Pigstock festival has an absolutely stellar lineup for 2012. We recently spoke to organiser, Jonny, to find out some history about this fledgling festival.
► What is the story behind how Pigstock started out?
Jonny Tate: It was a friend’s birthday. His nickname is Piggy as he is fond of his food! He had booked a marquee to hold a party and approached me to organize some music. I had been playing in bands for years so it was easy to put a line up together from people I knew. I hired some scaffold, built a stage, borrowed a PA and Pigstock was born. I always hated the name but the locals loved it, and every time I tried to change it there was outrage.
► Was there anything in particular that inspired you to create the festival?
In a word; Glasgowbury. I had been to the festival in the Sperrins a few times and really enjoyed it. I didn’t set out to set up a similar operation but after the first Pigstock there was almost a demand that it be held again. Things grew from there.
► What goes into choosing the bands for the festival? How early does the process start?
I listen to music constantly. I read a lot of music blogs which has proved to be a great way to tap into new music. I just start to form a mental wish list throughout the year. Then around Christmas time we each begin to approach bands. Then the stress begins. Putting together a line up is like herding cats!
► Some NI music fans might not be that familiar with the southern acts on this year’s bill, such as Jogging, Squareheads and Tieranniesaur. How do you think the festival goers will react to these artists, and what persuaded you to bring them to Killinchy?
I think they will love them. I really believe in these bands. I want people to start to trust Pigstock musically. For me this is the biggest perk of the job. I know some of the bands we have had play at the festival will go on to bigger and bigger things!
► We are very lucky to have many great festivals in N.Ireland, what do you feel makes Pigstock different to others?
All the festivals have their own vibe and feel. We are the first one of the year. There is a great outpouring of energy as people shake off the winter and welcome in the summer. I think we are just a great, value for money festival experience.
► Over the years what has been your fondest memory of Pigstock?
Watching my dad make an eejit out of himself dancing to Farriers in a packed marquee, right at the front too!
► In contrast, what is the hardest part about putting the whole event together?
It is a very stressful thing to do. It is difficult enough putting the whole thing together but it is the things outside your control that keep you awake at night. Namely the weather!!
► 2012 is set to be the biggest Pigstock yet; what’s going to be new about the festival this year?
Every year is an evolution for us. We strip out the things that may not have worked to full effect the year before and reinforce the things that worked really well. We have tweaked the site layout this year and I feel we have really got it right. This is going to be the Vibeiest year yet!!
► What are you personally most excited about going into Pigstock 2012?
I feel we have the strongest line up we have ever had, couple that together with the best site layout so far. If we get a reasonable deal with the weather I really think this could be the best year in the history of Pigstock.
► For those who might not have been to the festival before, what should they expect from it?
They will get to fully experience the freedom of being themselves for the weekend. They will get to see some amazing bands and I guarantee they will go away with a band they have not heard before but that they will become fans of. And most of all they can expect GOOD TIMES!!