As Create Festival has grown they have managed to get more and bigger talent coming to play in Ashford’s Victoria Park. But the festival remains true to its roots, and seeks to nurture and support local talent, providing a platform for up and coming artists to play alongside established bands.
The Maywaves (12.45, Main Stage) are one such local band. Harry from the band says that “Create festival helps young talent by giving them a chance to play on a big stage and get their names out there a bit, and they also provide help getting gigs past the festival too!”
Create works closely with Ashford College, and a number of the bands on the bill are alumni from the music qualification. ‘I attended Ashford college for a little while and they really got me back into my music after I took a 2-year break. Ultimately that gave me the kick up the backside to play drums again and now here I am!’ says Harry.
Ashford College returns as a key supporter for the event, sponsoring the DJ Stage and offering visitors a chance to create their own EDM tracks with guidance from Music Technology tutors. Their marketing team will also be there to provide information on their wide range of courses and answer any questions.
Rob Forsyth is Team Leader in Art & Design and Music Technology at the college. ‘It’s hugely important for us to support the local arts and cultural scene, and Create provides the perfect opportunity for our music technology students to gain practical onsite festival experience to supplement their courses. Our students will be employing their technical skills behind the scenes, developing their knowledge and networking with professionals in the industry. They get the great experience of watching the acts knowing they’ve played a valuable part in the support crew for the festival.’
As well as the College, Create work with local artists from all backgrounds. Canterbury Academy’s Cooper Stout (12.00, Main Stage), from Bethersden, recently appeared on TV musical bootcamp Got What It Takes? The 14-year old says that ‘I have had amazing support from the local community, I played my first open mic night at 12 and still love doing them when I get the chance they have been a great way to build my confidence on stage. It’s a great opportunity for me to perform on the Main Stage at Create Festival in front of loads of people! I’m really exited to get my music out to the people in Ashford and Kent. I want my music to get heard and Create will hopefully give me a bit exposure. It will be the biggest stage I’ve played so far and I can’t wait to get up there and show people what I can do.’
Ashford based singer-songwriter, Freyja Ellen Cook (15.10, Community Stage) will be performing a mix of original songs and covers. Jaz Ellington (15.00, Main Stage) will be bringing his soulful sounds to the event. ‘Local festivals are cool because they give local talent a chance to hone their skills and get performance experience. It’s also a great way for communities to come together positively,’ he says.
So if you want to see some great local talent, Create Festival is the place to be!