Rolling Stone met up with Rocking The Daisies' festival director Craig Bright to chat about this year's line-up, booking international acts and what goes on behind the scenes when organizing a music and lifestyle festival.
Give us a little insight into how to book an international act like Band of Skulls, Bloc Party or Grandmaster Flash. How does the process differ to booking a local act?
We have been booking all our artists through an external agency. We have also recently been overseas to various music conferences (The Great Escape in Brighton, England being one) and have met most of the top agencies and management companies which really helps. It's a long process to build up relationships with the agencies, but slowly but surely we are making great progress. We also recently produced the 5 Gum Two Door Cinema club experiences, which went really well. The more successful productions you produce, the better your reputation gets overseas and the easier it is to make headway with agencies. Grandmaster Flash was organised through Red Bull Mobile as part of their activation at this year's festival. Local artists are much easier obviously, it simply just pick up the phone and call them.
Before you guys booked Bloc Party and Grandmaster Flash, what other international acts were on your wish list for 2012?
[Laughs] It was quite a list, some weren't available this year and we might be bringing them out next year so don't want to give away too much on that. Just trust me when I say they were all pretty sick acts! When we heard Bloc Party were available and keen we were very amped and we pretty much focused all our energy on getting them here.
Who, according to the 'Daisies organisers, are the top veteran South African acts that will be performing at 'Daisies this year?
Obviously Arno Carstens, he is pretty much a legend. I would say guys like Goldfish maybe, although they're still young, they've been around for years making incredible tracks so you would think they are veterans and are definitely legends. We have a great team working on the line up each year and I think we have done well to keep it really fresh this year, with heaps of new artists that are doing really well on SA's music circuit!
And what act would you consider to be an upcoming sensation that festival goers should look forward to?
Wow, definitely can't single out one specific band as there are too many. Pretty much all the dudes performing on the Black Label Campsite stage on Thursday night, they a really talented bunch that you def need to watch out for in the future. Two Minute Puzzle are awesome, Natasha Meister has a crazy beautiful voice and is incredibly talented, Trenton and the Free Radicals, Machineri...jeepers I could go on forever here! I think SA music is very strong at the moment and I wish we could just get some more international exposure for all these bands!
What makes 'Daisies different from any other local summer festival?
I think we differ in that we more of a lifestyle festival, we offer seven different stages, from our main stage, to electro stage, performing arts and comedy to the Schnit international Short film festival. We also have a wide variety of music genres, which is great for a festival goer as they get to discover new music which I think is important for the artists and the punters alike. We're also an environmentally conscious festival which adds another dimension in that we are very clean and green. You throw the walk and the cycle into the mix and I think I have answered your question.
In a nutshell, tell us more about your eco/social-initiative?
I could talk for hours here, but in a nutshell "We aim to host a premier music and lifestyle festival in an environmentally and social responsible manner under the motto 'play hard, tread lightly'".
Besides the line-up, what makes this year's Rocking The Daisies different from previous years?
We got a couple of surprise tricks up our sleeve which will be experienced at the festival this year. We have added the campsite stage and have beefed up all the other stages to bring a quality festival to all the 'Daisies fans. The fact that we are also have one more years experience at producing this incredible festival helps as well I think.
For more information please visit www.rockingthedaisies.com.
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