‘We wanted to make a festival for people who read The List'
The makers of T in the Park are launching a brand new Scottish music festival called Connect. Organiser Geoff Ellis shares
his vision with Mark Robertson.
Where did the idea for
Connect come from?
About l8 months ago I started thinking that there is really a market in Scotland for another festival. Obviously not on the scale of‘ T in the Park but for a more musically discerning audience who aren‘t necessarily wanting to see (‘oldplay or Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Is it for those who have
outgrown T in the Park?
Not at all. There will inevitably be crossover with people who also go to T in the Park. We‘re not trying to be a huge festival. we‘re trying to be a medium-sized one. The word boutique is perhaps a little over-used now. but you‘ve got Indian Summer and Isle of Skye events nearer the 600‘) mark and there‘s a nice feel at both of those events and what we‘re trying here is something between there and T in the Park. We‘re not going to have the luxury of eight stages where we can dedicate one for unsigned talent and one for breaking talent. There will be some breaking talent obviously. but we‘re going to have three stages. One is an outdoor stage facing the castle with the river behind it and then we‘ll have two smaller tents but the hard thing is to describe it musically. It‘ll make sense when you see the bill.
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Who would be a typical
()ur first thought to be honest was people who read the Sunday Hem/(l and The List! The best way to define what I see as a (‘onnect fan is by what they listen to on their iPod. Obviously I can‘t say exactly what bands we‘re hoping to get because that would scupper the whole thing. but bands like Radiohead. New Order. Sonic Youth or Pixies who are ground breaking. but also Zero 7 or Basement Iaxx. Are there any festivals that particularly informed the ideas behind Connect?
I wouldn‘t say there was any direct influence from other festivals but going to Fuji (in Japan) did as regards the location in the countryside. The recycling initiatives too. In terms of the
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‘I'M PICTURING PEOPLE SITTING ON THE BANKS OF THE LOCH, WITH THE CASTLE BEHIND'
vibe. maybe Coachella in Palm Springs. which has a really relaxed atmosphere. I‘m picturing people sitting on the banks of the loch with the castle in the background. It‘ll be a small campsite. a bit calmer than at T. I‘m not saying sedate. but you‘ll be able to hire a teepee or take your own tent. I‘m not trying to say it's going to be Horlicks before bedtime: the average age for T in the Park might be 2] but this is probably 27.
I had looked at the site before for a one-day event that we were planning but it was only when I got to see the place I realised it would be perfect. The field in front of the castle is perfect for the main stage and there‘s a nice area to the side where the artists can have their rest rooms then straight through to the back stage. It just has a nice feel to it.
Doesn’t this date clash with Indian Summer next year?
I have spoken to Paul Cardow (of promoters PCI.) about the possibility of there being an Indian Summer that weekend. but he is still in the process of deciding what to do so we had to go for it. Being in September. the end of the summer period. it is the last real weekend the acts are touring the festival circuit.
When will you announce the bill?
We‘ll announce the line-up in March.
Connect, Inveraray Castle, Argyll, 1&2 Sep.
Geoff Ellis (top left) has set his sights on Inveraray Castle as the site for Connect. The festival is aimed at the kind of people who like Sonic Youth (top) and Basement Jaxx (left)