Last summer, Gutter Magazine brought you exclusive coverage of Fake Festivals Winterton 2011 event. Since 2007, Fake Festivals has been dedicated to bringing a unique festival of family-orientated atmopshere and credit-crunch friendly prices eliminating restrictions on who can experience a music festival for themselves.

I spoke exclusively to Tori Oldridge of Fake Festivals following the conclusion of their 2012 tour in Skipton last Saturday.

What Is Your Role In Fake Festivals?

I handle all the public relations and media enquiries for the Fake Festivals Tour ensuring that they receive good coverage in the media; the publicity campaign starts in February and runs through to the end of the tour. I’m also Stage Manager for each festival on the tour; it is my job to ensure the stage is set and ready at the start of the day along with the sound and lighting engineers and it is my responsibility to ensure that the festival runs on time. We generally have eight bands perform; five support acts and three main tribute acts. I have to make sure that each band’s equipment is loaded into the backstage tent, help them get their gear on and off stage and ensure that their sound check runs smoothly with our sound engineers. I have to ensure that their stage show is set up correctly and that they are all happy with the sound and act as their artist liaison during the time they are at the festival.

How Did 2012 Compare With Recent Years?

2012 has been a shorter tour than 2011 due to the Olympics as we felt people would be wanting to watch Team GB rather than go to a festival. However, despite the typical British summer weather, we have not had to cancel a single festival on this year’s tour unlike a lot of other festivals and events around the UK that have been called off due to adverse weather. It helps that our event is in a huge marquee. Almost every festival this year has been sold out too which has been great and has ensured that the bands have had great crowds to play to.

Why Do You Think Fake Festivals has Grown To Be So Popular? 

The essence of Fake Festivals has always been to produce a community-led festival at each venue. The festivals attracts people of all ages and it’s great to see such a good mix of people. Fake Festivals began with one festival six years ago, and has rapidly spread throughout the UK. The whole concept of a full day of live music with some of the best tribute bands in the UK for a realistic ticket price and great drinks prices cannot really fail. It’s a relaxed and fun atmosphere and the tributes mingle in with the crowds which goes down well too.

Are You Looking To Extend To Include Other Places? 

We’ve had three new dates on the tour this year: Ashby de la Zouch, Skipton and Tynemouth, all of which have been sold out. Fake Festivals is currently looking for licensees to hold a festival in their region. It’s a really simple process where they are basically buying a festival in a box. The Fake Festival team look after the organising and pulling together of the festival including helping to obtain the license for the licensee and all they have to do is sell tickets and do some promotion with flyers, which are provided then sit back and watch the profits roll in. Fake Festivals can even provide staff if necessary. We’ve had quite a lot of interest from prospective licensees so watch this space for even more dates appearing for the 2013 tour!

With So Many Great Tribute Bands On Offer, Do You Have A Favourite?

All of our tribute bands are fantastic and a lot of them have become good friends since I’ve been working with Fake Festivals. Do I have a favourite? I wouldn’t like to say but there are a few I have a soft spot for. They know who they are by what riders I bring them on stage! However, Oasish did make me cry this year at the last festival as they closed the tour and Paul Higginson, their lead singer, always says Thank You” to me on stage which is lovely and he and Pete Snowdon, their bass player, made me emotional, as it was a sad feeling that it will be another year until I work with them again.

What Can We Expect From Fake Festivals in 2013?

2013 is already shaping up to be another brilliant year and I can’t wait to get back on the tour! We don’t get a rest form tour to tour as we’re busy organising the next one. Expect the marquee roof to be totally blown off by our bands and expect to see some new faces, too. We’re currently asking festival-goers what bands they would like to see at the festivals and if there are any new locations they would like festivals to be held so get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.

Fake Festivals is an unmissable event highly reccommended by the Gutter team; organiser, Jez Lee and his team make it an unforgettable festival experience which all ages and bank balances can enjoy – ’til 2013, kids!

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