Main stage BrisFest

Applying to perform at lots of festivals and events can be time consuming and disheartening, especially when you’re much better off putting your energy into cultivating a strong following with lots of fans. After all, if lots of people want to see you live, you’ll definitely get booked to play!

So, having worked at lots of festivals, from Glastonbury and Glade, to Boomtown and Bloc I’ve got to know lots of festival bookers, and of course manage the BrisFest and Stokes Croft Streetfest programming teams…

So here’s my insider tips to artists on how to get booked to play at festivals.

Click continue to read on….

Continue reading ‘How to Get Booked to Play at Festivals’

Our lives with soundtracks

New technologies now enable us to have every piece of music ever created at our fingertips, for free, anywhere we like, and it’s fantastic. However, where does this leave the artists that create it?  And what does this spell for the quality of future creativity?

Well, not as poor as we may have feared. With people no longer cherishing physical records or CDs enough to actually pay for them, there is a shift away from ownership but this doesn’t mean we don’t value hearing music anymore.  In fact, it is this desire that is driving a new movement in listening behaviour that not only delivers everything a listener wants (everything, anytime, anywhere, for free) but also enables artists to get paid. This issue at the moment is that whilst it is still customary to ‘own’ music, albeit as data files on a hard drive, it is still possible for listeners to bypass the legal juke box sites and therefore the income for artists. I question whether in time a full evolution to ‘listening’ rather than ‘owning’ could represent an attractive prospect for everyone.

Click pink link below to read the article:

Continue reading ‘Want to Stop Music Piracy? Stop Making CDs.’

As most people know BrisFest is organised almost entirely by volunteers, however not everything can be done in people’s spare time. We almost killed ourselves in the first year trying to juggle jobs and getting it off the ground, so in year two we realised it wasn’t possible without one (or really two if it could be afforded) people working full time on the project, and so here I am as the sole full timer responsible for all the boring bits like paperwork. Everyone else, about 96 people at the last count, volunteers their time for free doing everything from stage programming to booking in trade pitches all year round in order to plan the event. I also volunteer most of my free time too – its not exactly a 9-5 job. If everyone were paid we’d have to triple the ticket prices, and as everyone believes art should be as accessible as possible to everyone they donate their time for free. Plus its really enjoyable and many people do it to get the experience on their CV or make contacts so its really rewarding in that way.

However there’s one other role that isn’t unpaid, and that’s the Sales Director. Its a part time position, initially for three months, to sell the brochure advertising and sponsorship packages, without which we couldn’t afford to stage the event. It requires someone upbeat with sales experience and is commission based so the more you bring in for the festival, the more you earn WIN-WIN. We’re looking for someone with initiative and passion so if you know anyone, please pass it on!

The Bristol Festival Community Group are currently recruiting a Sales Director for Brisfest.

Lead generation and calls to local businesses offering exciting sponsorship and advertising for local music festival. Business to business sales experience required and excellent telephone manner. A love of music or events a bonus.
Be part of a dynamic team in an upbeat creative environment, helping to really make a difference to both the festival and our year round charity work!

Temporary 3 months Feb-April,
16 hours/week,
Hourly rate plus competitive commission.
City Centre.

To apply please complete the online application form here by 31st Jan:

Many thanks,
BrisFest Team!


Hello world!


To get started here’s a slightly shorter version of about me:

I’m Poppy the main organiser of BrisFest, a music and arts festival in Bristol, and am lucky enough (or unlucky depending on the current stress level) to be paid to do this full time. We’re a registered charity set up to support and promote music, art and culture in Bristol and the Southwest and do this predominantly through staging an annual community festival.

We’re not run by the council or in receipt of any large pots of funding; we’re a bunch of local people that came together to ensure the survival of a community festival for the city after the sad demise of Ashton Court Festival in 2007. We’re doing this for a variety of reasons; for some people it’s a love of music, for others it’s a love of Bristol and some volunteers just want to meet people and have fun, but we all share the belief that music and art are important both to personal wellbeing and happiness and to the prosperity of a city and the community that lives within it. We therefore aim to showcase the wealth of cultural activity that takes place in the region, inspire more people to take part and help artists and fellow volunteers achieve their full potential in any way we can. It’s not always easy, in fact it’s a lot more work than anyone could have imagined, but everyone involved works hard to make our 3-day party the best it can be.

Via this blog I’ll aim to tell the story of how we go about this, what we do throughout the year, the ups and downs and the blood, sweat and tears (hopefully of joy!) that go into making the volunteer run 3-day festival a reality.

If you have any questions or want explanations on anything just leave me a comment and I’ll aim to respond. It gets pretty crazy in the months leading up to the festival so I can’t promise an instant answer but I’ll do my best!