Friday, June 22, 2012

"A promoter should put the artist first..." Q&A with THE IMPLODING INEVITABLE FESTIVAL

Micro-festivals(sic) came in for a bashing in a recent article on The Quietus. The piece viciously laid into the urban weekender event as typified by Parklife with its controlling corporate sponsorship and
get-off-yer-tits-and-who-cares-who’s-playing mindset. But if you want the true definition of micro-festival – and something light years away from “wave after wave of dubstep also-rans” – look no further than the Imploding Inevitable Festival in Fell Foot Wood near Ulverston, Cumbria. Not only an idyllic setting on the edge of Lake Windermere, an exceptionally shrewd line-up of independent musicians plus spoken word and performance.

With the third version of Imploding Inevitable happening at the end of this month, Festival Director Baz Wilkinson answered a few questions about how it came about and what to expect.

What are the origins of Imploding Inevitable as both promoter and as Festival?
The II Festival was previously known as Imploding Acoustic Inevitable and has for almost 7 years now, been putting on shows specializing in ‘psychedelic-folk’ but also poetry and literature. Its main base is The Tudor House Hotel in Wigan which is a hive of interesting and independent music, poetry and sometimes even plays and has the technical aspects and vision from the owners Russ and Francis to support our aims.

The idea sprang from there not being an outlet in Wigan at the time (2005) for ‘folksters’ doing more experimental type music. I began Imploding Inevitable and a friend, John Togher, (who played the festival as a spoken word performer in our first year and again last year in his band, John The Baptist & The Second Coming) began running Write Out Loud and a few other poetry/spoken word events, and each of our projects then developed considerably. The festival is the next stage of Imploding Inevitable and, whilst it will still be promoting music and poetry within the North West area, it is hoped that the festival can establish itself further afield.

So what is it you look for from the artists you work with? Simply fitting a broad church definition of ‘folk’?
Here at Imploding we are very much open to many different forms. We have promoted under the banner of psych-folk but have been VERY wide ranging. However, each musician, artist, band, spoken word performer, comedian/comedienne etc that we have and continue to promote are tied together by three main facets: integrity, originality and creativity.

We believe that a promoter should put the artist first and we have always done this. We are the opposite of the pay-to-play approach and, effectively, we have adopted a not-for-profit approach. Yes, it’s nice to make money from an event that can be put back in to making your ethos and approach stronger, but we feel this shouldn’t be done to the detriment of the artist and performer.

With two years' experience of the festival and the site under your belt, what have you got lined up this year?
We’ve got a very special line up that sees two New Yorkers in Jo Schornikow and Scott Rudd to an amazing array of musicians from the British Isles such as Laura J Martin, Colorama, Denis Jones, David A Jaycock, Jonnie Common, Jess Bryant and more. Not only that but we have some nice extras such as a Woodcraft stall where you can make your own cutlery to take home with you, a crochet circle, a vintage stall, the Circle Of Yew spoken word stage and other entertainment such Pico’s Puppetual Motion puppet show. Although we have a bring your own drinks and food policy there will also be both a Hogroast and vegetarian stall that makes all its food on site and is all locally sourced.

It’s basically how a festival should be with all the ethics of the sixties where you feel free, make a load of friends and it was certainly a highlight of summer for many people last year. Add to this the setting and you’ve got yourself a superb little event.

Well you would expect a Festival Director to say that about his own event wouldn’t you? But The Imploding Inevitable Festival really does seem to have all the right ingredients in the right mix to cater to the discerning micro-festival-goer. And all for the price of what you’d expect from a weekend camping in the Lakes - with day tickets available too. And no also-rans. And no sponsorship.

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