Here at Northern Exposure, not only do we love, support and promote unsigned bands and music but we also like to get the insights from behind every aspect of the music business. We all love our gigs and festivals, but who puts these gems together? Today I had the pleasure of chatting with Aaron Procter from AMP Live Events in Sheffield, who has organised The AMP Festival. Aaron gives us the low down on how the festival came together, who’s on the bill and what we can expect from the weekend….
Hello! Thanks for chatting with Northern Exposure Aaron, firstly can you tell me all about Amp Festival? How did it come about? What’s the ethos behind it?
Well, running my own festival is something that I’ve always been interested in doing, I’ve curated line-ups for the likes of Tramlines at a number of different venues and Frog & Parrot’s own Frogstock but I’ve always adopted a name of a festival instead of coming up with my own. The other reason is the fact that I’ve always put on an anniversary AMP Live show on around the same time so decided to step it up this year. It’s difficult to pick 3 or 4 bands to play the anniversary show so I just thought why book just a few bands when I could book 15+ and have a festival instead. The general ethos behind AMP Festival is to try and help with people’s ‘festival blues’ as they say. We want to be able to give people that outdoor festival feeling, inside.
What can we expect from the weekend?
This one is simple….. Live music from 18 of the best bands around. Tunes being spun by some of our very good friends to keep you entertained in-between and a bar full of those sweet alcoholic beverages for everyone to enjoy.
What are the pros of holding a festival in central Sheffield?
Probably the biggest pro of all here is the accessibility for not only the people that live in Sheffield but also those that live outside and will be travelling to AMP Festival. Sheffield’s city centre is quite compact so it doesn’t take you any more than 10 minutes to get you from the Train or Bus Station to The Rocking Chair.
How do you choose the lineup?
The selection process is never an easy one. I get the opportunity to work with so many amazingly talented musicians, that picking a select amount of bands from such a list makes it quite difficult as you don’t want to leave anyone out but at the same time you don’t want to squeeze so many on to the bill that the changeovers become impossible and you start running behind. You have to make sure you have the right selection of Sheffield and national artists. Obviously, every promoter has a couple of favourites, which they are going to strive to have in the line-up, so making sure they make the cut is always a priority. Having your finger on the pulse and realising who will be the next big thing is key as well. Working the summer festivals is always a great place to watch bands develop their skills and hand pick certain bands to add to the line-up which is exactly what I have done.
Who is playing this year and who are you looking forward to seeing the most?
So we’ll start with the Sheffield contingent, shall we? Sheafs are really starting to find their feet now and to say they haven’t even been around a year yet is really impressive and after the set, they played for me at Tramlines, this was a no-brainer. I Kept The Wolves Away and Adelphi are two bands that I always enjoy watching and have members in them that I have known since starting AMP Live and Feral Mantra are a band that in my eyes are very underrated and deserve more. From the touring contingent, well…. Every band is unbelievably talented. Glass Caves are one of the most professional and talented bands I have ever had the pleasure of working with and with the relationship we have it would be extremely rude to not include them in the first AMP Festival and the same goes for JUDAS as well. I mean it doesn’t get much better than going from playing the Jack Rock’s / This Feeling stage at Leeds Festival to playing the main stage less than one hour later.
Cupids, Paves, No Hot Ashes, Sisteray and The Blinders are all bands that have really impressed me this summer with the talent and energy of their live show while I’ve been busy working on the festival circuit. The Strawberries and The Bulletproof Bomb are two bands that I had the pleasure of working with in the first half of this year and wanted to bring them back asap, and The Barmines and Kashmere are both managed by good friends of mine, and are two bands that I’ve wanted to work with but never had the chance of booking until now. Ethan & The Reformation are also new to AMP Live but after hearing plenty about them online and also on TV after having ‘Hollandia’ played on Sky Sports, Formula 1 and the Wellman advert, it was an easy decision to make in having the band involved in AMP Festival. Last but definitely not least, Broken Witt Rebels, well if you haven’t heard about or seen this band yet then you are definitely missing out. They are worth paying £11 for all by themselves.
Who would be your dream headline act?
To be quite honest I don’t have a dream headline act, it’s not just about the headlining bands it’s about every band involved and what would be a dream, would be to have every band on the bill that I couldn’t fit on in the first place.
What’s the future hold for Amp Festival?
I guess my last answer sort of stems into this a little. I want to be able to grow the festival so I don’t have to pick a small amount of bands but can have a plethora of the best upcoming bands in the country playing AMP Festival. Of course, it’s small steps at first and good things take time to build but we’ll get there.
Where can people buy tickets and get more information?
Tickets are available online via SEE Tickets, The Rocking Chair, also from each Sheffield artist that is playing and myself. All the information is on the AMP Live Facebook page and the AMP Festival event page also on Facebook. All the timings and any updates on tickets, bands and little extra’s that we’ll be adding will be on both pages.
Massive thanks you to Aaron for his time. Below are tickets links, and we look forward to covering the festival! Look out for our exclusive headline announcement and interviews with a selection of the bands coming soon!
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