Glade 2011 Festival News

Posted: March 21, 2011 in Music


Acclaimed British independent festival Glade have announced they’re reducing their capacity from 15,000 to 5,000 for this year’s event, which takes place in June (headlined by Trentemoller, Adam Beyer and Andrew Weatherhall.)

Glade founder Anselm Guise was upbeat about the dramatic cut in capacity, however, quipping ‘smaller festivals are better, aren’t they.”

“You really get to meet people, feel more part of the show and the whole thing has less of an impact on the local area you’re doing it in,” he said,” It’s a no brainer,” he suggested.

The three-day event runs from Friday June 10 to Sunday 12 and marks Glade’s return following a one-year absence prompted by disputes over policing costs. Chatting to Skrufff last year (now departed) Glade co-founder Nick Ladd explained how they became victims of their own success as the event’s size- and popularity- increased every year.

“The thing that tipped us into cancelling was because of the police and licensing authorities insisting that we had to spend a total of £310,000 on stewards, security and policing,” Nick revealed.

“That’s more than we spend on music. The police bill alone had gone up from £29.000 in 2009 to £90,000 this year.”

Chatting about the licensing situation for this year, Anselm said the reduction in size and relocation to an (as yet undisclosed) new location means that this year ‘the situation is all good’.

“The problems of last year are firmly in the past now. Different police forces have different attitudes and we work with the police to ensure the festival is safe and successful. We have a new management and a much smaller festival,” he said.

“All I can say is that we have learnt a lot of really healthy lessons over the years. It’s vital that people who go to the festival feel free to have as much fun as they want but also feel safe. The size of the festival now means that’s much easier to manage. The crucial thing is that, with care and attention, this can be achieved so that the authorities are happy and everyone at the Glade has the best time ever.”

Despite Anselm’s upbeat tone, he admitted that the problems last year almost destroyed the event entirely.

“How close did we come to abandoning Glade altogether? Very close,” he said.

“I think we actually thought we would have to abandon last year’s event long before we actually did. It was awful. But we were in such a tricky position and realised we had no choice. We then did cancel and the amazing brilliant thing was that people were so upset and at the same time so supportive of us that we knew that it being abandoned altogether was not an option.”

Taking a break and restructuring, they teamed up with festival specialists Secret Productions (who produce Secret Garden Festival alongside numerous other events), a move Anselm said has worked out well.

“The whole cancellation thing knocked the stuffing out of us. As you can imagine we were pretty depressed about it all,” he admitted.

‘We had some offers from other big promoters to take the festival on which we didn’t think were the right thing for the event. I personally couldn’t bear to see it in hands that wouldn’t understand it and as a result might accidentally rip its heart out. At the same time we did need a backer to bring it back.

Secret Productions were the obvious choice; they have the resources but more importantly they’re super creative, focussed on putting on really great parties first and foremost, are a great bunch of people and crucially understand what we do. So we approached them and thankfully they said a resounding yes to the idea. They didn’t buy the whole thing and we’ve got a great new team.

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Why have you announced this year’s event as being at ‘secret location’: why not announce it?

Glade Festival (Anselm Guise): “We’ve decided to keep the venue secret for a few reasons. Firstly it’s what we did at the beginning and it worked then and in some ways we’re going back to that place; it gives it that feel, that some people have forgotten, of the excitement of waiting for that call. Or maybe it’s just fun for us, who knows? There are some other more practical reasons for it and they are tied into ensuring we avoid what happened last year. But we will, as we get closer to the gig, announce stuff that will give people a clearer idea as to where it is. People want to book trains and busses and all that. So we can’t keep it totally secret.”

Skrufff: Why have you scaled the size back so dramatically? (15,000 to 5,000); how easy has it been to book acts, since presumably bookers are used to asking for huge fees?

Glade Festival: “Ha. Yeah you say that but we have, as I said, a lot of love for this festival and people want to play at it. We have a fantastic booker, Biff Mitchell, who’s been with us since the beginning and to be honest it’s not been too bad for DJ fees. We’re not trying to book massive names anymore and in fact the whole point is to use this opportunity of a restart to get Glade back to its original spirit, of course updated for another decade.”

Skrufff: Britain’s economy is seriously struggling now with the austerity cuts and return of mass unemployment: how much is this affecting ticket sales?

Glade Festival: “Yeah, I’m sure it’s affecting festivals across the board. We’re doing well, though. Well over half the tickets have gone already and we should sell out. In some ways perhaps people might chose festivals over going abroad, who knows? For me there’s nothing better to forget all this than going to a festival like the Glade.”

Skrufff: What are the implications for Britain’s festival scene: are they somehow recession proof; is the bubble about to burst (or has it already started?)

Glade Festival: “Now we’re getting into it . . . I just don’t know . . . The country has gone festival-mad recently and I don’t think the will for that will stop, people just might not be able to afford it.. But like I say maybe holidays will be sacrificed first. I also reckon things like the smoking ban has made clubbing wane, you know, people are free at a festival in a way that less and less they are in town. I think we’re going to have to wait and see.” (Trentemoller (with his full 7 piece band), Adam Beyer, Slam, Paul Rich, Global Communications., Andrew Weatherhall, and Photek headline, June 10-12)

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