A Day In The Life Of The Splendour Festival Team

Words: Gemma Cockrell
Photos: Jake Haseldine, Marcus Holdsworth
Monday 17 July 2023
reading time: min, words

We chat to Matt Newton, Marketing Manager at DHP Family, about what a typical day in his life is like as he prepares for Splendour Festival this weekend...

Credit Jake Haseldine

What is the first thing the marketing team does when you are starting to prepare for Splendour?
We have an amazing team of talented photographers and videographers at Splendour each year, who are in high demand, so I try to book them as early as possible before they get snapped up by another festival or event.

We usually start on the day preparations a few months in advance before booking them, such as sourcing the song rights for our after-movie which can take a lot of time. This is because we often have to speak to a lot of different people, record labels and publishers etc, before getting approval.

How far in advance do you have to start the preparations?
I guess the first preparation for the festival starts around the first line-up announcement, which is at least a few months before the big reveal. We have to make sure the artists are happy with the poster artwork and have everything they need to announce on time too, as well as making sure all the other parties involved, such as our partners, ticket agents and news outlets, have everything they need.

What's the most exciting thing about the build up to the festival from your perspective?
It never stops feeling a bit crazy when it finally comes around after so much work has gone into it everyday for the last six months. The thought of it all coming together, the massive crowds spilling out across the whole of Wollaton Park is really special, and seeing so many people having the time of their life. We monitor the social media, so you really get a sense of excitement from all our followers and fans of the festival, who are all excited for the day to arrive. 

What are the most important parts of your role to ensure the festival goes according to plan?
The most important part of my role is to make sure all the on-the-day information and guidelines are as clear as possible, from responding to messages in our inbox, updating the FAQs on our website, and making sure there is clear information on the screens at the event too. 

Then it’s all about making sure we capture the festival atmosphere and amazing artists, as well as all the extra elements the festival has to offer on the day, through our videographers, photographers and social media team; that’s the fun part!

Matt Newton (2)

What do you think the most effective way of getting the word out about the festival is?
It’s all about making sure every different element is in line and coordinated together from the announcement until the day of the event. From posters in shops, to lamppost banners, bus ads and billboards, radio ads, digital ads across websites, social media channels and posting engaging content too. A great lineup always helps too, so I’ve always been very fortunate in that respect! 

What have people's reactions been like to the lineup this year?
Without a doubt, it’s the best response we’ve ever had to a lineup. We have two heavyweights like Madness and Noel Gallagher at the top of the bill, and the promoters have had the opportunity to also book some amazing contemporary acts to add something new to the lineup; Venbee, Cian Ducrot, DYLAN, Antony Szmeirek and many more have really blown up this year. We’ve done that whilst maintaining the unique and diverse line up spanning lots of decades that Splendour is known for, ensuring there is something for everyone.

Now Splendour is two days, is the job more hectic or difficult?
In a lot of ways, yes! But it also gives us the opportunity to hone in on our craft and make something even bigger and better, and making the festival an even bigger draw. So in a lot of ways it has made the job easier too.

What does the marketing team do the day before the festival?
We are usually running around sorting out last minute things both in the office and on site. There is a real buzz of excitement and anticipation in the office, not just in marketing but in all the different departments. It’s a really great atmosphere. 

Splendour Crowd, Looking Up At Wollaton Hall Credit Marcus Holdsworth

When you wake up on the day of Splendour, what's the first thing you do?
It’s never the best night’s sleep before Splendour, due to a mix of nerves and excitement, so the first thing I will do is get myself a VERY strong coffee, then plan any last minute things I need to sort before I go on site.

What do you do behind the scenes throughout the day that people may not realise?
We actually get to have a lot of fun with the artists behind the scenes, making sure our interviews aren’t too serious. One year we got the artists to try to pronounce Notts slang phrases and try to guess what they meant. A lot of them didn’t fare well, but it was a good laugh.

Do you get to meet the artists who are performing? If so, who are you most excited to meet this year? 
Sam Ryder seems like such a lovely guy, so it would be great to see him. Then there are acts like Madness and Noel Gallagher, who mean so much to so many, they’ve almost got a Godlike status to them, so it will be great to see them in person. Like everyone else, I also have a massive soft spot for Sugababes, so it will be great to see them too!

Splendour tickets are priced at Adult Weekend £102; Adult Day £61; Youth Weekend £67; Youth Day £41 with discounts across all ticket types for city residents. Head to splendourfestival.com to find out more including the VIP tickets on offer. 


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