Nottingham’s annual community-spirited music festival returned!
With our total donations just shy of £4,000 for charities and fresh-faced members on-board our team, our latest recruit Harvey has reviewed his experiences so far…
When initially signing up to work for I’m Not From London, I met Will who reviewed my application. He highlighted points I raised within my CV of wanting to learn the ropes of the music journalism industry, along with event management and A&R. I was willing and excited to dive right into any responsibility given to me. I have lived in Nottingham most of my life, apart from the years spent down in Cornwall for my University degree. Always acknowledging and supporting our creative arts in the city, I have attended a multitude of festivals made available to us, occasionally free, always made possible by the selfless enthusiasts such as Will Robinson’s crew and others alike.
Nottingham has had an exciting cultural and artistic landscape for as long as I can remember, charitable hearts make festivals such as Beat the Streets, Waterfront Festival and Hockley Hustle all the more fun and worthwhile. They allow all ages to experience our astonishing local talent and give back to their city. Whether it’s giving warmth to the homeless by raising money for Framework, or most recently at the Waterfront festival, contributing to females stricken by poverty and donating sanitary items to The Free Period campaign. They also teamed up this year with Bras Not Bombs, who send off donated new underwear for female refugees struggling, through no fault of their own, giving them dignity and to maintain hygiene standards everyone deserves.
This year’s lineup was particularly exciting for both the organisers and audience, as Do Nothing, a strong emerging talent from Nottingham that have already been spotlighted by Radio One’s Jack Saunders with their latest single Gangs. It has been a while since Nottingham has received much attention from our independent music scene; an astonishing 7 years since Clifton’s very own Jake Bugg was played through the speakers to the world congratulating Usain Bolt’s miraculous win at the London 2012 Olympics. Do Nothing have been appearing on countless festival lineups, sharing the bill with the likes of Wolf Alice, Happy Mondays & Foals. So before their catalytic summer escalates further, I’m Not From London managed to secure them as headliners, and rightly so.
My first major job for Will was acting as a runner for the Waterfront festival in its annual venue, The Canal House. In terms of the day itself, we began at 10:30 am, with previous nightmare experiences of rain causing problems rain, it was vital to keep the mixing board and amps in the clear. On my arrival, I was told to grab some tarpaulin that measured up to cover the exposed side of the stage. Once erected, we set up the merchandise stall and ticket stand. A lot of running about occurred in the final hour before audience members arrived and it soon filled up. Luckily we were blessed with minimal rain and a huge crowd. Bands were staying true to their timed slots and the drinks were flowing.
My shift ran until 8 pm, although I would have happily stayed longer if I hadn’t of had previous commitments. As the evening progressed more acts arrived with boots full of equipment and it was my job, whilst floating between the merch stall, to ensure they were introduced, given wristbands and their equipment was delivered ready to set up. We ran three stages and maintaining a clear line of communication with all those involved allowed for any arising issues to be handled accordingly and stress-free. We eventually began to share responsibilities to ensure everyone had a timely break and something to eat.
From 7 pm the audience were well into the festival spirit, especially outside, due to the bright summer’s evening we were being treated too. I had noticed our raffle stand hadn’t been gaining much traction throughout the day, so I took it upon myself to act as a table to table promoter for the charities we had teamed up with, Bras Not Bombs & Forever Stars. I introduced the worthy causes to each table and informed them of the prizes they could win if they participated. At the rate of 50p for a ticket or £2 for a strip, I made over £100 in 20 minutes whilst the next band tuned up. This was a personal achievement that made the whole day’s effort worthwhile.
As previously mentioned The Free Period campaign, founded by Claire Henson, was given a stall requesting offerings for fresh tampons, which are then donated to schools & homeless shelters. I was lucky enough to share a stall opposite hers and managed to learn more about her charity and new found love of knitting. Claire is just one of many exemplary people in Nottingham who give their own time and dedication to projects that benefit others. Many people gave up their Saturday and I’m sure many months in advance to make such a fun day happen. It’s their desire to entertain and promote Nottingham’s rich artistic landscape that I admired and want to continue being apart of.
I’m excited to be on-board again for another hands-on role, given last minute jobs that needed executing well for the sake of the festival’s reputation. The adrenaline and team I worked with made the experience a summer highlight. I urge anyone with an interest in how events like these run to take the opportunity and give it go, especially when they support many worthy people!
By Harvey Brown