The Festival Voice Presents: Summer Love

Summer Love Festival launched last year on Saturday 5th September 2021 and takes place again this year! They’ve changed the dates, though, so get ready for a blast! 

1) What inspired the name of the festival?

During this awful recent pandemic, my partner Steve Whyte & I knew that we could expect another summer of love sometime soon, the last being when Acid House exploded in 1988. After the best part of 2 years of restricting us all from being able to celebrate life together properly, people are ready to explode. The last summer of love came hot on the heels of the mid to late-80s recession, with people needing an escape from the madness that is life. This new explosion is right around the corner, hence the name Summer Love. We’re lovers. Lovers of summer, lovers of quality music, lovers of fun & lovers of our extended family, built in London & the South East of England over 3.5 decades of underground clubbing. That & the roaring 20s is now right upon us.

2) What is your favourite part about throwing festivals?

It’s extremely hard work, but creating a magical event from the ground up, creating a fairytale setting & seeing the end creation for people to lose themselves in is very rewarding for myself, Steve & our excellent team. Of course, the music across all 5 stages will be phenomenal so dancing my skinny butt off all day is going to be amazing. 

3) What is the most challenging part about throwing festivals?

Of course, the organisation of the infrastructure & building a festival in fields is extremely hard work. Promotion & marketing to our targeted audience is a constant challenge, but I’ll be blatantly honest, right now it’s coping with the change in the way tickets are purchased by the public that’s a real ball ache. The trend now is that 50% of all ticket sales happen in the final 4 weeks before the event. That’s a huge change from pre-pandemic trends & can be extremely worrying at times. It’s the reason that sadly some festivals have been cancelled. We’re looking good to hit the 1500-2000 expected for this boutique event thankfully. We’re capping at 2000 people this year. 

4) How do you pick your artists?

We know all of our DJs & live artist colleagues as friends. I’ve worked with the likes of Ron Tom, Jazzy M & Jasper the Vinyl Junkie since our LWR days in the mid 80s. I used to live in the next street to Earl Gateshead as a teenager, top Roots DJ for real.  I’ve been lucky enough to make music with the legendary Robert Owens. I’ve worked with Evil Eddie Richards since 1986. Saytek & Miss C are artists on my Superfreq label & my Superfreq partner David Scuba flying in. Steve has been booking much of our line up for his events for years & Jonny White has an army of DJs on Graffiti Kings Radio. The entire line up are the crews of Superfreq, GKR & our Return to Heaven events & a few guests. So picking the line up was easy. They’re family, on every stage. We’re very proudly a predominantly British talent based festival & are fortunate enough to have mates who are not only the original first wave of House & Techno DJs who broke Electronic Dance Music in the mid to late 80s, but also the DJs what preceded the rave scene as well as the shining new talent that’s coming through today, tomorrow’s heroes. 

5) Why did you start throwing events?

I’m new to festivals with this being our 2nd year with SLF, but I’ve been throwing events for 35 years & I often wonder why I do so, but the style of events I throw are generally for people into quality underground dance music & fun lifestyles. It’s the same attitude of that exciting first summer of love, that we put into opening The End nightclub in London in 1995, which created the blueprint for all clubs that were to follow, that fuels Superfreq events today. I sometimes think if I don’t put these events on who will & what would a whole bunch of family & friends losing out on valuable community & family celebration experiences do instead?  We are an extended family who welcome new people with open hearts & open minds with open arms & we need to have our raving experiences & music just so, with love, so we do it ourselves.