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The Route To Festival Stages

What are the key things that festival bookers and organisers are looking for? How to make the most of the festival experience, capitalising on exposure? In the intimate setting on Creative East End, join the discussion with Tom Billington (BBC Introducing), Holly Calder (Freakender), Chris Loomes (DF Concerts) and Chae Houston (Tenement TV) about the multiple routes to festival stages. Get some priceless tips from some of the UK’s top promoters and festival bookers.

Chris Loomes (DF Concerts)

Chris is currently the venue booker in King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut - working closely with the local talent around Scotland, trying to help them propel their careers and pitch them for shows that are going to get them in front of a new audience. He is part of the team that books Tenement Trail and TRNSMT festivals – pitching the best local acts here in Scotland for these opportunities.

Holly Calder (Freakender)

I'm Holly Calder, and I run Freakender in Glasgow alongside Ian Crawford and Ross Keppie.  After years working in music, starting as an assistant promoter at Barfly and then repping and booking for Regular Music, I took a break from working with live music for a couple of years, working back in my family business and just running clubs and DJing while I did this.  A few years ago I began working with Ian (El Rancho Records) again, putting on shows for bands we loved who weren't coming to Scotland, and quickly joined forces with Ross to launch Freakender, the festival. Putting together the first festival together was such a great experience, we decided to work on all of our shows together, and Freakender as its become was truly born.  It's a collective where we all book bands, we rep shows together, all hands on deck so to speak.  Freakender is something I'm exceptionally proud of, we work out of passion and only work with acts we truly believe in. I think we've brought some exceptional bands to the city for the first time. 

Kelly Bates (BBC Introducing)

Kelly Betts is the Production Manager for BBC Music Introducing, working with Introducing since it began. Kelly co-founded an unsigned music show at the BBC called The Box Office, which later became BBC Music Introducing in Beds, Herts & Bucks, championing acts like James Bay, Jack Garratt & Tom Grennan. BBC Music Introducing supports the best emerging talent from across the UK through the local Introducing shows on the BBC. It gives up-and-coming artists opportunities on BBC radio, television and online, alongside the chance to perform at major festivals and showcases in the UK and internationally. Catfish and the Bottlemen, Lewis Capaldi, Mahalia and Chvrches all received BBC Music Introducing support at the start of their careers

Chae Houston (Tenement TV)

Founder / Director at Scotland’s biggest music platform Tenement TV & Tenement Trail Festival. Involved in identifying emerging talent, digital content, social media, directing its projects; from arranging the artists, engaging videographers, sound engineers, production editors, back room staff and budgetary control to promoting and pushing the website to a vast audience. Some hero TTV projects have included creating content for The T Break Stage at T in the Park, backstage sessions at Wickerman + Belladrum, TTV Discover tour, The Great Escape partnership with Creative Scotland promoting Scottish acts. Since its creation in 2011, Chae has worked with artists including Bastille, Lewis Capaldi, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Passenger, Hozier, Kodaline, Nina Nesbitt + more.