What does it take to start a festival? – Haddow Fest



Next weekend our capital city will play host to a music festival, but not the type of festival that requires wellies and tents, the other type, the type that takes place in various  venues throughout one city meaning lots of great live music but without any of the mud and camping! We caught up with festival organisers, The 10:04’s to get a bit of background on the relatively new festival.

What made you guys want to start your own festival?

We felt that there wasn’t anything like this that mixed established bands and new new music in the middles of a Scottish city, certainly not in Edinburgh. There was a bit of a niche in the market. We wanted to try raise the profile of new music in Scotland, the Edinburgh music scene and obviously our own bands too, the 10:04’s and Blue Banana Music.

What are some of the biggest obstacles to overcome when staging such an event?

The hardest thing I think is securing a product/event that people want to come and see, it’s tricky to get headliners tied down well in advance. even this year we had confirmed The Cribs several months before we were able to announce it as they were contracted to some dates down south which meant they couldn’t announce any shows up here. Another difficult issue is keeping all the bands as happy as possible but the more organised you are the better chance you give yourself to deal with any problems if and when the arise.

How do you go about selecting bands?

Being in The 10:04’s we’re fortunate to get to play with a lot of top new bands from around the UK and Scotland in particular so we’d like to think we have our finger on the pulse of who is doing well up here just now. It’s the same with Hamish, he’s run events for a long time and has worked with a lot of bands so he’s very well connected and in tune with what’s going on in the industry and with new music in particular. Also, we just listen to loads of music, so if we like someone, irrespective of if they’re getting loads of press or not, then we’d try to get them on the bill.

How do you view the music scene in Scotland just now?

There seems to be a bit of buzz about new music in Scotland just now, and from our point of view Edinburgh seems to be a music scene really on the up. There are lots of great bands coming out just now who all seemed to start around here at the same time as ourselves such as Bwani Junction, The Ok Social Club, The Stagger Rats, Discopolis, Meursault and there are new Edinburgh bands like The Merrylees and not to forget bands from the West such as Churches, Holy Esque and our pals The Imagineers are doing great things.

Has the festival grown in strength since it started?

We certainly feel that it has. This is without doubt our strongest lineup so far in terms of headliners but equally important in terms of new Scottish bands too. Online/Advance tickets have sold much better than any previous year so it would seem that hopefully the ticket buying public would agree with us on this one too.

What is your best memory of the festival?

From The 10:04’s point of view, getting to play at the HMV Picture House to over 1000 people who have taken the time to come and watch us is hard to get your head around for a new band. The atmosphere is something that we’ll never forget. Hundreds of people jumping around going mad, stage invasions and the fact that so many people seemed to know our songs and were singing them back to us.  From a Blue Banana Music point of view it has to be seeing thousands of people come out to enjoy the event, have a good time, enjoy themselves and support new music in Scotland.


Tickets for the festival are available from the following link:



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