was obsessed with how to keep your 'downstairs goolies' (his words) clean and wouldn't let Dan talk about anything else! The two universal magic words of festival survival, folks – wet and wipes.
I'm going to annoy you by saying that we've got two mega exciting announcements to make over the next few days, but we can't say what they are yet (as others are involved). One involves a bunch of national newspapers and the other is to do with Festival Awards and the continent of Europe. Stay posted friends, I really can't wait to spill the beans!
I just ran our Festival Matchmaker and it matched me to T in the Park, Sonisphere and Oxegen based on my iPod. Have you tried it yet? Check it out here!
Next time I'll be writing from the mud on shores of Loch Ness. Take it easy!