Electric Fields is Movin’ on up, Thanks to Founders Nick and Alex

As we drift through summer into August festival season is well and truly here, which means guaranteed banging’ beats and cracking’ banter in fields right across the country. Dumfries and Galloway is renowned for its top quality music festivals (Wickerman, Eden, Knockengorroch to name a few), and music fans are getting seriously excited about boutique festival ‘Electric Fields’, being held at the stunning grounds of 17th-century Drumlanrig Castle, near Thornhill, on August 26th and 27th. No wonder, with a line-up to rival the best  festivals nationwide this year, including stellar headliners Primal Scream and The Charlatans. A glorious line-up amid stunning scenery – what more could you want?

In an exclusive DGWGO Music News Interview the event’s core organisers, Dumfriesshire locals, brothers Alex and Nick Roberts, say they are proud to be showcasing the region by bringing top-class festival fare to their childhood stomping ground, as they take a rare break to chat to Claire Henderson over a pint and a plate of chips and battered sausages.

Nick says: “It’s pretty cool to run a festival two minutes away from where we went to school.”

Alex: “In such an iconic location as well.

Nick: “It’s a place we were taken to as kids. When you have a 17th century castle like Drumlanrig castle, it’s such a dream to put something on there. It’s beautiful.”

Now in its third year, it’s up-scaled from a one-day event filled with local bands to a two-day, camping extravaganza for 5000 revellers, offering the full boutique festival experience, with everything from real ales and tasty food to savour, to fancy yurts for rent, luxury loos and lots of family-friendly fun to keep kids entertained.

Alex, 32, explains to DGWGO Music News how the concept of Electric Fields all started.

A lot of my friends were in bands and were local DJs but there was nobody really showcasing them in this area so we stuck them in a field, put them on a stage and the rest is history.”

Nick, 29, who worked in events marketing before joining his brother as the project took off, says it’s a real community vibe and they tap into the rich source of skills offered by locals (and fellow pupils from Wallace Hall Academy in Thornhill) to build what is essentially the infrastructure of a small town.

Nick says: “We have a lot of mates who come and help with the build – it’s a great community thing where people who grew up around the area can pull together to put on a really cool, nationally acceptable event.”

However, he admits having so many people they know there puts on the pressure when the pre-festival nerves kick in.

Nick says: “It’s an all-year project, and the nerves comes into it when you think about people personally, like your mates coming to it, and you think, ‘I really hope they have a good time, and if they don’t have a good time I have to see them again’. (laughs)

The lads can’t think of a better place than Dumfries and Galloway to put on their event, and clearly plenty people are in agreement because this year it was named The Huffington Post’s “Critic’s Choice Festival” and it made The List’s top 10 of the UK’s best boutique festivals.

Nick says: “To us, this is home. It is a really beautiful region that is often overlooked and it’s really good to be able to showcase it. For example, if you are coming from the north you drive through the Dalveen pass, and there are not many places in Scotland, or the UK, where you arrive at a festival after a drive like that.”

Alex: “It’s good to show off your back garden. We’re extremely proud to be showcasing Dumfries and Galloway, and we’ve sold tickets to people all over the world.”

There will be  four stages this year, with globally acclaimed bands headlining, but there’s plenty of local talent too, and while they are excited about every one of the hand-picked acts, there’s one band in particular they are especially pleased to have performing.

Nick says: “One band we are really excited about is a band called ‘Onr’. from Dumfries – they have a really big buzz about them and they just had their first show a couple of weeks ago at King Tuts in Glasgow. It was a packed out, amazing show, and it was really exciting to see a band from Dumfries do so well.” 

While the festival is widely described as “for music fans, by music fans”, it’s a real family affair, and music-loving parents are encouraged to bring their little ones along so they can experience a festival in a safe, fun environment.

Alex: “I think it’s important to have a festival that caters for family needs, something you can bring the kids along to.”

Nick: “There is loads for families to do. We have a big dedicated kids area this year run by experts in child care and family fun. It’s not your blasé “stick the kids over there” stuff, there’s loads on.

We want kids to be part of the festival and we really encourage parents to take kids to see bands – it’s a really great vibe for kids to be around, it’s safe and it’s a great introduction to music for kids, especially your 10-15 year olds, but there is also things like Galloway activity centre doing things like archery and bubble football. There’s also kids discos and little workshops, run by Dumfries companies Fairy and Little Heroes, so they are never going to get bored.”

With Electric Fields set to get bigger and better each year (preparation for next year has already started!), the brothers agree on their ultimate dream headliner.

Alex reveals: “Having the Rolling Stones would be quite cool.”

Nick: “Our whole family have loved the Stones since forever and at any family party their records get put on really loud until the early hours of the morning and everyone struts around doing Mick Jagger impressions.”

There are only a few weeks to go, and the boys are refusing to predict the weather, so let’s all start praying for sunshine, but keep our wellies at the ready because, come rain or shine, there is a lot of dancing to be done in our stunning Scottish countryside at Electric Fields.


Tickets: http://electricfieldsfestival.com



Warm-up show

Onr., 13 Crowes and guests, Thursday 11 August at The Venue from 7.30pm Ticket info HERE

Images supplied and article written by Claire Henderson, exclusively for DGWGO

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