Yardlife: The UK Festival Putting Quality Before Profit

It's true the festival circuit ain't what it used to be, but there are still some well worth your hard earned cash. I spoke to the brains behind one such event, Yard Life, which takes place in London this weekend.
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‘Ohhhhmegerd, another London festival you say? How exciting’

Something no Londoner, over the age of 18 said in the last 3 years.

Festival season used to be exciting. There were only about 5 to choose from and the line ups were pretty sound. Nowadays, the choice is outrageous. So outrageous, we can’t deal with it. In 2012 alone over 900 were cancelled due mainly to a slump in ticket sales. Last year big names Like Sonsisphere and Hop Farm were cancelled. The Brits love affair with the #UKMuddyFieldScene is dying a death.

So why would anyone bother setting up yet ANOTHER festival?

I spoke to Jen Lloyd, the director and founder of Yardlife Festival to ask her why she’d be crazy enough to have a crack at saturated festival market.

What's the point of the Yardlife festival Jen?

I wanted to raise money for charity and I had two options in my head. Run a festival that could showcase great new music talent and involve my pals in stealth charity… or run a marathon, and in the process alienate myself from my friends by constantly updating them about my training regime.

I thought the latter was the more social option and ultimately, I’m not much of a runner.

Why's it different?

Well, there are many reason we think we’re a bit different, even from a charitable perspective.

Firstly, this isn’t about making profit, or syphoning off cash secretly to egotistical bands who want a fee. This about loads of very talented people giving up a slice of their valuable time to support a really amazing cause.

We’re not look to hammer people at the bar, so everything will be priced fairly. We won’t be taking on a big bad corporate sponsor, and we have bands there based on talent… not because NME put them in their ‘top ten haircuts to follow’ listicle.

All the profits will be going straight to charity, even the cloak room money (so bring a coat please!)

Who are you and what's your story?

I am just a massive music fan who is good at organising things. I have a day job at Universal music which I love. I spend all my spare time at gigs / organising YardLife. My Dad was diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis when he was in his early 30's we cared for him at home, he couldn't walk, talk or do anything for himself and he passed away in 2006.

Dad was a massive music fan (where I get my impeccable taste from) and I wanted to do something special  in his honour and to raise money for the charity that is working tirelessly to find a cure. And here I am. Loving it, at times, I think what they hell are you doing, but mainly loving it!

I heard about Yard Life before, what happened?

Yeah, that was awkward. Two venues let us down, one was a Church. I mean, you can’t even get angry at a Church, even if they fail on admin throwing your whole reputation / festival under the bus! We had Pete Doherty lined up too… So, totally devastating, but we’re back and we think we’ll have something even better than we had before. Licences are agreed, we have a superb venue in Angel (Islington Metal Works) and we’re unbelievably excited about the event.

Music Jen, tell me the 3 bands I need to be seeing

The three acts most excited about are Justin Robertson (Sunday), Bambi (Saturday) and Younghusband (Sunday).

Here's the playlists on Soundcloud.

Tell me about the alcohol Jen

We've got the awesome Hawkes alcoholic ginger beer, made in London, it's great!

The food?

The food is going to be excellent. BBQ, jerk chicken and general BBQ classics. It’d best be sunny! (p.s. I am assured there will be vege options!)

The interrogation is nearly over, finally, tell me why we should hand over our hard earned time and cash to spend it with you this weekend?

We’re targeting the unorganised at this point. If you don’t have anything in place, make yourself a hero with your friends by suggesting Yardlife. We’ll take care of your every need (within reason) and make sure your sense are blown away with an action packed 2 days. There are loads of brilliant unsigned bands and DJs to listen to, there’s a massive core of great people already attending and we’re also lining up a few cheeky surprises to make sure your weekend is as incredible as it can be.

Right, are you in?

I’m in Jen.

So if you don’t have your ticket this weekend and you’re at a loose end, spend it with Jen from Yardlife with all proceeds going to a fantastic charity.

Happy Easter! 

Below are the details.

Yard Life

Islington Metal Works

Saturday 19th April & Sunday 20th April

Tickets from £20 (all proceeds to MS Research)

Buy Here

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