In these days of here one day, gone the next festivals, promoters for a week and a whole host of pitfalls for bands, it breaks my heart to write this.
In 2012 I successfully launched, promoted and hosted Scotland’s first outdoor camping rock and metal festival. There were no great plans at that point other than to support new, local and emerging bands and talent. By the end of the first event, I decided to take the plunge and host an annual 3 day event with 2 or 3 stages and a host of bands. I had a plan and was well aware that I would suffer losses but within 4 or 5 years would hopefully get to a break even point. That is all I ever wanted, it was never about making money or profit and as I got to help a few charities along the way, life was good.
Sadly the venue I had planned the event around went into receivership in 2014 and I had no option than to move to continue, or to give up.
The new home at Wiston Lodge was a massive leap of faith and belief in the rock and metal community wanting to support and grow such an event North of the border.
The costs multiplied almost 10 fold, with marquees, toilets, showers, pa systems, lighting and security, but with a moderate annual increase in ticket sales annually, I was sure I could still get to that break even point and my own funds would hold out.
Sadly that has not been the case. Despite the great feedback, the superb family friendly atmosphere and the stunning surroundings, it looks like it will be extremely difficult to cross the finishing line, for what should be the 5th anniversary event.
Ironically, despite having our strongest line up to date and more interest that ever before and indeed more new faces buying tickets, the reluctance of people to buy weeks and months in advance has brought me to an impasse.
June is Scotland is peak time for outdoor events, whether that be shows, fairs, weddings or agricultural events. All the equipment I need is hard to find and usually more expensive than normal. Naturally then, all suppliers want to be paid in full weeks in advance or at least receive substantial deposits. If people have not yet bought tickets and I no longer have much left in the pot, then I cannot pay for what I need.
I am urging everyone to buy their Wildfire Tickets now, because if they do not, then there will be no event and almost 5 years of blood, sweat, stress and tears will have come to an end. If they do however purchase now, then we have a great opportunity to save the event, grow and prosper and make it the biggest and best rock and metal event that the North truly deserves.
For those that cannot make it, may have been before, or indeed may have even performed before I have set up a go fund me page and if we can get 10,000 “rockers” to give just £1 today then we may have a bright future. This is not for profit and not absolutely about breaking even, but just to ensure we can be viable and continue. Every single penny can help.