Glade Festival came close to being an endangered species a couple of years ago after slower than expected sales and a disputed policing bill. Organisers kept the faith and put the festival back on last year – but not without some drama, after one venue fell through and then another. Ravetalk caught up with Glade Festival organiser Ans Guise to tell us the inside story on the event’s dramatic recent past, its plans for 2012 and what he thinks makes Glade stand apart from other events.
Ravetalk: It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster ride for Glade in the past few years, hasn’t it, especially with having to find a third venue at the last minute last year. What lessons do you think you’ve learned from it all?
Ans: It was â€œstressfulâ€. Some people would have given up, I think. There were definitely times when we did wonder if this show is just too â€œout thereâ€ to be allowed in this country. But the lesson learned was if you believe in something, it works out in the end, never give up.
The new team from Secret Productions are positive and similarly inclined in terms of refusing to bow down to difficulty and, yeah, it was a big fat relief. The other thing is we essentially had only three weeks to design last year’s site. With that in mind, I think we did amazingly well and now we’ve had a long, long time to get it properly wicked for the next Glade.
R: Getting back to how hard it is to put things on in this country, what we find very noticeable is that the authorities are very obstructive to events like this but the people are very much up for it.
A: Thankfully there’s a big demand for it at ground level, and the authorities have been very tricky with us. But saying that, the authorities in Norfolk have welcomed us with open arms. Basically, they can’t get enough of us. After last year’s event, we got clapped by the council for doing such a good job. This was, like, â€œOh my God!â€
We really feel we’ve now got a brilliant new home for Glade for many years to come. The guy who owns it loves us, the estate management is really helpful, the police are supportive, the council are supportive, we’ve got a great licence. We’ve got what we really needed to have and haven’t had up until now.
R: It must be such a contrast to West Berkshire.
A: Our main problem at Aldermaston was that we were just too close to housing, so we had a real problem with the noise. We managed to get a fairly decent licence but we couldn’t have the stages running at the level needed to have a really good party. And then Hampshire was, well, what it was. The less said about that, the better. We scurried around searching the country and the site we eventually moved to was the best one. If we’d had it at one of the other ones, I don’t think the festival would have been as good and we would be having the same problems we always had before. It’s a real cracker of a venue.
R: You did mention last year that the venue holds an amazing permanent 24-hour licence. Are you planning to make much more use of it this year?
A: Yeah, it’s got a 24-hour licence, but the thing is that you still can’t disturb people. For example, at Wasing we had a 4am licence, but if someone complained at 1am, we still had to turn it down. So it doesn’t necessarily mean you can run 24 hours, but we do have a 24-hour licence. And now the landowner and estate manager trust us with the site a bit more. They’ve given us the woods, which is awesome, and the great thing about that place is that it’s quite a long way from any housing. We are running some music after sunrise this year, in the woods, we’ve never been able to do that before. It’s going to be wicked, man, mental.
R: Have you done a woodland stage anywhere else? You did the original Glade at Glastonbury, of course, but that wasn’t fully immersed in the woods like you’re planning here, was it?
A: Not in this country. We did it at the Origin Festival in South Africa, we had this alternative stage in the woods â€“ but slightly different terrain. And the Eclipse Festival at the Kruger National Park in 2002. That was in the Bush, it was brilliant, you kind of got lost. But English woodland, Northern European woodland, has a certain thing about it. The Glade stage was in a clearing amid trees. This is different, we’re going to be in and amongst the trees. There’s all that lovely, dapply light. It gives us loads of opportunities for lighting it up and making it look really magical.
R: Have you got the times worked out for the other stages?
A: The bigger the sound system, the more careful we have to be. Origin is going to be running until 1am rather than midnight or 11pm. The main stage is going to run until 4am because we find with big tents it gets a bit grim once daylight starts showing outside. So we’ve scheduled those to 4am, when it just starts getting light outside. Then the nano stages are running until 6am, then the woodland ones, which can absorb the sound much more, we’re running those until 8am. And the inSpiral chill-out will be filling in with music until the stages kick off again around 11am. We kind of want people to have a little bit of a rest, it helps the party if people have a little bit of a rest.
R: One thing that a lot of Ravetalk readers always want to know about is Overkill. Will there be a bigger stage for Overkill?
R: It did seem a bit small last year…
A: Yes! Me too, mate. That was a symptom of the chasing our tails situation we were in last year. But Overkill has got a much bigger budget, much better tent, much better everything. The line-up’s looking wicked, there’s a few other bits and pieces they haven’t confirmed yet.
R: Are there any â€œsecretâ€ big headliners that you’re holding back until later?
A: We’ve got some other stuff still to announce. It’s quite a long way from the event and things come up, there’s a couple of things that we’re interested in that are pretty exciting.
R: The main arena last year was very widely spaced out. Some people thought it was a little too widely spaced…
A: We would agree with that. Last year was a bit â€œlast minute dot comâ€, and I was unhappy with the stages being massively too close together and sound bleeding through, and there was a bit of a clash over that, and I think we over-compensated in the end. From knowing we had Houghton Hall until we could start marking it out, we had about three days. So we very quickly had to decide where should we put everything.
Glade stage is a much better tent this year, the Origin stage is much expanded and the dÃ©cor this year is a massive step up. We’ve got better structures in tents, the other thing is that it’s all being condensed, all brought in together and totally surrounded by camping on all sides. It won’t be in a separate field like last year. It’s much, much more thought through.
R: OK, let’s go through some of the Ravetalk â€œpunterâ€ questions. How did Secret Productions getting involved help?
A: They’ve got a very good spirit about festivals. They have a fun side to themselves, they don’t take themselves too seriously and they’re very colourful, so it was a really good fit. They’re good friends of ours and Secret Garden Party itself is an amazing event and it’s just really good to have people who really know what they’re doing and are very enthusiastic, they love the scene and have the energy and professionalism to put into it. And the financial side of it is pretty handy because we didn’t have that before. We couldn’t afford to lose money because it was just the four of us. Now we can put the festival before the bank account, if you know what I mean.
R: Another forum question â€“ do you have anything new to add about what happened with the cancellation?
A: Well, it happened, it was two years ago. I wasn’t that involved that year, it was a fuck-up, but yeah, it’s past history. I’d rather look forward. It’s not going to happen again, let me put it that way.
R: How did you find Houghton Hall?
A: To be honest, I can’t really remember as I was getting married and they kept the loss of the Biggleswade venue secret from us. My wife’s brother is one of the people involved in SGP and he didn’t want his sister to have a stressed-out husband-to-be.
R: Did Lord Cholmondeley [Houghton Hall owner] know you owned a stately home yourself?
A: He didn’t then but he does now.
R: It’s a talking point, isn’t it?
A: I sent him a letter to say thank you very much and we’ve since communicated, so I think he does know now. But mine’s not quite the same as his, as it’s falling apart a bit and causing me to scratch my head a lot.
R: The woman presenting Country House Rescue is quite formidable, isn’t she?
A: She’s worse on screen than off, she played it up a bit. I can handle her, mate, haha.
R: How do you see the future of the festival unfolding?
A: It went through, in my opinion, a bit of a hiatus and it’s got to keep itself open to new and exciting and interesting things happening. I don’t think it’s going to get really massive, we’ll always try to keep it small and intimate and true to its original spirit.
R: One of the principles that was established early on was that there was going to be no logos, no corporate sponsorship. Is that still going to be the case?
A: There’s a list that I have up on the wall so that Secret Productions people working here who aren’t full Gladers, if you like, get what we’re about. The tags are: non-corporate, no sponsors, smiles, fun, friendly, hippy, freak, express yourself, psychedelic, nature, trees, underground, quality, Goa, sunshine, proper, Glastonbury, roots, colourful, love, alternative. Those are the kind of guiding things.
R: Some festivals are even looking at microchipped wristbands now, which log where everybody’s going, what they buy…
A: Oh no, fuck that!
R: Good, because to me the whole point of going to a festival is getting away from all that shit…
A: Absolutely! It’s all about forgetting about all the shit you have to deal with daily. And that’s been central to the ethos of the festival since we started.
R: Is Arcadia having any involvement this year?
A: They are doing some stuff with us but Arcadia is very expensive [Editor’s note – we have been asked to publish a clarification to this comment, see note at end of interview]. We’re planning on doing something that is unique to the Glade and developed with the Glade and isn’t at every other festival. And much as I love it, and it is wicked, it’s at several other festivals. But having said that, we are working with them and I’m not going to tell you any more about it. 😉
R: Will that semi-covered Glade stage that you had as the main stage a few times, the one that is at the Glade in Glastonbury, coming back?
A: The G2 stage, as we call it? It’s not coming back, not this year anyway. It’s co-owned by Luke Piper, who’s no longer with the Glade, the G stages are appearing at the Glade this year but not that particular one.
R: The nano stages went down very well with people last year. Are there more plans along those lines this year?
A: Absolutely, there’s loads of really fun stuff on that front and we’re going to start releasing that info as we get closer to the festival.
R: Will there be an ice cream van stage?
R: If people are going to be seeing in the sunrise in the Psychedelic Village, should they be bringing in their bongo drums?
A: They can if they like but they won’t be able to hear them haha.
R: How are ticket sales going?
A: They’re going really well, all the early birds have gone, we’re really comfortable about the whole thing. It’s a billion times more relaxed than it was last year. We can concentrate on making the festival really good instead of having to worry about finding venues, selling tickets and so on.
R: You’ve been saying in recent press releases that Glade is going to be showing all the other festivals how it’s done. How are you planning on backing that up?
A: I think that what we do is creatively a step beyond what anyone else is doing in the electronic music scene. I think the scene has become a little too ‘cool’ branded, it’s kind of commercial and slightly forgotten what it’s all about. And that’s how we show it’s really done, it’s about getting lost in yourself, in the magic of the English countryside, with some great tunes. It’s not about how you look or how cool you are or whether your branding is very clever or whatever it is, it’s a party in the countryside and it’s our mission to show everyone how it’s done.
***[Ans has subsequently asked us to clarify that, when he said Arcadia is “very expensive,” what he meant to convey was that Arcadia put on a huge production, which comes with costs prohibitive for a boutique festival of Glade’s size.]
Glade Electronic Arts Festival â€“ 14,15,16,17 June 2012
Houghton Hall, Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Tickets: Â£135 + BF / Capacity 10,000
Further line up, over 14 stages, and much much more announcedâ€¦..
Welcome to electronicEdenâ€¦.
The Glade experience is one of beautiful countryside and beautiful beats, where you can party until dawn without disturbance and without a care. Houghton Hall is one of the few places in the UK where such an experience can be had. No matter which community ortribe, all are invited to come together and participate in this never-to-be-forgotten four-day celebration. It is your very own electric Eden. So what are you waiting forâ€¦.
With an incredible site and a stellar lineup over 14 stages showcasing hundreds of DJs and live acts from around the globe, Glade 2012 is set to become the must-go-to festival for all lovers of underground electronic music.
This enchanted wooded and open parkland site at Houghton Hall (which has not been used for any other music festival), is without a doubt the perfect permanent home for Glade. Behind the scenes the award-winning Secret Productions team (promoter of the year in the 2011 Festival Awards) will be taking care of the production and contributing that extra-special SGP twist to proceedings. Expect a mouth-watering four days of fun-fuelled mayhem. Glade 2012 is back to show every other UK dance festival how itâ€™s done.
FINAL ARENAS â€“ LINE UPS ANNOUNCED:
DILLINJA, DAEDELUS, JIMMY EDGAR (Live), BODDIKA, ADDISON GROOVE, SL2, KUEDO, PINCH, DJ RASHAD, SI BEGG, RAIDEN / KAMIKAZE SPACE PROGRAM, LANDO KAL, CEEPHAX ACID CREW, OM UNIT, DJ HIDDEN, RANDOMER, MUTANT BASS SHOWCASE: KANJI KINETIC, LENKEMZ, YEAHHHBUZZ, HADEAN, RRRITALIN, ESQUIRE, SIMTEK. BLACK BUTTER RECORDS SHOWCASE: HOSTAGE, NOISSES, WOZ, TOMB CREW. HYPERCHORD, JAVIER ESTRADA (UK Exclusive) SLICK SHOOTA, KRUMBLE, BASHOUT ALLSTARS, ANXST.
Covering the whole spectrum of insane electronic music and with a definite preference towards bass-heavy beats, Overkill is the forward-thinking music-loverâ€™s paradise. Headlined by Warp Records impresario Jimmy Edgar alongside Ninja Tuneâ€™s experimentalist from the US West Coast Daedelus , UK Drum & Bass hero Dillinja and UK rave legends SL2. Elsewhere we welcome three of the most exciting producers in new club music; Adission Groove, Pinch and Bodikka deliver the in-your-face pressure. Addison will play a full 808 drum machine live set and then DJ B2B with Rashad for some straight up booty / footwork action. Exclusive to the UK, Javier Estrada brings his unique Mexican moombah style to the field alongside Glade-legends Ceephax Acid Crew and a glade first from glitch-core originalist Si Begg. If you love quality IDM, whatever your flavour, then this arena is for you.
HYPERCOLOUR & SNEAKER SOCIAL CLUB PRESENTS: MOSCA, EATS EVERYTHING, APPLEBLIM, ALEX JONES THROWING SNOW, WEST NORWOOD CASSETTE LIBRARY,
AL TOURETTES, TOM DEMAC, SHENODA, ARKIST, DONGA, BLAKSMIF, DEFT, CHARLIE BANKS, TOM LEA, CEDRIC MAISON
This year the festivalâ€™s central pyramid will be a stage in its own rightâ€¦ that is until it burns down on Saturday night. Our second concept venue, this stage will house a 360 degree sound system and will be presented by Londonâ€™s underground heroes Hypercolour and The Sneaker Social Club from Brighton, featuring one of the biggest names of 2012 Eats Everything alongside on of the pioneers of the UK Funky sound Mosca, Bristolian dubstep weapon Appleblim, expect the programming to be as explosive as the structure itself.
UPPERCUT PRESENT: KOAN SOUND, AKIRA KITESHI, SAMPLES, CULPRATE,
TOM ENCORE, IRK AND MONEYSHOT
EARNEST ENDEAVOURS PRESENTS: B. BRAVO, KUTMAH, DARKHOUSE FAM, PATCHWORK PIRATES
SKANKY PANKY RECORDS PRESENTS: MEMORY9, ZEN DEATH SQUAD, SIXAM, WILLIAM BREAKSPEAR FT. GEORGINA UPTON. HOSTED BY MC SAS
DONKY PITCH PRESENTS: SLUGABED, GHOST MUTT, BOSS KITE, GRINEL
SENSELESS RECORDS PRESENTS: MAK & PASTEMAN, MURLO, SARANTIS, WILDSYSTEM, SASQUATCH, GHOSTTOWN
COLONY PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS: VENT, MOULDY SOUL, KROSSBOW
JUMP MUSIC: HUNGRY MAN, WASCAL, SEPTIC INSURGENT, HARKY, COSMO
MIKE HULME, BEAT3, SHAMANIC TECHNOLOGY, DJ SHOOKZ, MR JACK,
OZ, PINNOCK, BEN IN ROME, MIKE GILL, Dâ€™VINCI
RESIDENTS: THE HEAD OF STATE, SWEET JESUS, YOUR NIECE
The Meteor Stage makes its debut this year, hidden in a thirty foot deep crater with trees around its edges and bass bins at its core. Deeper in you will find the Liquid Stage, a psychedelic adventure that lasts until eight in the morning. Deeper still youâ€™ll come across members of the Secret Garden family, whether it be medieval bard-core ravers of feral fever badger discos. It sounds insane, and probably will be.
Presented by East London underground party Uppercut, The Meteor is the first of our concept stages this year. Playing all the latest sounds of the underground, surrounded by trees, and kicking off the party of Thursday, this is a stage weâ€™re very excited about.
CHEW THE FAT PRESENTS: BARE NOIZE, BAR 9, FOAMO, MILLIONS LIKE US,
LEE MORTIMER, GORGON CITY (LIVE), HOOKY, MARIBOU STATE, MARCO DEL HORNO, NAIVE MACHINE, BONDAX DJâ€™S, DONGA (WELL ROUNDED)
BEATZ AND BOBZ PRESENTS: TONY THORPE, BARRY ASHWORTH (DUB PISTOLS), PYRAMID, SUB SLAYERS, BEN & LEX, STEVE THORPE, SWIFTY B, LEWAH, GRUDGE, WONKA VISION, DIZZIT, SLUGRAVE
RINSE OUT PRESENTS: CALLIDE, INTERFACE B2B STANZA, MR. NICE, SKANK N BASS B2B CHORDS B2B DIMENSION, COTESY, MAXXI P, T.M.Y, OLLIE FRESHOLD
Launched in 2011, BASSMENT returns for 2012 as the place for BASS at Glade. Hosted by three top-flight promoters; the legendary Chew The Fat alongside two of the South Westâ€™s leading promoters Beatz & Bobz and Rinse Out, expect the brashest bass, dubstep, drum and bass, electro and beyond.
LOWER EAST SHOWCASE: ALEXIS RAPHAEL, LEE BRINX, COZZY D
REAL NICE, W!LD STALL!ONS DISCO STU NO IDEA ISAAC FERRY
Another favourite which debuted at last years event is Gouranga. This London-based outfit bring together their extended family â€¦and a few wrong â€˜uns for this incredible tent. Housed in a dome illuminated by immersive 360 degree projections and traversing the many styles and flavours of house andtechno, this is the place to don your sunglasses at night.
AND NOT FORGETTINGâ€¦
GLADE STAGE FULL LINE UP
ANDY C: ALIVE (Live), RUSKO, VITALIC (Live),
PRETTY LIGHTS (Live)
EXCLUSIVE UK FESTIVAL APPEARANCE from PLANTAGE 13
STEPHAN BODZIN, OLIVER HUNTEMANN
FOREIGN BEGGARS, TODDLA T & MC SEROCEE,
MARC ROMBOY (Live), EXTRAWELT (Live),
(KRAFTY KUTZ, A SKILLZ & DYNAMITE MC)
STANTON WARRIORS, DUB PISTOLS (Live),
DRUMSOUND & BASSLINE SMITH,
ROBERT BABICZ, SYSTEM 7 (Live),
DON LETTS, FREQ NASTY, GAUDI (Live),
THE CORRESPONDENTS (Live),
BEN & LEX, LEWAH
Forming the central hub for electronic dance music at the festival, we welcome the Glade Stage back with open arms in 2012. Since its inception itâ€™s played host to an eclectic mix of music like no other, always endeavoring to break boundaries and bring you the best electronic dance music to you. Thisyear weâ€™ve pushed the barriers so youâ€™re moving for three days straight!
THE PSYCHEDELIC VILLAGE:
DJS & LIVE ACTS PERFORMING ACROSS THE ORIGIN, LIQUID & INSPIRAL STAGES:
3RD EAR AUDIO, ABSOLUM, ACE VENTURA, ADE, ADE LAUGEE, ALIJI, ALLABY, ALPHA, ANDY FORCE, ANS & REGAN (10 YEARS NANO RECORDS SPECIAL!), APHID MOON, ATOMICDROP, AVALON, BEARDY WEARDY, BEATNIK , BEN CODA, BOOM SHANKA, BUDDHATECH, BURN IN NOISE, CHAMELEON, CIRCUIT BREAKERS, CRAZY BALD HEAD, DARREN SANGITA, DICKSTER, DIGITONAL, DR ALEX PATERSON, EARTHLING, EITAN REITER, ELECTRIXX, FÃ˜RM, FRED CAIOU, GORGO, GREG AND DILL, GREG HUNTER, HEDFLUX, HIBERNATION, HYPNOCOUSTICS, IPCRESS, IRISH FAERIE, JAMES Dâ€™LAY, JAMES MONRO, JON SANGITA, JOSKO, JUSTIN CHAOS, KATIE ROSE, KILLERWATTS, KUBA, LABORATORIO DEI SOGNI, LAUGHING BUDDHA, LIQUID JAMES , LIQUID ROSS, LIQUID SOUL, LLAMALEAF, LOGIC BOMB, LOS POLLOS HERMANOS, LOUD, LUCAS, MASTERBLASTERS, MAX COOPER, METAPHRA, MIF VS SUTEKT , MILLI MOONSTONE, MIRROR SYSTEM, MONK3YLOGIC, MOULDY SOUL, MR BLACK, NAKED NICK, NEURODRIVER, NIMBUS, NIQUID , NOLAN SHMOLAN, NOVA, OLEG,OMNISPHERE, OOOD, ORGANISMIC, OTT, POGO, PSYCHOSONIC, PSYMMETRIX, RINKADINK, SCREEN, SHANE GOBI, SIMON BARING, SLACKBABA, SOLAR FIELDS, SPINDRIFT, THE COMMERCIAL HIPPIES, TOM REAL, TRISTAN, TSUBI, TWENTY EIGHT , ZEN DEATH SQUAD, ZEN MECHANICS, ZOOCH, ZUBZUB
The Glade is proud tocall itself the UKâ€™s spiritual home of psychedelic culture and the Psychedelic Village is a celebration of this. With the mighty Origin Stage at the heart of this area playing host to Nano Records 10th Birthday Party and powered by glorious Funktion 1, this stage will be banging come rain or shine. This year we are more than chuffed to welcome back the Liquid Stage, which will runfrom dusk â€˜til dawn in our beautiful new forest area (more on that belowâ€¦) and playing host to the cream of the UK scene. Providing respite from the onslaught of EDM, no Glade would be complete without InSpiral who this year focuses on chill out with a superb line up to make your journey complete. InSpiral will be laying down the chillout 24hours a day, so if you find it hard to sleep, thereâ€™ll always be somewhere to go where the vibes are gentle, the cushions soft and the people magical
This year we also welcome the team that built the incredible Ozora festival over the past seven years. They will be helpingwith the dÃ©cor and production throughout the Village and much more.
AND THEREâ€™S MOREâ€¦
Remix Roller Disco -Home to every kind of remix mash up imaginable, from electro-swing to hoe-step, this venue is going to be full of fun, day and night. With some serious programming from people who are constantly pushing and blurring boundaries of musical genres in the every direction, this is going to be a sight to behold.
Bardcore – The merry pranksters Feast of Fools, a long standing collective who feature at The Secret Garden Party every year, will be bringing not only their mead bar, but also their merry band of players, performers and misfits, who will lead the late night fireside story telling. A beautiful, inclusive and entertaining bunch of characters, expect a mead fueled party of old until the wee hoursâ€¦
Artful Badger -Another collective from the Garden joining us at glade this year, we welcome the Artful Badgers, feral disco denizens where the party always gets as weird and surreal as it does down right rude and dirty. If youâ€™ve not seen these guys in action, youâ€™re in for a treatâ€¦
Extended Licensing – Thereâ€™s some great news for all those who really love to party. This year, weâ€™ll be opening the doors on the festival at MIDDAY on Thursday, and will have music on a number of stages until MIDNIGHT. Weâ€™re also very pleased to announce that a number of our stages will be running until 6am and one until 8am on Saturday and Sunday morning, giving you a proper session.
New Sanctuary â€“ This year, the Sanctuary is evolving. There will of course still be an incredible healing area, with therapists skilled in all the holistic arts â€“ from reiki to massage, acupuncture to reflexology, gong therapy, holistic therapy and all thatâ€™s in between. Weâ€™re also introducing a spa, consisting of hot tubs, saunas, sweat lodges, changing rooms and more. All brought together in a beautiful area in and out of the trees. This will be a place to relax, indulge yourself and get seriously clean, both inside and out.
CafÃ©s – This year at Glade, weâ€™ve poured a great deal of love into our cafes and food stalls. Places to chill, laughâ€¦and eat cake! We believe cafes are the heart and soul of any independent festival, so this year weâ€™ve gone all out to source some of the best independent traders around. Our food court will be a place to meet your missing friends, take a breather from the madness of the festival, regroup,relax and unwind. With a huge variety of food and drink from all around the world on offer, including many vegetarian and vegan options, weâ€™re looking forward to seeing you there.
Boutique Camping information:
Gladers who fancy treating themselves to a little luxury over the festival can do no better than getting involved in boutique camping. With several packages on offer including tipis, yurts and even Beryl â€“ a three bed Cornish country cottage on wheels â€“ there is no better way to experience Glade. Private facilities, including express parking and festival tickets, come as standard, with each package. For a full range of options as well as booking info check out:
Compost Loos – Weâ€™re very pleased indeed to be the first festival of our size in the UK to be running entirely on compost toilets! Compost loos smell less, are more spacious, more environmentally friendly and much less ugly than your average festival portaloo.
Weekend Tickets: Â£135 + BF
Camper Van Passes: Â£50
Deposit Scheme Tickets: Â£50 + BF
Tickets available from: Seetickets