James: Hi and welcome to Behind The Scene, today I am joined by festival organiser and co founder of First Light Fest Georgia Timms. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. So Georgia, how did the idea of First Light Fest come about ?
Georgia: The idea of First Light came about after I had been a bartender at a local nightclub for a few years (being a lover of live music and somebody who finds it hard to get around DJs and nightclubs on a night out) I was starting to think that there are close to no venues in the eastern suburbs that host live bands (especially up and coming bands). It's either nightclubs or pubs. But no where for young people to go and play, support their mates in bands or meet others in the industry. Along with this I was told that the nightclub I was working at (Orange Whip) used to host many live bands quite some years ago and it baffled me that this venue only opens 2 nights a week but has the potential to run live music nights as this is what it was originally used for, with a perfect layout for bands, sound system and multiple stages. Both of these things combined pushed my passion to start a live music venue out in the burbs!
James: It’s great that you are bringing back music to the eastern suburbs,How did you come up with the name First Light Fest ? , is their any special meaning behind the name ?
Georgia: I was very stumped for names as the options are endless. We wanted to come up with something that represented what we were trying to do. I actually went through my iTunes library (because what better way to get inspiration for a music night than by looking at band and song names) so it actually came from the song 'First Light' by Django Django. Being a summer inspired festival, it represents for us, the first light of summer as well as the first light of live music in a space that hasn't seen it for so long.
James: It's an amazing concept that you guys are bringing to life through the festival, When first organising the festival did you draw inspiration from any particular Festival’s
Georgia: Not particularly. We had a look at a few Facebook pages, more so how they've promoted it and what seemed to have worked for them. We liked the vibe behind Sweaty Palms festival and Off Tap festival.
James: Looking at the Festival lineup you have some pretty diverse act’s, how did you go about choosing the acts you wished to appear on the first year of the Festival ?
Georgia: Well I do want to mention, that Twisted Willows were also behind the idea before it took off. I was actually at a gig once and members from Twisted Willows and STOKA came up to me, and told me they wanted to run a summer fest type thing with their mates that were all in similar sounding bands. So that's a big part of how we wanted our lineup to go, mates who all knew each other but don't get much opportunity to play shows at a place close to home. So a few of the bands came from Twisted Willows recommendation, a few others were friends of mine that are in similar sounding bands, and then as we were building the lineup for our rooftop stage the same kind of thing happened, we just had mates recommend other mates bands and lots of other coincidental connections. Which is super cool for us, as our whole idea is 'to have all of our friends in the same room at the same time'!
James: It sounds like the festival will be filled with friends and good vibes, How many people are you anticipating to attend the first year of First Light Fest ?
Georgia: We're expecting around 250
James: Wow you must be stoked at that number for the first year of the festival, What would you say is the one defining characteristic of First Light Festival that sets it apart from all other festivals?
Georgia: We like to think of it as a wave of something new and a breath of fresh air in this area and for everybody starting out in the industry!
James: I’m sure you must be excited for Friday, How did you go about organising an interstate act to play the festival, was their any major boundaries you have had to overcome to make this happen ?
Georgia: It actually just happened to work out really well. They randomly kept coming up on my spotify, shuffling with some of my favourite bands (who are similar sounding to this kind of event) and I thought they were great. Looked them up on Facebook and noticed they were from QLD, thought there would be no way they'd come down here for a first time event on such short notice. But I messaged them just saying 'I don't suppose you're coming down to Melbourne anytime soon?' and they pretty much said they were super keen to play the festival and they'll book other Melbourne shows around the same weekend so they can play First Light for us. They asked me to book the rest of their shows actually, so it worked out really well for both of us! No boundaries at all, was a super easy agreement
James: It's always really awesome to have an artist that is easy to work with, I see that you are running two stages a main stage and a rooftop stage, how did you go about deciding to have two stages and not more?
Georgia: Well, with it being a summer festival we really wanted to utilize the rooftop beer garden, as it's one of the best parts of the venue. So we put some smaller and more local acts up there, with more chilled out vibes than downstairs. We don't have room for anymore stages. In saying that there's another room in the venue that won't be opening for this event, but who knows if it blows up we may be able to run something with all 3 rooms in the future!
James: The rooftop beer garden is a really cool idea and awesome feature for the festival, my final question, How has the music community reacted to First Light Fest, has their been many people that have expressed interest in getting involved with the festival and its future years to come?
Georgia: We have had quite some interest from both bands and people who just want to be on board. With it being a first time event, its obviously a tough one to get a lot of people around the idea. We're hoping after the first one and everybody seeing how great the idea is, the more it will be spoken about, gaining more and more interest. We really want to create a community for local alternative and indie bands, so the more people who come to the event, tell their friends about it, and get involved in whatever way the warmer the community will be around it!
James: Well thank you for taking the time to talk to us today Georgia, and I wish you all the best for the festival. First Light Fest is happening this Friday 15th of December 2017, tickets are $30 and this lineup is not one to be missed, follow the link bellow to secure your ticket.