A HIGHLIGHT of the musical calendar in the East Midlands is just around the corner.
Reporter Andrew Trendell talks to festival organiser Anton Lockwood about why Dot To Dot is such a feast for music lovers – plus we have two tickets to give away.
“You just can’t beat it,” shrugs Anton Lockwood, brimming with pride. Taking place across three cities in three days, Dot To Dot has become the leading urban music festival in the country over the last six years – and with a line-up that boasts Hurts, We Are Scientists, Guillemots and much more, this year will be no exception.
Anton continues: “It’s a bank holiday weekend, there are loads of really great bands on and people are just up for a party really.”
“Unlike other inner-city multi-venue festivals like Camden Crawl or Great Escape that are just full of industry folk, Dot To Dot is a non-industry festival and we’re all about real music fans to have a good time.”
He adds: “We try and make the event into just a fun day out with lots going on really – you can go check out one band, or while you’re waiting see a DJ or just chill out and have a drink. There is always something different happening.”
In Nottingham, Dot To Dot is spread across more than five venues and each hosts a roster of everything from acclaimed and established acts through to the hottest new thing.
“We encourage people to come and make the most of it,” says Anton.
“We have bands on all day so there’s always something to go and watch. It lasts about 14 hours and we always try and squeeze as much into that day as we can.”
There’s certainly no shortage of variety at Dot To Dot this year. From the shimmering synth-pop majesty of headliners Hurts, through to the indie-rock tomfoolery of We Are Scientists and the heavy stoner-rock sounds of …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Anton says there’s definitely something for everyone.
“Dot To Dot is really all about new bands, and what we think is going to be the next big thing,” he says.
“We try and book the best new and exciting bands that we think are going to become successful, and then there are bands like Trail Of Dead who I’ve wanted to play for years and they were in country, so your new favourite bands will be there along with a long-term favourites – we really like to mix things up.”
He continues: “We’re really excited to have the UK’s most stylish avant-garde electronic pop act Hurts headlining the festival. We Are Scientists are always a really fun and energetic live band, they’re real crowd pleasers, plus we’ve got Guillemots who have come back reinvigorated after Fyfe Dangerfield did his solo stuff.”
Dot To Dot has always been a festival that champions the new in up and coming talent - something which Anton hopes to continue.
“In previous years people like Mumford & Sons, The xx, Klaxons, Temper Trap and Foals have all played breakthrough sets at Dot To Dot,” he says. “Swimming are playing this year – they’re a great Nottingham band with a lot of excitement around them, and rightly so.”
“We go along to South By South West to find the best new artists to book, that’s just part of our job – to bring the best new acts from around the world to the people.”
“What we try and achieve is great value for money really – for £25 you get a solid day of incredible music and you don’t have to camp in a field, you can have a beer with friends and get a lot of choice.”
Anton adds: “I mean, tickets to see a band like Hurts or We Are Scientists on their own would probably be around £17 or £18 alone.”
So there you have it – all of the fun of a festival but with the convenience of an inner city and without any of the filth or squalor of camping. Five venues, over 100 artists and DJ’s, there’s only one thing left to do - join the dots.
Dot To Dot Festival takes place across venues in Nottingham on Sunday 29th May. Tickets are £25 and available by visiting www.dottodotfestival.co.uk or calling 0845 413 4444.
To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, just answer this simple question: Q) Who is headlining this year’s Dot To Dot Festival?
Send your answer along with your name and daytime telephone number to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Dot To Dot Competition, 21-27 Ryton Street, Worksop, S80 2AY.
Entries should arrive no later than Wednesday 25th May.