So after months of prep work, hype and anticipation, Wickerman festival enters the final stretch. The much loved Dumfries & Galloway event prepares itself to become one of the festival gems of the calendar once again. Skiddle’s close ties with the Scottish festival culminate in a week of palpable synergy between events organizer and ticketing agency, as Skiddle go above and beyond to ensure that Wickerman is as successful as possible.
To give you a feel for how Skiddle goes that extra mile for the events we work with we thought we’d chronicle the opening days of hands on work in preparation for Wickerman 2013, as Skiddle step out of the office and onto the festival field.
We set off last night (after a few standard delays, dodgy tail lights etc.. you know the score!) and arrived at a remote farm house after night fall, greeted by long time Skiddle festival coordinators Woody and Luke. Immediately conversation turned towards plans for grandiose set designs, intriguing anomalies and wacky talking points – all things which Wickerman has become so well known for. Skiddle’s Director and Co-founder Rich Dyer is the idea guy, Woody & Luke are two of the guys that make it happen – poor sods!
Photo: Rich, Ste, and Woody decipher plans for Skiddle’s Bass Camp stage…
Skiddle has had a long standing relationship with the Wickerman, one on paper that seems odd. What does a primary ticket outlet based in Lancashire have to do with a boutique festival in Kirkcudbrightshire?
How Skiddle Got Involved with The Wickerman
Attending on the off chance some nine years ago, Rich Dyer was enthralled by the aesthetic and excitement generated by the fledgling festival. Enquiring as to whether as part of Skiddle he could return the following year with a ticketing partnership and dance tent, a feature which had been sorely missing until that point, Wickerman agreed. Skiddle did just that the following year, and took the festival by storm.
It is also happens to be the festival where Dyer was reunited with childhood friend Emma. They soon began dating, and in a following year got engaged, all at the festival. Capturing something of a romantic festival ideal has something that has spurred Rich on, endeavouring to put his experience and passion for events organization into this personally special festival, resulting in an experience for festival goers that will capture the imagination.
Skiddle’s dance area alongside the ever impressive Em-It stage has become the festival highlight for many, opening up the event to a wider range of age groups, resulting in it not only being family friendly, but a place where younger adult ages and ageing ravers now have representation. Over the past few years Skiddle has been committed to improving working relationships with the festival, enticing ever more impressive artists to the line up, and getting more elaborate props and points of interest to add that special je ne sais quoi to the festival vim.
Maximizing Exposure For The Wickerman
A recent example is the introduction of Jimmy Carr’s head. If you’ve not heard of this deranged, bordering on genius idea, head here – but imagine being served fresh cool beer from a 15ft effigy of the TV funny man’s cranium, and you’ll got an idea of what the festival has in store. Prepare to be confused, astounded and enthralled with Skiddle’s plans for this year’s edition.
What is clearly demonstrated in a large way with Skiddle’s teamwork with Wickerman is the potential of its relationship with promoters. Far more than being just someone to sell tickets with, the potential resource that Skiddle holds for clients is vast. By building strong ties with promoters and actively helping them to expand events, reach wider audiences and build on event potential, Skiddle remains actively ahead of the field. With genuine verve for events organization and bringing to the public the best levels of entertainment, Skiddle’s passion and know-how, as seen with Wickerman, can combine with a promoters vision to create events that are as commercially successful as they are memorable.
As the preparations get underway, I will be taking the opportunity to speak to as many people as I can in and around the festival site, getting a behind the scenes feel for what lies ahead for Wickerman 2013.
Anyway, back to the arrival at the farmhouse. After a few crudely drawn sketches, friendly arguments, and banter combines with a couple of beers (just a couple, honest), we bedded down for the night aware of the mammoth tasks that lay ahead in the morning. Whilst a heavy dose of hard graft awaits, general consensus is that the effort is completely worth it – a fulfilling venture that resonates on many levels.
If you’re not already using Skiddle to promote your events head on over to our Promotion Centre and get them listed! If you’re already promoting your events with us, please speak to our account managers on 0843 2893333 to find out how we can help you get the most for your event.