Nick Ladd, founder of the Glade Festival, winner of Best Dance Festival in the 2008 UK Festival Awards, speaks to Trackitdown.net.
Undoubtedly the best underground dance music weekend event in the UK, Glade Festival evolved from a corner of the mighty Glastonbury Festival to a well respected and attended solo party in summer of 2004. The sixth edition of the event takes place in a brand new location over the weekend of 16th July and to celebrate the diversity of underground sounds, Glade have joined forces with Trackitdown.net to put together a digital album bundle and mix to showcase the sound of the headliners.
Out today exclusively on Trackitdown.net, this album contains 20 unmixed tracks produced by headline acts from each of the arenas plus an awesome 78-minute mix to get any serious festival fan hyped up to the max!
We caught up with one of the four directors of the event to find out a little more about what it takes to through the UK’s most exciting weekend dance festival!
TID: For those who aren’t aware, can you tell us a little bit about the history of Glade Festival and how it first came about?
From year 2000, myself and Ans Guise, two of the four Glade directors, were putting on outdoor Psychedelic Trance parties outside of Cape Town at the peak of the scene down there. South Africa was in its golden era at the time and it was from these parties that Nano Records was born, which has now gone on to become the UK’s best and arguably the world’s best Psy Trance label.
At the same time, Ans, who was looking for a way of raising Nano records profile in the UK , began talking to Nick about putting on the countries first ever legal PsyTrance event and slowly but surely the concept of a banging multi genre electronic music festival was born. Underpinned buy the upsurge in popularity of Breaks and Psy trance, the idea was fairly simple – give all the different genres of music showcased at The Glade at Glastonbury their own stage and then add the circus acts, cabaret, art installations, a healing area and all the weird and wonderful wotnot that goes into making a proper English festy.
With acts like Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Hallucinogen and Stanton Warriors on board, the line up quickly developed into the best seen at a UK dance event since the heady days of Spiral Tribe and the tickets flew out the door, eventually changing hands on EBay for 250 quid a piece.
What makes Glade different from other festivals?
It’s a lot about community. Each stage is run by a different crew who are really at the forefront of their respective scenes. They bring their vibe and their crowds with them so it’s authentic and in touch with what’s popping on the street now
I think the fact that we don’t have any corporate sponsorship is also important – the healing power of a good music festival lies in the reality bubble it creates – for 3 days, people give themselves permission to be open hearted, open minded, friendly and community spirited – things that are not often found in day to day life in England. It’s an escape from normal life and an opportunity to explore human potential – to see human nature at its best and the lack of corporate branding that anchors people back to their normal day to day reality helps maintain this feeling. More than ever now, with all the dark times going on around the planet, we need times like this to remind us what life really should be about
Can you tell us why you decided to move the festival this year?
So we can listen to dance music as mother nature intended it - LOUD ! The last site had too many hassles with neighbours and the new site is perfect for us.
There is a massive 10 arenas of music on offer. What are some of the highlights you’d recommend across the spectrum?
We have got so much diversity this year, which is the reason we won the UK Festival Awards last year. People are looking for something a bit more expansive these days and I am def looking fwd to Booka Shade, Digital Mystiks, Rusko live, Freeland (Adam Freeland's new live project), Femi Kuti and the Positive force (a 12 piece African live dance band - an incredible show), Juan Atkins, Perfect Stranger and of course the UK Festival exclusive of Underworld Live – that’s going to be massive.
Apart from the incredible lineup what other exciting things can people expect to find at this years Glade?
We have got loads of mind blowing site art such as an outdoor stage that shoots flames 40 ft into the air out the tail of a jet engine! There is also a new cabaret tent and comedy. It’s a proper English festival with its roots in Glastonbury so there’s a real kaleidoscope of art and music.
Do you think that 2009 is finally going to be a good summer for UK festivals and why?
Well we have got a farmer who told us the past 2 summers were gonna be shite and he was right there! He reckons we are on for a belter come July - its backed up by the Met office who are saying that the Azores High, the weather system that brings the sun in July, is heading back up to its usual latitude this summer.
What has been your fondest Glade memory?
I have got lots! Watching a bloke in a wedding dress dive through the (fake) window of the inflatable church and run straight to the nearest dance floor shouting CHOOOON as he ran – that’s the kinda spirit we like to see at Glade. Oh and every time Richie Hawtin plays.
What’s the hardest aspect about putting on a festival?
Taking it all down at the end!
What’s the best guestlist blag you’ve had for the Glade?
If they are good ones we are not even aware of ‘em right!?
Is there a dream act you’d love to have that’s just been unobtainable so far?
Leftfield definitely. Unobtainable full-stop at the moment. Oh yeah and Bob Marley and the Wailers for Sunday afternoon would rock!
What was your first festival and can you remember any highlights?
It was Glastonbury 1986 and no, I cant remember diddly… except that it changed my life for ever!
For more information about tickets and line-up to Glade Festival in Winchester, UK on the weekend of 15th July 2009 please visit www.gladefestival.com
Download the Glade Festival Digital Album here; http://www.trackitdown.net/genre/breaks/track/1056620.html