11 March 2010

Community Service #4 - Hinterland

I guess that I wouldn't have been the only one who was surprised to see Hinterland return for a second year, but I'm glad it has. The multi-venue city festival might well have had a few teething problems, but it seems that these have all been addressed. It was only just recently that I found out that the event wasn't being put on by any of the 'usual' promoters, instead it stems from the passion of one man and his desire to do something positive for music in Glasgow. It was for this reason that I wanted to run a feature on Hinterland, far too often I find that folk within the Scottish music scene are overly negative and quickly shoot down anyone trying to run innovative events. If someone is passionate enough to get up off their backside and something like this, then we need to get behind them. Now I'll pass you over to Hinterland founder Mike Oman for a few words on what we can expect from this years festival....

For those who don’t know what Hinterland is, would you care to describe it in your own words?

Hinterland is a very small and humble festival that takes place on the 3rd April in Glasgow. Hinterland aims to showcase up and coming local acts alongside some more established names from the UK and abroad. The event is a one ticket all access event which for your ticket price you can go to any participating venue as often as you want for the duration of the event (5pm til 3am).

What was it that motivated you to take on such an ambitious project as this?

I lived in Glasgow for 6 years and have close connections with a lot of people involved in what goes on in Glasgow musically, I've also been a passionate supporter of Scottish music and felt that there wasn't really something that provided a platform for up and coming acts. I loved Tryptich but its set up was different in many ways and I felt there was a lot of great stuff coming out of Glasgow in every genre but that it wasn't reflected well elsewhere. When I realised Tryptich wasn't going to continue I felt it was the opportunity to do something. Was it wise in a recession? probably not but I'm trying to do something positive.

There were a few teething problems with the first Hinterland, what have you done differently this year? And did you find it difficult to motivate yourself to come back for a second year?

We're keeping the venues much closer so you don't have to walk up any hills!, the set times are much more staggered so there's more opportunity to see the smaller acts. It's impossible to have every single act on at separate times but we are honestly trying to make it as user-friendly as possible, and lastly the tickets are a lot cheaper which I'm sure everyone is in favour of. I didn't find it difficult to come back for year 2 because I'm committed to seeing this work and i see no reason why Glasgow shouldn't have an event on par with other famous reputable inner city festivals...I'm saying no names of course!

What criteria do you look for when selecting artists to play? How do you approach them?

its a case of who do we like the sound of, who is available and whether we feel they're relevant. mostly it will be a case of contacting them directly or their agent depending on their current set-up but we do get approached by a lot of managers/bands etc.

Are you still looking for artists to play at this years event? And if so are you looking for people to get in touch?

Our programme is pretty much booked up but if anyone wants to get in touch the best way is to email info@thehinterlandfestival.com

It’s been apparent that a lot of the smaller summer festivals have felt the squeeze in recent years, with many of them dropping off the calendar. Do you believe that there is a big enough demand to sustain two multi-venue festivals (yourselves and Stag & Dagger)in Glasgow?

Yes absolutely, the commitment involved from a punters perspective is a lot less than going something like T in the Park and Glastonbury. Our tickets are generally what you would pay to see 1 decent band or clubnight on a Saturday night anyway so its a no brainer...

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