August 9, 2013

Beacons Festival is just one week away! You should know all about our Urban Outfitters chill-out tent that we’ll be pitching up by now (no? Click HERE), so if you’re making your way down be sure to come and hang out with us!

Chill vibes aside, we thought it would be a super cool idea to get some festival guidance from Beacons organiser Ash Kollakowski. So we popped him some Q’s and he supplied some A’s…


UO: Hello Ash! Just one week until Beacons is alive, how’s it all shaping up?

AK: Great! It looks like we’re going to sell out, which as a promoter and director is great news. No cancellations (so far), touch wood etc.

UO: So we’re going to be pitching up our very own chill-out tent in the main arena. You’re gonna come hang out with us right? RIGHT?

AK: At this point I can’t make any promises that are going to get me in trouble. If last year was any measure I flit between stressing, crying, laughing, drinking and screaming, some sleeping too. I’ll stick my head in at some point, how’s that?


UO: Beacons Festival is well known for its solid lineup. How do you curate such a lustful list of bands and acts?

AK: I start with a list of 50 acts I really love, I then email the agents with the biggest artists to gauge interest, then look at how much budget we have, then email them back saying we can’t afford it, compile a new list and start again. This goes on for several enduring months, then all of a sudden the line-up is done. My music taste is all over the place and changes day to day. This year I was really into hip-hop then changed course and booked lots of psyche stuff and then decided both would be great and dealt with it.


UO: Asides from the awesome headliners, are there any new bands you think we should be checking out?

AK: Cowtown, Wytches, Only Real, Eagulls, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Hookworms, Traams, Mikal Cronin.

UO: Looks like there’s some serious art culture going down this year! Give us a tip on what we should go and check out…

AK: In the Into the Woods tent there’s tons of ace film all weekend like the Snoop Lion doc, Sightseers, Made of Stone. Then check the food trucks and the real ale tent, tons of awesome beers all weekend.


UO: You must have been to a fair few festivals yourself ­ what’s your one top tip for festival survival?

AK: You know what, Beacons is ideal for me as I hate big festivals. So for anyone going to Beacons I’d say…pitch your tent first, buy a beer, get your bearings, see 10 minutes of as many acts as you can, see one film, drink different things each day, try different food, pack Berocca and Nurofen, hand wipes, cash, sunglasses, 2 pillows, don’t over do it on the first night.

UO: What’s your most treasured festival memory?

AK: I suppose my yearly trip to SXSW is always amazing, seeing surprising acts you’ve never heard of is important. I love meeting people with the same interests as me. The main interests being getting drunk whilst seeing the bands, what else is there?

UO: What’s you most feared festival memory?

AK: Floods. And losing fuck loads of money.


UO: You’ve been playing the promoter game for a good time now. What advice would you give those with promotion ambition?

AK: Don’t come to Leeds.

UO: Hypothetical situation: It’s your birthday and you can see any three bands or artists (in the world, ever) perform for you and your friends ­ who’s it gonna be?

AK: Easy. Danny Brown (plus Action Bronson as special guest for the fun vibes), Trash Talk (for the party madness) and then Pavement, but when they were all in their mid-twenties. Actually can I have one more? Wu Tang Clan full line up from 36 Chambers when ODB was still about. And Husker Du as well, in case someone drops out. Compered by GG Allin too (no poo though).

UO: What do you do when the festival is over? Surely there’s a Beacons shaped hole in your life?

AK: I’ve already started booking for next year. There might be a cash shaped hole in my pocket though.

UO: Tell us a joke.

AK: Why couldn’t the phantom go to Beacons? He had no body to go with…


See that red circle? Yeah that’s our UO chill out tent tent reppin’ the main arena! Come hang with us…