The annual Coalfield’s festival is getting closer by the day, and despite competition from festivals in Sheffield, Wombwell and Cannon Hall, Coalfields has a hell of a lot to offer this years. This year the festival takes place on Saturday 26th July, at Darton Cricket Fields and is spread over five stage, with each one being managed by a different promoter. In the second in our series of in depth looks at Coalfields, here we check out who is playing the Burn Down the Disco stage.
Most of you local music fans will be familiar with Burn Down the Disco already. The gents behind the name have been putting live music on in Barnsley for years now. Currently, the book and promote live music at Opium No.10. Once again, they have been busy putting together a day full of live music for you good people, mixing local talent with some names from around the UK. They really do have a great mix this year and it looks a little something like this…
I caught up with Burn Down the Disco’s Ross Micklethwaite to chat about putting together their line-up for the day and a little about the gigs they put on.
How did you go about short listing bands for the festival?
In the same way I approach booking bands for our live music nights at Opium-10. I have tried to set the net wider than simply booking Barnsley or even Yorkshire based acts and tried the set the standard as high as it can possibly be at this level. Directly competing for crowds with Tramlines Festival due to the date of Coalfields has certainly been a factor in every decision this year. What I have tried to do is create a bit of a ‘best of album’ and put together all of our favourite acts that have played for Burn Down The Disco in 2014 on one stage. We have received some really good feedback on certain bands after playing Opium-10, so putting them all together in the strongest possible line-up might just be enough to lure some of people who saw these bands the first time around away from Tramlines for the Saturday at least.
Had you a longer list that you had to whittle down?
Yes. To start with the ‘shortlist’ could have filled every slot at the festival. I chose the handful of acts I really wanted on our stage and booked them as early as possible and them filled in the gaps. Again, Tramlines dictated some of the bands stage times as several of them will be playing both festivals on the same day, that together with allowing time for bands like The Revolutionary Spirit and Revolving Doors travelling from Wrexham and Glasgow basically decided the majority of the running order.
We’re their any bands you wanted who couldn’t play?
Yes. We were looking forward to bringing The Darlingtons to Coalfields but unfortunately they had to cancel. Hopefully, they will be playing at Opium-10 later in the year. Desert Motel Club and Clay Garden were amongst those who I thought fit the ‘best of’ criteria but were unavailable on the day. Maybe not strictly specific to our own stage but I would have loved to have seen Pusher and Exit Calm anywhere on the bill. Exit Calm were great at Coalfields a few years ago, everyone knows how good they are and Pusher could easily go just as far. So it would be good to see them playing Barnsley Festivals.
What changes are you making after last year’s festival?
The first thing is the size of the tent! The tent last year was massive and probably far too big to be honest so the tent will be smaller. The people at the festival liked the big tent but maybe not some of the bands. It was also a nightmare for the photographers as well with the tent pole blocking everyone’s view of the stage! And we’re also back to having just the one stage in the tent. We also had a lot of Barnsley bands last year that I expect people will have seen a hundred times before so this year we have tried to give them something new to get in to.
Do you have any personal favourites?
I think it’s a good sign that I cant answer this question very easily. My personal favourite has continued to change more or less every other gig we have had at Opium this year. The Weatherbird gig was a bit of a turning point for us in 2014 and was very memorable. We still get people who were there telling us how much they love them since that night. Psyence also played to a packed house and delivered. I’ve always been a fan of Yellow Elevators and they’re new material is sounding better than ever. But if I was to pick a favourite it would have to be a tie between Two Skies & The Revolutionary Spirit. I think Two Skies are brilliant and continue to get better. The Revolutionary Spirit was actually a massive surprise. I booked them on the basis of hearing their only recorded song but they were unbelievable live. A proper band. As long as they stay together and keep writing songs they could easily go very far.
If there is someone out there that hasn’t been to a BDTD gig or festival stage before, what can they expect?
For a Burn Down The Disco gig they could expect to see bands playing a capacity crowd, which is something that has been missing for quite a few years in Barnsley. Also to be seeing a good standard of bands from all around the UK who are booked on merit rather than because they are local and will bring a big following. We don’t book anyone we don’t personally like which I think is the only way to be. For a BDTD festival stage I hope they see a line-up of good bands they will become fans of in the future.
Gates open at 12pm £5 early bird tickets available online from this link.
Tickets available instore at CAM Music in Barnsley town centre, Rose & Crown in Darton, Barnsley Hospice shop in Mapplewell.