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September 2019

Ask 'the festivals': Aaron Snowdon from Live At Leeds gives us a peak behind-the-scenes of this 'putting on an event' lark

This year's festival is just a few days away, you know.
Published: 1:52 pm, May 02, 2018
Ask 'the festivals': Aaron Snowdon from Live At Leeds gives us a peak behind-the-scenes of this 'putting on an event' lark
"They should have booked INSERT MASSIVE BAND HERE!", we all cry. "Why don't they just put on more loos?", we ask. Seriously, when it comes down to it, we don't know much about running a festival. But that's okay, because we've tracked down the people behind your favourite events, and asked them all the questions you'll ever need to know. (Okay, maybe not the toilet one.) First up, we have Aaron Snowdon from Live At Leeds, which is taking place this Saturday (5th May) with Peace (pictured), The Horrors, Circa Waves and loads more.

Hey Aaron, tell us about your involvement with Live At Leeds - how did you come to work on the festival?
Hi! I started working on Live at Leeds in 2015. After pretty much attending the festival every year (either playing it with my band or reviewing it for Leeds music magazines / University) I was really pleased to join the team. LAL was the best day of the year for me; it’s great to see 10,000 people in the city on one day, all coming together to enjoy live music.

What’s been the highlight of your time working on the event?
I think working with such a dedicated team who thrive to make the event a success is the best part. Everyone from ticketing, to marketing, to the booking team and then to the volunteers. It’s so rewarding watching the event take place after all the hard work that goes into it behind the scenes. I mean, watching 2000+ people going bonkers to White Lies at 4pm in the afternoon is definitely a highlight.

How do you put together your line-up?
There are three of us that work on Live at Leeds in terms of booking the line-up. I think a lot of it is designed to play to our audience. We try to make it the best possible mix of artists, so that there is something for everyone. The beauty of LAL is that you never know what new artist is going to become your new favourite band.

What’s the most challenging aspect of putting on a festival?
I guess trying to make your festival line up stand out from the crowd is the tricky part. There are lots of green field and metropolitan festivals popping up all over the county (which is, of course, great for the industry) and it’s encouraging that people are buying tickets to festivals again. Our aim is to bring something a little more exclusive to Leeds, and I think we managed to achieve it this year.

What does the future hold for Live At Leeds?
I’d love to see the festival grow from a 10,000 capacity in the near future. We’re always pushing ourselves to do more exciting secret sets, add more venues to the programme. We’re currently booking over 200 artists across 20+ stages, so I guess adding some more can’t hurt!

What advice would you give others who’d like to work on live events and festivals?
I’d say if you’re wanting to start getting involved in live music events/festivals then start small, and gradually work up. I got into booking shows at the age of 15 and learnt the hard way trying to do something I wasn’t ready to do. I’ve been working in live music in some form or other for nearly ten years this year, so yeah, keep it simple then move up when you’re ready. Also, never be afraid to ask for help I guess, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without help from peers.

You can find out more about this summer's festival fun in Dork's Festival Guide 2018 - order your copy below. Live At Leeds takes place on 5th May at various venues in Leeds.

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