Roy and the Devil's Motorcycle headline The Pig and Applestock Festival

Written by Michael Bogojevic ( Solarised Productions)
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The August Bank Holiday weekend sees another year for Rugby's charity raising event, The Pig and Applestock Festival; now in it's impressive fifth year (and which has raised almost £10,000 for the Leicestershire MS Therapy Centre.) ZANI caught up with festival organiser, Nick Hargreaves, to talk festivals, bands and great community spirit.
ZANI: Do you remember the first festival you went to? Which festivals were the ones that you wanted to go to?

Nick: Well after a bad acid trip at Glastonbury you can really start to appreciate how relaxing the smaller festivals are. I think festivals should be about getting away from the chaos of life, enjoying good company and good music, and I don't think you need security guards and hundreds of thousands of people to help you achieve that.

ZANI: Your festival is one that features a lot of bands/ musicians/ artists from the local surrounding area, why and how did you create the festival, was the area missing a major festival, for example?

Nick: Before we got going, when I started helping my nephews out with their band, I was noticing just how many great artists were playing in and around Rugby, and yeah it just made sense to get them all together for a weekend and showcase their talents. Then once I got started with it people would just offer to help out and support the project. We've had no end of help. And because it's for charity there's that extra sense of motivation, not only are you working to provide a memorable experience for the public and the performers, but you know that the more successful the event, the more relief we provide for people with MS. It really seems to bring everyone together and bring out the best in them.

ZANI: You've managed to attract some sought after bands/ musicians for your past festivals: Spacemen 3's Pete Bassman, original Creation Records signing The Jazz Butcher AKA Pat Fish, Black Market Karma and Kontakte, does it make the festival more vibrant?

Nick: We always feel honoured to have these people play, and I think our audience appreciate big names at a small event.

The Jazz Butcher
ZANI: You have popular Psych band and Rugby favourite Roy and the Devil's Motorcycle headlining this year, what makes them such a hit among the gig-goers in the area? Were they a difficult band to book, due to logistics, as they are from Switzerland?

Nick: Our lineup manager worked very hard with their own manager to figure out the logistics, and again, only by the goodwill of our friends and volunteers are we able to get them here and back from the airport. It's an ambitious task for us but we've wanted them to play right from the start. Pete Bassman introduced us and we've been hooked ever since. I think they display a kind of energy and sincerity, and even a kind of violence musically that has great appeal to anyone who loves bands like The Velvet Underground. And of course they take influence from Spacemen 3 so it's great for Rugby folk to hear a kind of local sound travelling back to them from overseas.

ZANI: Rugby band The Anteloids toured Europe with Roy and the Devil's Motorcycle earlier this year, as you were on the tour, what was it like? Are the venues and crowd atmosphere different in Europe than in the UK? Was it fun touring Europe?

Nick: They treated us so well. It was inspiring. All I can say is that we want to try and do the same for bands here. It's how artists should be treated. And yes I think The Anteloids had the time of their lives!

ZANI: The aim of the festival is raising money for charity and the bands/ musicians all play free of charge, can you tell us more about this?

Nick: When we first started most of the bands were playing for free because we just weren't making enough to pay them properly, but now the crowds are bigger we're able to pay every single act what they need, other than a couple who actually insist on performing for free out of dedication to the charity! It's really important to us that artists are paid for their work.

ZANI: Which local bands/ musicians should we be looking out for? Which would you recommend?

Nick: I know that some of the team's favourites would be Will French and Bebe Belge, but I couldn't recommend one band over another, they all contribute something unique to the weekend.

ZANI: This year is your fifth year anniversary; how does it feel to have now been going five years?

Nick: Great. Every year we tighten things up, improve the lineup, get more stalls in and alternative performers. I feel like this year we're going to see the greatest results for our work. Friday night we'll all be celebrating in fancy dress to Rugby bands like the Maranuccis and Fan Tan Jack, and probably all going a bit crazy, hopefully alongside yourself!

ZANI: In an ideal world and if money was no object, which three bands would you have headlining Friday, Saturday and Sunday?

Nick: Personally, I would love to see the Brian Jonestown Massacre play; Wooden Shjips and Bob Log too would go down a storm!

It's clear to see why this festival has done amazingly well and keeps on growing from strength to strength. Will The Pig and Applestock Festival one day go commercial and become another Glastonbury?...who knows...but for now, let's enjoy the moment, a great line-up and great fancy dress!.. but dig out your wellies just in case it does rain...

The Pig and Applestock runs from Friday 26th-28th August and is situated between Rugby and Northampton at Naseby Reservoir.

Directions can be found on The Pig and Applestock website and on the Naseby Reservoir website htttp://

Tickets for the festival can be purchased on the festival website or on the day of the event. Tickets are £25 for weekend camping and £30

Read 4579 times Last modified on Saturday, 20 August 2016 10:07
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Michael Bogojevic ( Solarised Productions)

Michael Bogojevic ( Solarised Productions)

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