As we all know, Bloodstock Open Air festival is one of the most successful and respected festivals that the fans enjoy every year. It is no secret that the music business is very male dominated, especially when it comes to big festivals such as Bloodstock. One would assume that it is a team of guys behind the most popular festival in the U.K…….well..think again…one of the main promoters / bookers for the festival comes in the form of a gorgeous brunette with an avid love for heavy metal and very shrewd sense of business and the market in music named Vicky Gregory.
Vicky is a woman who has been making a great name for the festival by running it and promoting the festival through various social networking tools and always hyping the event, booking the right bands and giving new bands a chance for some great exposure. Aside from her beauty, Vicky’s taste in great music , friendly and positive personality with everyone from the fans to the bands always makes her memorable. No matter ow small or big the band playing on Bloodstock, they are definitely treated no differently from one another since Vicky is one of the most hospitable promoters with the most organised festival.
I was lucky enough to find out more about Vicky and what goes into promoting the best festival ever during a quick interview.
1: Please tell us exactly what you do at Bloodstock festival amp; how long you have been involved.
I book the bands for the main stage amp; the sophie lancaster stage, I control the facebook, twitter accounts but my main role is to secure the line up. I have been involved since day one back in 2001
2: What do you think is the biggest misconception about putting together such a great event?
I think people presume the bands they want are always available when you want them and then get annoyed when we cant get a said band, I also think people think like the Bill amp; Ted movie famously quoted ” Book the bands and they will come ” and this is far from the case theres a lot more that goes into ensuring all elements of the festival are balanced
3: what is the hardest part putting Bloodstock together amp; the most fun part?
The hardest part is securing the bands you want, to any festival that’s integral and theres always competition from other fests / promoters — — the most fun is simply staring out from the main stage on the weekend of Bloodstock seeing 12,000 fans having an amazing time and thinking this is my families festival ..its a feeling I cannot describe
4: What would you be doing if you were not promoting Bloodstock?
Hard question as I’ve been involved with Bloodstock such a long time — — — — — — I adore music so something in the industry or working with animals, I’m a huge animal lover and my compassion for the furry friends is sometimes bigger than my passion for people =)
5: Are there any funny stories that come to mind ..
Oh so many !!! We had in our first open air lightening strike the main stage and really bad gale force winds that blew the main stage back drop clean off so you could see from the backstage area straight into the crowd — — — — — — in 2007 the main stage power died half way through the band WOLF’s set, so as we tried to fix it Wolf decided to entertain the crowds by doing a strip tease — — — it worked and it seemed a shame to turn the power back on we all enjoyed their cameo !!! So many stories but some could never be aired to the public I am afraid =)
6: What is it like being the only, and most prominent, female promoter in such a male dominated world?
I take that as a compliment =) It’s a very male dominated world but I think if you stand firm you do eventually gain respect — .I do good a job as anyone and luckily in 2011 sexism isnt as rife as it would have been 20 years ago for example — — .proof of the pudding is in the eating and I deliver the goods =) It works in my advantage too as they never expect sometimes what they get, I am a very firm when it comes to business =)
7: Do you ever see yourself getting involved in any other aspect of the music business ?
I would like to be involved in music management one day, I love the idea of being part of a band from inception and being part of pushing that band onto bigger things, that must be huge satisfaction and the greatest bands have incredible management teams behind them
8: What type of hobbies do you have ?
I am a keen pole dancer and as bizaare and it sounds it’s one of the best ways to develop core muscle strength — — — .I am a typical woman so shopping, shoes amp; the beauty salon all figure highly in my hobbies — .if you can call them that x I also attend a lot of gigs as music is such a profound amp; important part of my life
9: What was your first concert ?
My first gig was a saxon show when I was maybe 7 years old, my dad is great friends with Biff and has painted their album covers for over 30 years so I was lucky to meet great Metal acts from an early age
10: what are your top 5 metal albums of all time amp; why?
( get back to you on this SUCH a hard one )
11; what goes into a day in the life of Vicky Gregory when you are not promoting Bloodstock?
My life is pretty normal, I work in advertising when not Bloodstocking so have a fairly un rock and roll lifestyle — — — — homelife is incredibly important to me so I spend as much time with my loved ones as I can, work, eat, sleep amp; shop all fit in there somewhere =)
12: How many months out of the year do you work on Bloodstock?
It’s a 12 Month cycle, I start booking bands sometimes 15 months before the festival as we have so much to plan and there cannot be any let up. We are a family run event so do not have a team of employed staff as all the corporate fests do , therefore we have to work harder and longer hours than most to make sure everything runs smoothly — — — — — — .having time away from Bloodstock has never been an option =)
13: What are your thoughts on the music business nowadays?
The music business is a complex machine these days and has drastically changed since things like illegal downloading and the internet — — I think unsigned bands need more support, it’s a tough world for emerging talent and everything seems to be money driven these days not talent driven — — .This was a key factor in why Bloodstock has the unsigned stage amp; Metal 2 the masses initiatives running, it gives the unsigned bands a real chance to be seen amp; showcase their talents and possibly get record deals or tours, Bloodstock does this for free as todays young metal bands are tomorrows future Metallicas — — — —
14: Where can people go to get more information about the festival?
The festival website www.bloodstock.uk.com or the facebook www.facebook.com/bloodstock …………..you can also buy tickets through HMV, seetickets and ticket master — — — to view footage also visit the official youtube www.youtube.com/ bloodstockfestivals