metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk




  INTERVIEW WITH DAVE RITCHIE, FOUNDER OF LES-FEST - PART TWO

Johnny Main

johnny main

Pin It
Share |


dave ritchie

In the second part of our exclusive interview with Dave Ritchie, founder of the award winning Les-Fest (Scotland's only Rock and Metal festival), we discuss booking the headliners, what the future holds for the festival and if he has any other events planned under the Les-Fest banner.

When it comes to those headlining bands, these are obviously important choices in order to attract first time attendees, so how do they decide on each headliner? "Well we all know who we would like, but we are currently limited stage size, budget and venue capacity, so we need to be realistic about who we chose", he explains. "We've had some bands on our radar this year and we've been lucky enough to secure some of them, but other times it has been about discussing artists with agents and seeing who might be available around festival time."

"We are offered lots of good sized acts but sometimes we just can't meet their aspirations and the frustration for us is that some of the bands we want are with agencies that currently don't really recognise what we (at Les-Fest) do every year, but that will change through time - we may surprise a few people later this year!"

Article continues below...

   


Looking at the past two years, I ask Dave for some of his favourite acts who have appeared at the festival: "Difficult and possibly unfair in terms of just being good people, professional and friendly and easy to get along then there are many. The vast majority have been great people - we have had a few egos flying around, but usually from really new young bands.

"For me personally though I have loved Furyon, Monument, Jettblack, Attica Rage, Praying Mantis, Estrella, Massive Wagons, Inferno and Evile but the list really could go on and on. There is of course a reason for this, which is that they have probably been the only bands I have actually managed to see because during the festival, I'm so busy working that I often don't get much chance to see the bands and soak up the atmosphere! Generally, though, I'm happy to say that almost every band we have had on has been great!"

There is a second stage at the festival now which is utilised for stripped down/acoustic performances – how did this evolve? "The venue for stage two was just very conducive to being a chill out area. It's covered over, but still kind of outside, plus it has its own bar with a couple of food outlets so I thought 'why not put a few artists with acoustics out there and let people have a timeout from the Metal madness at the main stage?' and it works really well. One year on, and we have many bands who are playing the main stage also want to play the second stage on their "off day", and I guess it shows a different dynamic of the band to the fans - it is really popular so that will continue onto 2014 and beyond."

les fest

Lots of the bigger festivals have signing tents giving the fans a chance to get up close and personal with the bands but Les-Fest doesn't have anything like that yet – is this something the Les-Fest team are considering in the future? "Yeah", confirms Dave, "it's something we're looking into for next year, along with an improved merchandising marquee with stalls and other products as well as a larger outdoor bar area with a wider choice of refreshments and a possibly even a DJ."

"The biggest issue I have with all the things I would like to do, is staffing the event. We have a few really good and supportive group of volunteers and of course my friends and family work tirelessly too, but we are not in a position to pay much, if anything to staff. Other than to give them access to the event and a place to sleep, the only money that comes in is through ticket sales and I am trying to keep them priced as low as possible, but if people want to help out at Les-Fest 2014, keep an eye on the official Facebook page and we'll let you know how to apply."

The festival is growing in size every year, so how does Dave see the future: "I know it started very small, but from 2012 to 2013, camping ticket sales alone rose by over 200%, while full weekend ticket sales rose about 100% and day tickets were a similar figure, so we are building a fan base", he tells me excitedly.

"We actively encourage people to come along for the entire weekend and experience everything the festival has to offer – right down to the Rock N' Roll train!. To be honest, if we can sell another couple of hundred tickets for next year then the event will be a sell out. Having said that, tickets have been flying already, and, as I handle all the sales personally, the pleasing thing is that we already have a loyal following – those people that came in year one, bought again quickly for year two and then obviously brought some friends with them, well, those same people and their friends are now buying for year three!"

One of the selling points of Les-Fest is that the main arena is indoors – are there any plans to bring the festival Main Stage outdoors in the future? "Yes," replies Dave with a definite answer.

"The plan for Les-Fest 2015 is to upscale the event and move the main stage outdoors. L.O.A. (Les-Fest Open Air) anyone?" he adds with a smile. "If the main stage is outdoors, that would allow us to have three stages, which in turn would enable us to increase the ticket allocation, which will extend our budget and then logically, that would enable us to book the bands that can fill a larger arena – it's a good way to move forward."

I ask Dave why he thinks Les-Fest has been so successful to which he ponders before answering: "A lot of people I meet say that I keep playing down our success and we should all be shouting from the rooftops, so success is not a word I would yet associate with Les-Fest.

"I won't be content until we at least sell one out - once we achieve that then it is a success. What we do have, though, is a very friendly inclusive event that the fans enjoy, we are praised by the site owners too, we have the facilities, the excellent security staff, a great sound system and, of course, the bands who enjoy the experience too. I suppose from the outside looking in it is a great weekend, but I am never complacent, so I guess the day I believe we are successful is the day I need to be wary of. You should never be absolutely satisfied - you should always strive to improve and excel. Feedback is always welcome - good or bad!"

les fest
Dave Ritchie, Johnny Main, Fede Valls

With Christmas approaching fast, the inaugural Les-Festive is scheduled for the first weekend in December at Ivory Blacks in Glasgow, so does Dave see this as another annual event?

"I think the regional showcase events will become regular occurrences and I would like to take the whole brand – not my favourite word but it is a "brand" now – to a level where we're putting on regular gigs in the North and doing tours and promotion.

"The Les-Festive event will become an annual showcase and it will also be the stepping stone for a dozen or so bands every year to get to the main Les-Fest event."

He is keen to point out that these Les-Fest spin off events are not "a battle of the bands - if twelve bands play and we like, say, eight of them they will all get a slot. If we only like two bands, so be it. What we are trying to create here, are opportunities for bands to get more exposure and ultimately establishing the Les-Fest – here's that word again – brand."

Winding up our chat, I ask Dave what, realistically, he wants Les-Fest to achieve?: "Originally the festival was that one off – that "I have a dream moment" we spoke about earlier, but now I am genuinely setting out to have what many people have told me it should be – a Scottish Bloodstock style event with three or four stages, the outdoors main stage and a crowd of thousands attending.

"To be clear though, never massive as I think we would lose touch with fans but five thousand sounds like a good number to me".

With that we part ways, but with the prospect of Les-Festive approaching and the headliners for Les-Fest 2014 on the verge of being announced, everyone here at MetalTalk Towers wishes Dave and his team the very best for all their endeavours!

Thanks again to Dave Ritchie for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak to me.

You can watch Dave and Fade onstage at Les-Fest 2013 here:



Les-Fest:
Les-Fest 2014
Valley International Park
Crossford,
Clyde Valley
Carluke,
ML8 5NJ

Online:
Official Website: www.les-fest.co.uk/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LesFest

Click here for Part One of this interview.


10.12.2013









 

black stone cherry BLACK STONE CHERRY REVEAL A POST-APOCALYPTIC UNDERWATER WORLD IN VIDEO FOR 'IN OUR DREAMS'
"The unique sci-fi storyline of two sisters, tragically separated into two social classes in an oppressed underwater civilization run by an evil leader, accompanied the lyrics so well..."

iron maidens THE IRON MAIDENS CHANGE VENUE FOR 14th APRIL SHOW AS O2 SHEPHERD'S BUSH EMPIRE REMAINS CLOSED
The show from the world's only all-female Iron Maiden tribute band will now take place at the O2 Academy Islington...

korplikaani KORPIKLAANI ANNOUNCE FIRST DVD AND LIVE CD
The DVD will contain exclusive live footage filmed across two shows in 2015, with more live footage due to be filmed this year...

screen queens EILEEN DALY PRESENTS 'SCREEN QUEENS ON SATURDAY 13th FEBRUARY
A fangtastic fund raising day of music, film and spine-tingling entertainment will be held at the Roxie Bar and Screen, London Bridge...

michael monroe MICHAEL MONROE IS 'GOIN' DOWN WITH THE SHIP'
"The song is not necessarily about sailing or seamanship as such. It's basically about us getting on the tour bus and hitting the road with our band..."

grand magus GRAND MAGUS TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM 'SWORD SONGS' ON MAY 13TH
"We put all of our sweat, blood and tears into this new album and I think that you can hear that..."

hawkwind HAWKWIND RELEASE NEW ALBUM 'THE MACHINE STOPS' IN APRIL 2016
A concept studio album and a live stage show, 'The Machine Stops' is based on E.M. Forster's sci-fi classic...

broken witt rebels BROKEN WITT REBELS ANNOUNCE 'GEORGIA PINE' EP FEATURING THE NEW SINGLE 'LOW'
The band will also head out on live UK dates in April and May...

struts THE STRUTS UNVEIL OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR NEW SINGLE 'KISS THIS'
The clip features candid footage highlighting the frenzied response from fans and the band's celebrated and explosive live show...

sabaton SABATON RELEASE THE OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO FOR 'CAROLUS REX'
Sabaton hit the UK shores in a co-headline tour with Alestorm in February and March...

cairo son CAIRO SON RELEASE NEW SINGLE 'DEVILS TONGUE' ON FEB 22nd
The single is taken from the album 'Storm Clouds', released on March 14th...

rebelles THE REBELLES RELEASE 'ALL THE YOUNG DUDES' SINGLE ON MARCH 18TH FEATURING IAN HUNTER
The track is taken from the forthcoming debut album. "Expect to hear a punk attitude draped in silk with a few sharp edges..."

donovan DONOVAN TO PLAY 70TH BIRTHDAY CONCERT AT LONDON PALLADIUM
The flag bearer for all things psychedelic will celebrate his early bohemian roots...

kiss KISS EUROPEAN TOUR CANCELLED?
German and Italian dates have been removed from the official website...

stone free STONE FREE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES LATEST LINE-UP ADDITIONS
Additions include Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here Symphonic Live, Michael Monroe, Jackaman, Therapy, Jared James Nicols and more...

last great dreamers LAST GREAT DREAMERS TO PLAY UK SHOWS IN FEBRUARY
Last Great Dreamers jumped at the chance to take a break from writing their third album to get back on the road for a few dates...

motorhead DOWNLOAD TO RENAME 2016 MAIN STAGE AFTER LEMMY PLUS LOTS MORE MOTÖRHEAD NEWS
Where the band's name previously appeared on the billing, there is now a graphic of Lemmy's hat...

zakk wylde ZAKK WYLDE TO RELEASE 'BOOK OF SHADOWS II' ON APRIL 8 2016
Wylde's first solo release for 20 years will be followed by a wave of tour dates to be announced soon...

status quo STATUS QUO TO RELEASE ANOTHER TRIO OF DELUXE EDITION ALBUMS
These carefully curated special releases are to be issued by Universal Music on Friday 25th March...

hrh doom stoner HRH DOOM vs HRH STONER ANNOUNCE MORE BANDS
Angel Witch, Electric Citizen and Black Spiders head up another batch to be added for this October...

the defiled THE DEFILED ANNOUNCE RESCHEDULED UK HEADLINE TOUR FOR MAY
The Defiled will play as support to In This Moment, also in May...

rich robinson RICH ROBINSON RELEASES REISSUES AND NEW ALBUM
The four re-imagined albums include previously unreleased tracks and penned essays from Robinson himself...

crowbar CROWBAR ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
The run of twenty dates includes a UK appearance at Desertfest...

ben poole BEN POOLE CONFIRMS NEW ALBUM 'TIME HAS COME' AND UK TOUR
"I hope it'll please the blues-rock guitar fans, but also have the depth and maturity to appeal to an audience beyond that..."

desertfest DESERTFEST BERLIN 2016'S LINE-UP IS ALMOST COMPLETE
The first running order has been released, along with a limited number of day passes...

anneke van giersbergen DUTCH LEGEND ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN BRINGS HER ACOUSTIC SHOW TO THE UK
Six solo dates in April have been arranged before Anneke returns to the studio...

hard rock hell HARD ROCK HELL X ANNOUNCE FIRST 15 BANDS
Ugly Kid Joe, Ratt, Glenn Hughes and Living Colour head the vanguard for this year's 10th anniversary...

space elevator SPACE ELEVATOR LAUNCH PLEDGE CAMPAIGN FOR SECOND ALBUM
There are a number of exclusive offers for Pledgers, including the chance to perform on the album...

valerian VALERIAN TO RELEASE 'STARDUST REVELATION' ALBUM
With a burgeoning Metal scene in Indonesia, the band have been working hard on their first full length album...

terry horbury vardis A MEMORIAL CONCERT AND BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR TERRY HORBURY OF VARDIS WILL TAKE PLACE ON 6TH FEBRUARY 2016
The unmissable event features a host of very special guests and all proceeds will go to Terry's chosen charity...

status quo STATUS QUO ANNOUNCE THE END OF ELECTRIC SHOWS
"There's more to come from us in the years ahead, but we won't tour the electric set ever again..."

toseland TOSELAND ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM 'CRADLE THE RAGE' & MARCH TOUR
Support for the ten date UK tour comes from Colour Of Noise...

bonfire BONFIRE CELEBRATE 30TH ANNIVERSARY WITH NEW DOUBLE ALBUM 'PEARLS'
The classics are being re-recorded in Italy, with completely new arrangements...

hostile HOSTILE ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM PRODUCED BY KK DOWNING PLUS EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
'The New World Disorder' is set for release via Gasworks Music and will be available on March 1st 2016...

rambliin man GINGER BAKER'S AIRFORCE 3, SEBASTIAN BACH AND THE CADILLAC THREE AMONG THE LATEST BATCH OF NAMES TO BE ANNOUNCED FOR RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR
Purson, Inglorious and The Zombies will also join the Kent festival this coming July...

the enid THE ENID RELEASE DUST ON 1ST APRIL
'Dust' is the final part of the stunning trilogy following 'Journey's End' and 'Invicta' and will be performed around the UK over the coming months...

sanguine EXCLUSIVE: SANGUINE PREMIERE VIDEO FOR 'SAVE ME' PRIOR TO RELEASE OF SECOND ALBUM 'BLACK SHEEP'
The sci-fi spectacular is directed by Tyson Wade Johnston and its premiere can be seen exclusively on MetalTalk right here...

steelhouse festival STEELHOUSE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES MORE BANDS
Hey! Hello! featuring Ginger Wildheart, Blues Pills and Vega have been added to the line-up of this year's Steelhouse Festival in Hafod-y-Dafal in Wales...

jeff healey PROVOGUE RELEASE LOST JEFF HEALEY ALBUM TO COMMEMORATE HIS 50TH BIRTHDAY
These tracks were painstakingly restored and brought to life bringing into focus Jeff's unique and special gifts as an artist...

heretic order THE HERETIC ORDER UNLEASH VIDEO FOR 'THE DEATH RIDE BLUES'
The Heretic Order have announced a co-headlining UK tour in February with I.C.O.N...

mortiis MORTIIS ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE TOUR
"It's about time we came back to the UK for some shows. See you in May, you bastards..."

zoax ZOAX ANNOUNCE SPECIAL ONE OFF LONDON SHOW
Catch Zoax in Camden on February 23rd where they will premiere some new songs...

antimatter ANTIMATTER ANNOUNCE RARE UK DATES
Antimatter will play two further dates on 'The Judas Tour' in Bristol and Manchester in March...

jimmy bain JIMMY BAIN PASSES AWAY AGED 68
Ex-Dio and Rainbow and current Last In Line bass player Jimmy Bain has sadly passed away aged 68...

rhapsody of fire RHAPSODY OF FIRE WILL COME TO INDONESIA FOR THE FIRST TIME
On the 'In To The Legend Asian Tour 2016', Rhapsody of Fire will stop in Jakarta on March 8th 2016...

steven tyler AEROSMITH'S STEVEN TYLER ANNOUNCES NEW SINGLE 'RED, WHITE & YOU'
Steven Tyler continues his foray into country music and reveals his latest track...

the treatment THE TREATMENT ANNOUNCE APRIL /MAY UK TOUR
The Amorettes will be special guests on all fourteen UK dates...

soto SOTO TO RELEASE SECOND ALBUM ON 1ST APRIL 2016
Soto will debut live during Feb 2016 with a string of East Coast US dates and a European debut in April with a short run through selected cities and countries...

temperance movement HEAR THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT LIVE AND ACOUSTIC AT DEEZER, PARIS
The band dropped into Deezer headquarters during a stop on their current tour promoting new album 'White Bear'...

jezabels CANCER TREATMENT FORCES THE JEZABELS TO CANCEL WORLD TOUR
"The band means so much to me, and cancelling the tour has been a very sad decision. I am hopeful that in the near future we will be back on the road again playing music we love..."

thunder THUNDER ANNOUNCE INTIMATE SHOW AT LONDON'S 100 CLUB
All ticket-sale profits will be going to Childline/NSPCC. Tickets for the special one-off show go on sale on 22nd January...

freddy lim HEAVY METAL STAR ELECTED TO PARLIAMENT IN HISTORIC VICTORY
Freddy Lim, the long-haired, tattooed front man of Taiwanese Black Metal band Chthonic wins a seat in parliament...

hrh doom stoner HRH ANNOUNCE NEW DOOM & STONER SHEFFIELD TRIP
Candlemass, Orange Goblin, Torche and Raging Speedhorn lead the vanguard for HRH's new event...

the mission THE MISSION ANNOUNCE 30TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
The tour starts in Dublin on October 1st and includes O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in London on October 8th...

cop uk NEW ALBUM FROM C.O.P. UK 'NO PLACE FOR HEAVEN' IS OUT ON 29TH JANUARY
C.O.P. UK will immediately follow the release by hitting the road for a European tour with Helloween...

thin lizzy THIN LIZZY ANNOUNCE 2016 ANNIVERSARY SHOWS: MOTÖRHEAD DRUMMER MIKKEY DEE JOINS BAND
2016 is a year that includes a couple of important anniversaries in the history of Thin Lizzy...

joe bonamassa JOE BONAMASSA RELEASES NEW ALBUM 'BLUES OF DESPERATION' IN MARCH 2016
"You'll hear the proverbial trains, mountains, valleys and other blues references about heartbreak and loneliness, but there are also some poignant moments..."

cairo son CAIRO SON 'STORM CLOUDS' ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW CONFIRMED
The launch party will be held at Nambucca on March 18th...

stormbringer STORMBRINGER ADD NEW DATES TO FEBRUARY SHOWS SUPPORTING THEIR NEW ALBUM 'BLOOD AND RUST'
Check out the dates plus the videos for 'Bad Blood' and 'Rust' right here...

sanguine SANGUINE UNLEASH THEIR VEGAS SPECTACULAR WITH NEW VIDEO FOR 'PRETTY GIRL'
"The lyrics reflect my frustration that women are not meant to be both pretty and strong...but it's more of a 'fuck you' than a complaint..."

glenn frey GLENN FREY OF THE EAGLES PASSES AWAY AGED 67
Glenn Frey, the founder member and guitarist of The Eagles has sadly checked out...

dale griffin MOTT THE HOOPLE DRUMMER DALE GRIFFIN PASSES AWAY AGED 67
Dale "Buffin" Griffin was a founder member of Mott The Hoople and prolific session producer...

stiff little fingers STIFF LITTLE FINGERS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR DATES FOR FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016
Support will come from Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts ...

inglorious INGLORIOUS CONFIRMED FOR SWEDEN'S STOCKHOLM ROCKS FESTIVAL 2016
Inglorious and Grand Magus are the first bands to be announced for 2016...

wishing well WISHING WELL FEATURING GRAHAM BONNET RELEASE 'HIPPIE HEART GYPSY SOUL'
"We wanted something extra to boost the album and when we wrote 'Hippie' we instantly realized that Graham would be a perfect vocalist for the song in many ways..."

sabaton SABATON REVEAL THE OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO FOR 'RESIST AND BITE' TAKEN FROM FORTHCOMING LIVE RELEASE
"We recorded two shows in case one is not enough for you..."

babymetal BABYMETAL ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM TITLE
'Metal Resistance' is released worldwide on April 1st before their headline Wembley show the next day...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD: THE TRAIN KEEPS A-ROLLIN'
We hope to see Phil and Mikkey back in full-time action as soon as possible, as well as Fast Eddie...

evil scarecrow EVIL SCARECROW RELEASE THEIR BRILLIANTLY BONKERS LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'END LEVEL BOSS'
The fan favourite will finally appear in the live show for the remaining shows of the 'Boldly Going Anywhere!' tour...

life of agony LIFE OF AGONY SIGN WORLDWIDE DEAL WITH NAPALM RECORDS
'A Place Where There's No More Pain' will be released later in 2016...

metal church METAL CHURCH ANNOUNCE TRACK LISTING AND COVER ARTWORK FOR NEW ALBUM 'XI'
The band's 11th studio release marks the return of legendary vocalist and front man Mike Howe...

twisted sister NEW EUROPEAN RELEASE DATE AND NEW COVER ARTWORK REVEALED FOR THE MOVIE 'WE ARE TWISTED F*CKING SISTER!'
The documentary is a mesmerizing and wickedly funny story of a 10 year odyssey to overnight success...

saxon SAXON TO RELEASE 9 ALBUM VINYL BOX SET
This spectacular package is a must have for Saxon fans and collectors and will be released in March...

wildfire festival WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016 ANNOUNCE DAY SPLITS
Saturday night headliners, running order and set times for Scotland's premier rock and Metal festival will be announced in February...

black stone cherry BLACK STONE CHERRY TO PLAY CHARITY GIG AT THE BORDERLINE ON JANUARY 24th
All proceeds of this special appearance will go to The Teenage Cancer Trust...

trivium TRIVIUM ANNOUNCE UK TOUR WITH SOME SURPRISING CHOICES OF VENUE
None of the regular main cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester or Glasgow are included on this jaunt...

yes YES TO TOUR UK AND EUROPE IN APRIL
The set will include 1971's 'Fragile' and 1980's 'Drama' in their entirety...

blind guardian BLIND GUARDIAN ANNOUNCE UK AND IRELAND TOUR IN MAY
Blind Guardian will be playing a spellbinding 150 minute long set every night – these shows are not to be missed...

fish farewell FISH ANNOUNCES APRIL HEADLINE TOUR DUE TO PHENOMENAL DEMAND
Another final chance to see 'Misplaced Childhood' in full following the recent sold out run and including the rescheduled European shows...

morgoth MORGOTH ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR WITH INCANTATION
Be sure not to miss this killer package of total Death Metal sovereignty...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN TO TOUR CHINA FOR FIRST TIME IN THEIR CAREER
Iron Maiden will visit China in April 2016, once their set list has been submitted for approval from the Ministry Of Culture...

3 doors down 3 DOORS DOWN ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM 'US AND THE NIGHT' OUT MARCH 11th
"It's truly been a labour of love and we can't wait to get these songs out to our fans around the world..."

prong PRONG RELEASE NEW ALBUM ON FEBRUARY 5th
'X – No Absolutes' is packed with the band's trademark driving riffs and pinpoint-precise grooves...

skarlett riot SKARLETT RIOT HEAD OUT ON TOUR WITH DEVILSKIN
Skarlett Riot will be main support to Devilskin for six UK dates in February...

metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2015, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery