Terrorizer Speaks To FOAD Fest Organisers

By on 17 February 2014


After confirming stoner rock titans Orange Goblin and gore obsessed death metal legends Necrophagia as headliners, it’s fair to say that the organisers of Manchester’s FOAD Fest had our attention. Over the past few months the lineup has just got better and better, and is now boasting the likes of British black metal behemoths Winterfylleth, crusty grindcore kings Extreme Noise Terror, death metal heroes Desecration, and many, many more.

We decided to get in touch with one of the event’s organisers, Drian Nash, to find out more about the festival’s origins, and the challenges that face up and coming UK fests in this day and age…

How did the idea for FOAD Fest originate?
Drian Nash: “Well, the scene in Manchester has been getting stronger and stronger for the past couple of years, all the promoters who are working on this (6 in all, who have worked as Submerge promotions, CLDH and Misanthropy promotions) are fairly good friends with each other and we all had a plan to do a festival at some point and we figured it would be best to combine our efforts and tastes to do something absolutely huge in Manchester and, should the opportunity be there, build and build on it.”

The lineup is looking great, how do you decide which bands to approach, and then how do you go about getting them on board after that?
Drian: “To be honest, we had so many more in mind, to whittle them down to this many was such a challenge and I think at this stage, we have an idea of a rough line up we would possibly want for next year. Each promoter chose the bands that have most impressed them and we just put feelers out, most bands jumped at the chance to do the festival. In terms of getting them on board, we are good friends with so many of these bands from playing or going to gigs (5 of the organisers have our own bands). Orange Goblin were a no brainer as they always put on an awesome show and are so influential to us all and to have such a legendary band like Necrophagia on the bill is just amazing, since its rare they play around here.”

Why did you decide on Manchester for the festival’s location?
Drian: “It seems absolutely insane to me that a city with this many bands nearby and with such a good live scene didn’t have a metal festival. The majority of us are from Manchester and we’ve seen how the crowds here react, there’s not much chance of people standing around stroking beards while these bands play. Obviously Damnation moved to Leeds due to there not being a suitable venue in Manchester. With Sound Control now being available, we have a great live venue with two stages, which is right next to a hotel, a train station and a number of pubs and restaurants. You really have no excuse not to descend on mass.”

What would you say FOAD Fest offers to the UK festival circuit?
Drian: “A mix of both established and up and coming bands. A lot of bands that, in my opinion have been playing for years and haven’t always been given the breaks and respect they rightly deserve. There is very likely to be some carnage as well.”

It’s a competitive market for festivals at the moment. With Northern Darkness Festival announcing its cancellation, and up-and-coming fests like Temples gaining a lot of traction, have you been at all worried about the turnout for FOAD Fest?
Drian: “To be perfectly honest, yes. Northern Darkness being cancelled is such a big shame and I think audiences have to understand that if they want these festivals and gigs they need to proactively support them. As a promoter it is frustrating to see people be so apathetic to attending gigs and then complain when they aren’t there or when bands skip there city. Even if you can’t go, to promote it to your friends helps a lot, even before I started putting gigs on I would always help promoters, not out of idea of some charity, at the end of the day, the more I helped the more likely it was I would have awesome shows to go to. Also advance tickets really help organisers not remortgage their houses, buy, buy now!”

What would you say are the main challenges facing up-and-coming UK festivals at the moment?
Drian: “Getting established and gaining the right support, there is a lot to compete with in Manchester and simply getting the money together to put these bands on is not easy. Separating yourself from the competition is also hugely important.”

What are your ambitions for FOAD Fest?
Drian: “Really it’s as open ended as it could possibly be, we want to grow and grow, but we need help to do that. If there is enough support you aren’t ever gonna get rid of us, and we won’t let you down with the line ups we pull out.”

FOAD Fest is set to take place from March 1st – 2nd at Manchester’s Sound Control venue. Tickets are priced at £40 for the whole weekend, and are available here.

For more information, you can visit the Facebook Event Page for FOAD Fest 2014. You can also keep up to date with FOAD Fest by following them on Facebook and Twitter.

About Kez Whelan

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