CHRIS WADE INTERVIEW
For anybody involved in the music industry, Chris Wade has long been a go-to person for help with promoting their gigs and marketing their CDs. As well as running one of the UK’s leading music agencies, Adastra, from premises in North Dalton, Chris has had a huge part to play in helping Beverley Folk Festival become one of the UK’s best-loved and attended music festivals.
Here, in an exclusive interview with Pulse author Steve Rudd, Chris looks ahead to what is destined to be yet another formidable weekend of music, comedy, and literature…
Hi Chris, how are things?
As always at this time of year, things are very hectic. Too much to do in too little time. But we always get there in the end
With this year’s Beverley Folk Festival almost upon us, which festival-related events and acts are you most looking forward to seeing?
Our Community Project with local groups, based around the story of War Horse, and involving local schools and community groups, plus songs written by Hull prisoners. We have even made our own horse from recycled plastic milk bottles.
Practically-speaking, in light of how busy you are bound to be with sorting out the festival’s logistics, how on earth do you manage to see any of the acts when you’re effectively on-call for the duration?
It is actually very difficult. I end up just seeing snippets of each one… never a full performance – unless I am very lucky.
How did you first get involved with Beverley Folk Festival?
When I was on the committee of the White Horse Folk Club in Beverley… thirty-two years ago!
Given your experience, do you find that, year-on-year, the festival gets any easier to organise and market?
No, it doesn’t. There are always new issues that arise which need dealing with. This year, it has been particularly difficult due to reduced funding from national and local organisations, so we have needed to find new sponsors who are able to support us. Everyone is suffering from this, and it makes it very difficult for us to make ends meet, especially with increasing costs, such as for Health and Safety.
How do you chose which acts to invite to perform, and who gets the last say in choosing which singers or bands to bill as the Festival Headliners?
We try to get a balanced programme that will appeal to a broad range of interests. We tend to work together on picking the headliners. I make suggestions, and the other organisers agree – or not!
Since starting up in 1983, Beverley Folk Festival has come to be regarded as one of the UK’s best music-orientated festivals. What do you think it is about the festival that resonates with so many people on such a profound level? Also, how did it feel when the festival won this year’s “Remarkable Tourism Event” at the “REYTA Awards”?
It is wonderful to know that people enjoy the festival so much. It would be hard to do all the work required for it if we did not feel it was appreciated it. Of course, winning the REYTA award was just the icing on the cake.
How hard a decision was it to relocate the festival from the Leisure Centre to Beverley Racecourse?
It took us a few years to make the final decision. There were so many things that needed to get sorted first. In the end, the decision was sort of made for us with the new road being built around the Leisure Centre; we no longer had enough space for all we needed to do. The move has been great, and everyone seems to have been pleased with it.
For those who have never attended Beverley Folk Festival, how would you sell it to them?
It’s a very friendly festival with a broad range of music to appeal to all ages, with some top national and international artists, as well as some great local acts. Then there’s the added bonus of some great comedy, literature and film.
It is ideal for families, too, with lots of free events for children. In fact, our Festival Village has free entry to the Craft and Music Fair, food stalls, real ale bar, and lots of showcase events on our outdoor stages.
There is a regular Shuttle Bus from Beverley town centre, so those without a car, along with those who don’t want to walk, can take that. However, lots of free parking is available on the Westwood for anyone with a car.
Finally, what is the best way for folk to find out more about this year’s festival, and how can wannabe festival-goers procure tickets at such short notice?
Go to our website – www.beverleyfestival.com – where you can see the programme and buy tickets online. Alternatively, call us on (01377) 217569.
Anyone in Beverley can buy tickets at the Tourist Information Centre. Tickets can also be purchased via SEE TICKETS on Facebook.
Beverley Festival runs from June 20th to June 22nd, with Billy Bragg, Home Service, and Chas & Dave this year’s headliners.
(Questions by Steve Rudd; Answers by Chris Wade)
Steve’s first book, Pulse, is available to download here