How was your Glade?

Glade Festival is Britain's biggest and best non-corporate electronic dance music festival, with a proper havin' it vibe. Now based at a stately home in Norfolk.

Re: How was your glade?

Postby PaulX » 16 Jun 2011, 12:52

Jake Burns wrote:It'd be interesting to see the investors long term view of the Glade. I can recall many years ago around the time of the first one reading an interview with Ans where he said the plan was to steadily grow to a mid size festival where it could be sustainable. They were on track for this with steady growth until a string of bad luck - the biblical flood year (2007) & then the dramatic drop in sales (along with many other festivals) in 2008, an unsuccessful move in 2009 and then the problems of last year. I dont (and wouldnt expect to) know the ins & out of the finances - but would imagine the past investors didnt do too well out of it. Though thats the nature of investing. However, arguably, the bigger the festival got - the more it lost what made it special...

I'm not sure whether those behind SGP have always been behind it - but I do recall reading that SGP had doubled in size last year (10,000 to 20,000) - so they must be doing something right. Although there was a bit of knock about stuff in another thread about the SGP crowd, they do seem to attract a higher spending demographic (have a look at the glamping & food options compared to other festivals) - so the organisers have got their head screwed from a business point of view...

So I wonder how the new backers view the Glade, what the "optimum" size that is being aimed at, and how they see things developing?

Personally I'd like to see it kept under 10,000 with a similar format - though I dont know if thats realistic financially...

This is straying a bit off topic for a general feedback thread, so might get split into a new thread if there are several replies.

There was, I understand, a bit of a tension sometimes between those who wanted to throw a damn good party and those who wanted to make money from it. I don't want to go any further into it than that because I don't know the full story and even what little I do know probably shouldn't be aired in public. But yes, the cancellation nearly killed off Glade. The messages we got last year about it coming back this year were genuine, although I dare say it wasn't always clear to the guys at the time exactly how it was going to happen.

Those behind SGP only bought their stake in Glade last year. Both events are members of the Association of Independent Festivals, though, so they would have known each other long before there were any formal ties.

I don't know what the SGP 'vision' for Glade is - they have been very nervous about it even being mentioned that they had bought a controlling stake in Glade, despite it becoming common knowledge. I think that's precisely because they recognise that Glade is a different type of event to SGP and they don't want people to think it would be morphed into SGP Lite.

The new site does have massive potential, it's also attracted new customers and support from a community that is mostly thrilled to have something like this happening in a part of the world where not a lot happens in terms of electronic dance music or festivals in general. There are the usual NIMBY types, of course, but there does seem to be a positive reception overall.
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Re: How was your Glade?

Postby Candiety » 16 Jun 2011, 13:31

^I always feel that we are in very safe hands with Ans.

Glade is far too special to be spoiled, and it's his dream, after all.

No worries from me.
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Re: How was your glade?

Postby baldmosher » 16 Jun 2011, 15:02

Jake Burns wrote:...an unsuccessful move in 2009...

Not at all sure I agree with that summation, I personally thought it was probably the best "big Glade" i.e. 2007/8/9, and in terms of sound levels it was easily the best venue by a semi-rural mile.

Don't forget Glade did want to stay at the Bowl for 2010... I'm guessing with a much bigger capacity, since Wasing clearly couldn't hold anywhere near 16,000, but Matterly could easily hold 40,000... until Hants plod demanded a much bigger cut of the proceeds if they wanted to host another Glade there. Greedy bastards, potentially & arguably aimed at both parties....

Like JB, I think 10k was a nice limit for Wasing and I am concerned that Glade will try to ramp up the capacity at HH, but I don't think economies of supply and demand will allow such a rapid escalation in capacity, although clearly the site is fucking massive and we only used a fraction of it. I've no doubt HH could potentially hold a 100,000 capacity single-day event, or 40k weekender, if such a thing were possible or even tempting for Glade, and his lordship of course. I don't imagine it would be but I don't know them or him at all so I'm just blogging.

Also wondering if I should as a responsible moderator move all the "future of Glade" discussions into a new thread :whistle:
EDIT: I see I have PaulX' blessing above :D

PaulX wrote:I don't know what the SGP 'vision' for Glade is - they have been very nervous about it even being mentioned that they had bought a controlling stake in Glade, despite it becoming common knowledge. I think that's precisely because they recognise that Glade is a different type of event to SGP and they don't want people to think it would be morphed into SGP Lite.

Just as a random but poignant anecdote, Boots bought Halfords, owned it for years, and then sold it again. At no point did Halfords start selling No17 and tampons.

Point being, companies invest in other companies because they think they have the potential to be MORE profitable. At the time SGP bought into Glade, I have no doubt that Glade's losses were at an all time high. SGP would therefore struggle to fail to get a decent return on their investment as long as they just run a festival every year.

On what one might assume is a balancing anecdote, BA once swallowed DanAir for a quid, because their planes and services were different from BA's... DA's operating debts were crippling for DA, but they were mere crumbs when compared to the size of BA's finances. AFAIAA BA still runs those same DanAir services and probably most of the same planes, now of course under the BA livery. Without BA, those planes and staff would have disappeared. Now, you might ask, why on earth would I bring up a counterargument to myself? Well, who the fuck were DanAir, you might ask. The exact same thing happened to Chelsea FC, sold for a quid, only now they're still called Chelsea FC, despite being owned by a Russian billionaire. The value of goodwill is often with the name and the content, not the ownership, and Glade is a prime example of this.

Ooh, time for another relevant anecdote, Barclays didn't take a government handout during the recent crisis. Instead, the owners of Manchester City FC invested a couple of billion £ in Barclays shares. They sold them 18 months later, and doubled their investment.
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Re: How was your Glade?

Postby baldmosher » 16 Jun 2011, 16:01

Ooh! Ooh!

I just remembered telling a bloke at the urinals near Origin who was wondering out loud where all the piss went that I thought the felching machine had done an awesome job cleaning the toilets this year. It took him a second to work it out, but was still in stitches when I wandered out of earshot.

They seemed to be visiting the blocks once every hour, an amazing rate of felching.
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Re: How was your Glade?

Postby lurk » 16 Jun 2011, 16:28

what baldmosher says... it makes no sense for secret productions to run two identical festivals so i don't think there is any need to be worried about glade becoming a sgp clone. of course there will be similarities, but there was already before.
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Re: How was your Glade?

Postby Jake Burns » 16 Jun 2011, 17:04

I think my main concern was the numbers you needed to make a festival a going concern medium/long term - *hopefully* it can be done aiming for 10,000 as i've never been as keen on the Glades that were bigger. As i said - I think the bigger Glades then lost what made it special, and also (arguably) the crowd lost the connection with the festival (which may have compounded the obvious weather issues of 2007 to lead to the poor sales in 2008).

But if it needs 15 - 20, 000 by 2013 to make it going concern - there's not lot I can do about it!

;)
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Re: How was your Glade?

Postby baldmosher » 16 Jun 2011, 17:18

Size is kinda irrelevant. Beat-Herder survives perfectly well with a relatively small attendance and at roughly 60% of the Glade ticket price. That's not by any means the smallest long-running festival out there either, but they don't book anywhere near the same depth of "big name" artists as Glade does.

I guess the real question is whether Glade's aim is to continue how they started, by booking a fair few biggish names like Plumps, Aphex, Sasha, Orbital, etc. (until the point they disappear up their own arse and book Take That just to sell tickets) and filling out the timetable with a load of superb unknowns, or whether they want to try and get a lot more value for money by booking more of the sorts of random, cuting edge, unknown names that impressed me about Glade in the first place.

Glade used to market themselves as a "cutting edge electronic music festival" but they dropped that tagline in about 2007, more's the pity, but it was a bit misleading by that point.

In 2007, 2008 and 2009 (and 2010!) I will freely admit that the booked lineups were utterly fucking impressive, but as I've said before, I only knew that I liked about 5 of the acts on this year, and that's exactly how it was in 2006 when I actually had a lot more fun at Glade without really knowing anybody on the bill, so I just bimbled about the place having imperial fucktons of fun.
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Re: How was your Glade?

Postby Sterny » 16 Jun 2011, 17:46

Who kept putting fake money in the urinals and toilets, nearly got me a couple of times! I wonder if anyone actually put their hands in only to discover it was fake! :sick:
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Re: How was your glade?

Postby PaulX » 16 Jun 2011, 17:52

PaulX wrote:
Haphazard wrote:
This is a massive relief!!!

Any news on Lord C's reaction to the weekend?


News will be coming to us soon on that front, rest assured. ;)


OK, as promised...

I've heard from someone who is genuinely in a position to know that Lord C is very happy about it all... and that Houghton Hall is looking forward to future Glades to be held there. :)
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Re: How was your glade?

Postby Exulus » 16 Jun 2011, 18:38

PaulX wrote:
PaulX wrote:
News will be coming to us soon on that front, rest assured. ;)


OK, as promised...

I've heard from someone who is genuinely in a position to know that Lord C is very happy about it all... and that Houghton Hall is looking forward to future Glades to be held there. :)


:excited:
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