We recently had a sit-down with Shaun Histed-Todd of Wicked Spins Radio and had a question and answer chat regarding the upcoming Alice’s Wicked Tea Party Festival, being held this coming Friday, the 29th of May, and Saturday, the 30th of May. More than a year in the making, this first-year festival has brought together quite the ensemble of talent to entertain and interact with those in attendance.
Having faced a couple of last-minute challenges, the festival organizers jumped over hurdles that may have seemed impossible and have pulled together what looks to be an invigorating and fun-filled weekend of diversified entertainment.
We’ll be bringing you a follow-up on the festival after the event, and we do hope you’ll make an effort to attend. In the meantime, here’s a bit of our chat…
Q. How did you come up with the idea of putting together this festival? Isn’t it a risk after seeing other festivals collapse?
It’s always been an ambition to set up a festival and with doing Klub Wicked nights in London, that ambition started to get stronger. Last year a longtime friend, Hawkeye, invited me down to his Wonky Donk festival that he’s been running for the past 5 years and suggested about teaming up to do one together, I just had to grasp the opportunity. It’s a passion of music and love of live music.
I’ve always liked the idea of mixing genres, when I started going to gigs as a teen you could go to an all day event and it was mixed you could see Punk/Goth/Psychobilly or any other subgenre that was underground all on one bill. Today it feels very dedicated to one scene and I want to try and bring that heady mix back.
It is a risky business and Hawkeye and I have talked about this which is another reason not to be dedicated to one scene as there’s too much competition. But we are realistic and the risks.
Q. I know it is very difficult to organize and put together a festival but how did you pick the artists? Is it because of your personal tastes? Which artists are taking part?
Well there were bands there from the start, friends I’ve made through Wicked Spins Radio who through chat said that if we ever did put a festival on they would be up to support. But this is a grass root festival with no budget, what money there was has been put down for setup costs. So we’ve not been in a position to guarantee booking fees or make promises and it was a case if bands want to get behind and support this experiment and that is what it is then as we are putting a few thousand down would they be willing to share some of the risk. It’s daunting and I felt it was expecting a lot from artists. But with thanks to all who have got on board I don’t think I could have dreamed the fantastic acts that have got behind and are supporting this wonderful adventure. The Interest from so many notable bands was immense some said they couldn’t do it regarding the terms which was totally understandable and duly respected, others got on board and I still look at the line up and think wow I’m honored to have such strong support.
As for personal tastes I have a wide field in musical tastes so yes it is personal but I’ve also picked bands I know or have a reputation of putting on an entertaining live performance, something vibrant and energetic.
Artists taking part… Well, the full line up is up on Wicked Spins Radio Website, but we have 20 bands in all. Doghouse from Sicknote headlines on the Friday, a natural and highly talented performer and entertainer. Headlining on the Saturday we have Poisoned Electik Head, who I’m so looking forward to seeing again as it’s been many years and I’ve always loved their music and live shows. Psychedelic Post Punk Rock with wacky stage outfits, this is a band from another planet… seriously.
Q. For some it will be a special event: Nigel of Tunnelmental Experimental Assembly is coming all the way from the States for this, Jason Doghouse will perform now that Sicknote no longer exists, Reza Udhin of The Killing Joke is coming with Inertia and so many others… What do you believe that festivals like Alice’s Wicked Tea Party represent for an artist?
I feel it represents an opportunity for bands to perform to an audience they probably wouldn’t get to play to if it were an event dedicated to their normal scene but it also gives all a chance to be part of something new and exciting – their support and backing behind this is tremendous and I can’t thank them enough… it’s very humbling.
Q. Where is the festival taking place and how can people get there? Do you have any driving/transit information available to make their journey a little easier?
It’s being held at The Cross Keys Inn – Holt Heath –Wimborne – Dorset . There is public transport from Ringwood and Wimborne itself and also from Pool.
Q. When all is said and done and Alice’s Wicked Tea Party 2015 comes to a close, what is the one thing you think will make you the happiest?
That everyone has had a fantastic weekend. That the bands have had a fantastic time. Also that we can say we done it – we got there despite the bumps and setbacks we’ve experienced and it has been a rollercoaster of emotions, believe me! We persisted – the ship didn’t sink when it sprang a few leaks. We worked hard to patch and repair those leaks and the ship continued to sail on. We found land and put on the best party that goes beyond our expectations for a first year.
Q. Advance tickets are £40 and at the door will be £50. What will these prices include?
Aside from all the bands we have Alice in Wasteland Theatre Group who will be doing some performance and walkabout performance – stalls – Licensed Bar and Catering – Free Camping all set in a beautiful part of the English countryside. Also, as this is an intimate festival with only limited amount of 500 tickets, it offers a friendly atmosphere and a building of a tribal community of music lovers across genres.
I’ve just allocated a limited number of Day Tickets £15 advance for Friday, £20 on the Gate – and for Saturday £25 advance and £30 on the gate.
Q. In case of rain, do you have a plan in place?
We have a Marque tent stage that holds up to 300 people. I believe also there is the Pub itself that owns the land and camping fields which will offer protection from the elements. But the weather forecast is looking very favorable for us with sun forecast all over the weekend.
Q. Any last words or thoughts you’d like to get out there to anyone planning on attending?
Don’t be late! Get your tickets in before the gate to avoid disappointment. Get on down and have a wonderful weekend with truly fantastic bands and settings.
From Tribe4mian: Good luck with it Shaun and have fun with the show!!!