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Basingstoke Live - what's on in the 100% TENT
THE tireless Laurence Hoare, known to all as Lozza, is one of the promoters responsible for the success of Basingstoke Live.
He’s also one of the most successful figures in the local music scene – and this year, he secured places for four bands at Blissfields, the first time Basingstoke acts have been included.
He, Patsy Neal and Paul Midgley got together in 2008 to try and save Basingstoke Live, as attendance for the 2007 event, featuring Chesney Hawkes, had sunk to just 1,500 people.
Lozza recalled: “I remember in March 2008, myself, Paul and Patsy having a meeting about what we could do to save Basingstoke Live. It just didn’t feel like a local event and the attendance had slipped way down. And it wasn’t cool to attend.
“So we sat down to work out what we could do as it was on its way out. The outsourcing to people who didn’t know the town had clearly failed
“I said I’d do a tent for two days with all local bands, Patsy said she’d bring in the DJs and rappers and everyone she knew, and Paul said he’d talk to the council about the infrastructure.”
The trio’s radical ideas were snapped up – and success was immediate, taking them all by surprise.
Lozza said: “I was new to the town then. I knew all the bands but I hadn’t been promoting all that long. So I booked sort of mates really, and Patsy did the same. The Light Lounge paid for 5,000 free CDs to promote it and then it just went bang!
“Attendance went up to 8,000 in 2008, which was really brilliant. It was a shock but sometimes you have got to listen to what people want.
“The festival now is geared towards that, which makes total sense and which is why the numbers have almost doubled every year since – up to 50,000 in 2011. It’s working.”
This year’s 100% Tent
Lozza said: “Everybody in Basingstoke wants to play, for sure. I could have three tents – I want three tents – and fill ’em!
“I try to change it as much as possible. Last year, I put 23 bands on and this year only two are coming back so there are 21 new bands.
“The 100% Tent is supposed to be a reflection of what’s happened in the town over the 12 months, so unfortunately it means that some great bands who have been around for three years or so get overlooked.
“I have kind of got a formula. If it’s a band from outside Basingstoke, they need to have been built up locally.
“In 2008, I put on a really good band but nobody had heard of them and the tent emptied. I felt terrible for them!
“So now, if anyone wants to play, they need to come and do a few gigs for me through the year so that people can see that they’re associated with 100% Music, I can see what they’re like live, and I can find out if they’re nice to work with. You want to work with nice bands.
“Anyone’s welcome to play the festival, but they have got to put the graft in on a Thursday night, playing to sometimes not many people and getting people to like you.”
The comperes – Bibs & Marshall
“The comperes are a duo. One of them used to be in a band, the first under-18 band to play at the Light Lounge. “They are really fun and they keep the atmosphere going. They are both local and they know their music. They come on and make up silly songs about the band that’s coming up. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t! All part of the fun.”
Fearing New York, Treasures, Glow in the Dark Shark, Sundance Squires, OKCorell, Green Embers, The Snare, Mortdelamer, Kinky Boot Beasts, Ripslide, kts, Sylvan Souls, New Groove Formation
Lozza said: “Saturday is a bit more of a 100% mash up. I have a dance band playing for the first time called kts. They have just been signed as well. I wanted them to be on when it’s dark and you’ll get the most from their lights and smoke machines and stuff.
“The idea of the Sunday is that it’s a contrast to the main stage, which is the tribute-led family stuff like From the Jam, One Step Too Late and so on.
“With that happening, there’s no point us going for accessible stuff so we have more niche music, but the tent will still be packed.
Ashes, Just Add Monsters, Dead ‘Orse, Motherload, Kamikaze Test Pilots, Smokey B*stard, Blood of the Spectre, Ageless Oblivion, Karrion
Lozza said: “It’s the heaviest day of music in the tent ever with metal and hard rock. But it’s not so heavy that it will scare people. There will be melody, there will be harmony – it will be fantastic.
“We are really lucky to have Motherload from High Wycombe coming. They are an under-the-radar band about to explode and. And Karrion are one of my favourites, great to be around, great company and great fun!
“Ageless Oblivion got four stars from Kerrang for their debut album, and that is properly great. They played Sanctuary and it was impressive. We also have Kamikaze Test Pilots who are fantastic.”
Find out more about the line-up at onehundredpercent music.com.