Lee Martin (left) and Martin Newell (right) with Michael Eavis
ORGANISERS OF the seven-year-old Lakefest are concentrating on booking higher profile headliners this year, rather than relying on the ethos of the event to sell tickets.
Staged at Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire, site of the now defunct Big Chill (was cap. 35,000), the August festival is licensed for 15,000, but expects to attract 9,000 visitors with artistes including Reverend and the Makers, Toploader and Marc Almond.
Organiser Lee Martin admits that the event lost money last year after he spent less on live music, while his experience of booking a high profile headliner in 2016 demonstrated the power of a strong bill.
“When we moved to Eastnor in 2016, I took a financial risk with Primal Scream and they sold loads of tickets,” he tells Festival FestFEsFel. “The next year I felt people were coming to the festival for the whole amazing experience. It became clear that it’s the headliners who sell tickets, so we’re really going for it this year and improving the quality of the bands.”
He describes the event as one of the UK’s top family festivals, with 33 children’s activities including juggling and tightrope walking plus free showers.
“Our market research shows it especially appeals to the 40-year-old female from Gloucestershire,” he says.
Lakefest run by Martin and co-director and landowner Martin Newell, with early-bird tickets costing £95.