Interview: Breaking Bands Festival’s organiser Mucka Jay

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The BREAKING BANDS FESTIVAL keeps on going from strength to strength and
this year’s festival promises to be the best yet. Taking place at the Stoke
Prior Sports & Country Club in Bromsgrove, the Festival is renowned for
delivering the very best up and coming Metal, Punk and Rock bands to the
general public, and this year’s event will be no different. True to form,
Breaking Bands Festival will showcase even more bands in 2017, and this year
there will also be an increase in events. As with previous years, the
festival runs for three full days throughout the late May Bank Holiday,
which falls on 26th-28th May 2017.

The line-up has something for everyone and features the best in metal, rock
and punk. This year’s day headliners are Forgotten Remains, Massive Wagons,
and Acid Reign. The festival also features Seething Akira, Falling Red,
Metasoma, Core Of Io, Damn Dice, Fahran, Red Spektor, Footprints In Custard,
iDestroy, and many many more.

Organised by Mucka Jay (Hard Rock Hell Radio), the festival was founded in
2015, has been shortlisted for Best Small Festival & Best Festival for
Emerging Talent (UK Festival Awards), and winner of Best Festival and Best
Festival Stage Crew (Obscure Chaos-Zine). Hundreds of tickets have already
been snapped up for this year’s event, so Breaking Bands will once again
sell out. To purchase your tickets, visit their website and discover the new bands of
tomorrow, today!

We caught up with Jay as he talked about the festival nearly selling out and more!

So how proud are you that the festival is nearly selling out once again?

Extremely proud to be sold out for all 3 years of the festival. Having been to many festivals large and small, one of my pet hates is seeing a stage with very few people stood watching the smaller bands in favour of waiting until the big names are on stage or on another stage with clashing times. We concentrate our efforts firstly on getting the best lin-up we can possibly find and then secondly, making sure those bands have a good full house as their captive audience. How else will a band progress if not in front of a packed venue?

Are you pleased with the line up this year?

Very pleased with this years line-up. When trying to put the band order together it reminded me how fantastic the line-up actually is. I know its expected I would say this but I do strongly believe this is the best line-up for a small festival the UK will get this year. So many bands on the bill that have or are going to play bigger festivals and that is what we want as well as some curve balls thrown in to surprise everyone.

So the festival is been about for just under three years now, have you had any experience before this?

Yes. I have managed stages at other festivals over the past 10 years as well as put on my own smaller events up and down the UK. The production manager Steve Jacobs has been involved in music since the early 80’s working with Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Motorhead, Thin Lizzy, Hawkwind and many many others.

If you could bring any band from one year, who would it be and why?

Pretty much every single band because they were all stunning. From day 1 we knew this would grow well and it really has become a festival that even bigger bands are asking to be on. In year 5 we will be having a reunion of many of the bands from previous years and I do hope to see many from year one get another shot on the stage. Personally, although a bigger band (and special guests) I would love to see another reformation of Breed 77 who actually retired at the end of their set at Breaking Bands Festival in year 1. They are a band that many younger bands aspire to be like and we’d have them back in a heartbeat.

Would you like the festival to be bigger, if so how?

We already have a 5 year and a 10 year goal for the festival to grow as it is definitely something we have always wanted to do but as production manager Steve keeps reminding me ‘walk before you run’. We do plan to eventually go to a bigger site and one has already been earmakred though we cannot say the location at present. If and when we decide to expand, it will still be with the ethos of promoting smaller bands on the bigger stage. There are already plenty of festivals for the established bands to play at, we want to give the next generation a chance.

How different is it doing radio as opposed to organising the festival?

Having been in radio for 8 years and the festival for only 3 years its all become part of the same thing now. When I DJ on radio I often put a playlist together of bands I’d love to see on a festival line-up. Now, the reality is, I can actually do that! The radio experience has definitely helped with the festival side of things. Understanding the bands, the music and the fans has all come from radio and I have now found a way for them to co-exsist.

Do you go to many festivals yourself?

I am now the station manager for Hard Rock Hell Radio which is part of the Chic Festivals/Hard Rock Hell company so this year I am booked to go to every one of the festivals they have. This definitely gives me lots of bands to look at for the festival having already been to 4 big festivals before Spring even kicked in! Apart from the HRH events I still go to some of the smaller festivals to support the promoters as well as spot bands for our own festival. There are some very good festivals around to go and relax and chat to people and the bands themselves.

What do you get up to you in your spare time?

The odd spare moment I get I watch the footy and try and get to a few games a season but that is getting hard as Breaking Bands Festival is becoming a full time job! In the evenings I like to switch off and stick the telly on. Love watching crime dramas as much as possible as it gets me away from the real world!!


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