Wednesday 1 June 2016
With 18 stages, 95 acts and the safety of thousands of town-centre revellers to think of, co-ordinating Northampton Music Festival could put even the most unflappable events organiser in a spin.
But the festival’s project manager, Yoshe Watson, isn’t your ordinary events organiser.
After all, the 22-year-old University of Northampton graduate is well-known in these parts for unicycling 643km from Amsterdam to Paris for charity – and also as the musician who thumbed lifts from Inverness to Newquay for her 2014 Hitch Hiking Tour.
So next month’s three-day music festival, which runs from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 June, should be a walk in the park compared to her previous feats.
“I absolutely worked myself to the bone in such an intense, short period of time for the unicycle and hitch hiking tour,” said Yoshe.
“The music festival presents a different challenge, as it’s actually part of a year-round programme organised by our community group, Northampton 365.
“So while the festival is the annual big one for us, we also run regular events in the town, including a youth development programme and live music sessions that showcase the local musical talent there is in the area.
“To organise the festival on top is a massive effort, as there’s the logistics of co-ordinating all of the acts, where they will be playing, the health and safety aspect – it’s busy, but an amazing thing to be involved with.”
After performing at the last two festivals, Yoshe is keen to encourage people to come along and savour the experience for themselves.
“The town just comes alive, it’s full of music, there’s a real energy and buzz – you just need to walk around and experience it for yourself, as you never know what you will stumble upon,” she said.
“It could be some classical music being performed in a café, or a rock band on an outdoor stage – whatever music you’re into, you’ll find something you like, and of course, it’s absolutely free.”
The University is heavily involved in the festival, and will once again have its own stage.
Eleven acts featuring students and staff from the institution will perform at the Albion Brewery on the final day, Sunday 19 June – see the running order further down the page.
Yoshe said: “The University is an integral part of the Northampton music scene, with bands playing all around the town throughout the year and its stage always delivers some brilliant performances.
“But it’s not just the music which the University puts on, we also have two student interns from its business school, Aimee Barker and Nina Castravet, who are part of the organising team – and our project director, Jo Burns-Russell is also a Northampton graduate.
“We’ve also invited Graphic Design students from the University to once again designed our official posters.
“So the festival creates some great opportunities for students to get meaningful experience in a real-life project.”
Visit the Northampton Music Festival website for the latest line-up news and information.
University stage running order
Venue: Albion Brewery, 54 Kingswell Street
Day: Sunday 19 June
1pm: Jenny Beckwith and Luke Civil
1.30pm: No Idea
2pm: Faye Clements
4pm: Jen Dobson
4.30pm: The Black Pot Blues Band
5.10pm: The Other Band
6.30pm: Cigarettes and Saints
Ones to watch at Northampton Music Festival
An Army of Lights
Hailing from Northamptonshire, An Army of Lights compose magnificent alternative indie rock which consists of soaring vocals, tight harmonies and delay soaked guitar lines.
Young Northampton duo creating waves through the town, Leo’s energy and lyricism are matched by Charlie’s crunching beats and record spinning skills – they make a unique and very raw sound. Expect the unexpected.
Jazz Colossus are an exciting new 20-piece jazz orchestra, performing hard-hitting jazz, funk, swing and latin styles. Expect to hear a mix of Big Band music from the 40s to the present day.
Pictured, from left, are Yoshe Watson, Jo Burns-Russell, Nina Castravet and Aimee Barker.