The eighth instalment of Jersey Live gets underway next month, with another huge bill featuring Madness, Plan B, Feeder, Mr Oizo, Sasha and more at the Royal Jersey Showground in Trinity. It?s about this time of year when the job of organising the Channel Islands biggest annual party becomes an all-consuming one, so we were very pleased to have managed to collar the festival directors for a quick chat to reflect on how far the festival?s come since 2004, and to glance forward at what the future holds for Jersey Live.
WH: Warren Holt
WLS: Warren Le Sueur
When you first had the idea for Jersey Live, did you ever anticipate it becoming so big and still going in 2011?
WH: Never really thought that far ahead, but we did plant this little thought in the back of our minds that something like this might be possible and was therefore a goal to aim for.
What are the biggest things that you?ve learned since the first event?
WLS: Planning the event correctly was a huge learning curve. Also, the Health & Safety aspect was the big part of the festival to get right, and our knowledge on this has evolved greatly since the early years, as we have grown.
How do you pick acts for the festival, especially headliners, and do you ever clash over tastes?
We rarely clash as we both have years of experience in the industry previous to our eight years of festivals. We live and breathe it. We monitor and debrief all the time discussing which acts we feel work and don?t work, what direction we wish to go, how we can improve the festival by booking appropriate acts like Madness, Snow Patrol and Paul Weller.
After JL2010 finished, when did work start in earnest for 2011?
WLS: It takes approximately 2 months to complete Jersey Live after each show date, as we have to debrief with local authorities, suppliers and settle JL invoices etc. We begin to seek artists generally from the beginning of December each year.
What?s the weirdest thing that?s happened to you at Jersey Live over the years?
WLS: Luckily, nothing too crazy has freaked me out (yet!)
What other festival do you take most inspiration from?
WH: Glastonbury always!
If you were magically given an unlimited budget, who would be your fantasy pair of headliners?
WLS: If it was possible to reform bands, I reckon for me it would have to be world class heritage acts like Pink Floyd, Abba, The Stone Roses. It would be huge!!
If you could relive one festival performance from over the years at Jersey Live, which would it be?
WH: Paul Weller last year.
What was the initial reaction of the local authorities and community to your plans to stage a music festival?
WH: People were generally reserved as many saw a music festival as attracting ?the great unwashed?, however festivals have changed over the years with the advent of ?Glamping?, posh loos etc, and now attract a very diverse audience. We are one of the most talked about boutique festivals on the block!
What?s the biggest challenge that faced you this year?
WLS: Competition from other festivals in the UK & Europe who have bigger budgets than us which then prevents us from being to book a range of artists we are interested in for Jersey Live. Restricted growth is an annual challenge, especially as we have still not yet been able to apply a camping element to Jersey Live. Nearby camping could make Jersey Live appeal to a wider customer base from UK & France.
What are your mid-to-long term plans for Jersey Live?
WLS: To remain in operation as a business! And to continue to deliver a quality event in Jersey, and to possibly expand to other areas of the UK with other event ideas to an even larger audience.
Jersey Live Festival is supported by Jersey Telecom and takes place September 3rd and 4th at the Royal Jersey Showground. Tickets are on sale now from Jersey Telecom and