Making Of The Big Sesh

As the front-woman for Charlie Says and about to turn 28 we wanted to have a big gig on the Saturday 20th of April to celebrate our new music and my birthday and where better to have it than at our place of work and favourite live music venue, NosDa! Joe Kelly of Pass the Buck was organising something on the Sunday already and a big musical weekend was definitely on the cards. That’s why it seemed natural to join forces and create the third edition of The Big Sesh!


 
       

Festivals have been part of my life for over ten years, as a caterer though and rarely a punter, so I had a lot of experience with what you want from a festival and how to organise one whereas Joe had already showcased a handful of events and had good contacts. Steve, the bar manager for NosDa, is an event organisation veteran and has contacts ranging from sound engineers to catering wholesalers. Between us we ticked all the boxes you need to organise a real festival!

So let’s do it! We had the line-up already for the Saturday, we had a headliner supported by a panel of my favourite local bands! Fioled, Hang 11, Vinna Bee, Esio, Sophie Crabtree and Beatbox Hann to name a few were all very keen to join the line-up along side our band! We wanted to play and show off our songs but headlining is not for us as that’s the best time to party! Especially as our sound engineer Sam was also a Baron of Banging tracks DJ extraordinaire and was scheduled to wrap up the Saturday night for us.

Now what makes a festival a festival and not just a big gig?

A proper festival poster and a promotional video was high up on the list of to-dos and we swung the latter together in three takes with Nicky’s new Go-Pro he got for his trip to Florida and basic choreographing.

The poster was a different story. The initial design by Joe was fitting and looked the part but our bands kept pulling out! Another rather unfortunate birthday surprise also happened meaning the end of Charlie Says and another re-jigging of the line-up, but at least it meant I could fully concentrate on the event and it’s smooth running and have boogie at the end of the night! We finally managed to fill up our slots and print out posters that we stuck all over Cardiff!

I couldn’t stress enough that a festival isn’t a festival without buntin. We put Rachel on the mission to find some for us and without fail a few days later she’d made contact with Charlotte from Twin-Made who just so happened to have made two boxes full of hand-made colourful buntin, some of which was used for Swn festival back in October.

Everyone knows that glitter on your face is a key element to a festival. But as we are currently trying our best at being eco-warriors the idea of spreading a load of micro-plastics around the place would defeat all of our efforts! Thankfully, Pixiedusthut (pictured) was switched on to this and brought her own biodegradable plant-based glitter! Guilt-free glamour on tap!

All real festivals have at least one street food vendor. At NosDa we have a cheeky patio as you probably know and the perfect place to have an outdoor catering unit. As mentioned before, I run a food truck at festivals and had a marquee that would fit a 3m by 3m space at the back of the patio. Pete, another one of our staff and top pizza maker at NosDa was keen to team up with us and create our own stall!

Pete is well known to play only the best hip hop and gansta rap on shift so it seemed only natural to call his wrap stall Gangsta Wrappers! We came up with fun names for our wraps: For Pete’s Steak (Sirloin steak, signature cheese sauce and crunchy salad) and Hallou, Is It Mi You’re Looking For (grilled halloumi, onions and peppers). We needed to make our own signs too and found enough bits and bobs in the basement (aka The Cave of Magical Wonders) of the hostel to patch together a food stall. My dad (Doug) and brother (Lewis) were coming over for my birthday anyway and they were my usual team at the festivals so we weren’t worried about it all coming together on the day.



Lewis had just been accepted into The Beaux Arts and his first assignment was to make the banner for our stall, meanwhile Doug was securing the marquee to prevent any disasters from happening if the weather didn’t turn out as summer-esque as desired.

Finally, we needed photographers and videographers to cover the event so we gave Andy Wain a call. Andy’s a student in Filmography and has some seriously epic cameras and equipment to his banner not to mention heaps of good ideas! He was pretty much left to it as we were all pulled apart by the horses of responsibilities and jobs we had on the day! And what an amazing job he did! After the event he threw together a video that really captured the spirit of the Big Sesh (see below!)

The festival was a hit. Despite all the cancelations and personal dramas we managed to pull together as a team, the NosDa crew, the regulars, the talented bands and artists and we look forward to hosting this festival every year! So look out guys, you’re Spring Bank holiday festival is sorted and always free to attend :)

Links:

Glitter Bar, Pixie Dust Hut 
Buntin from Charlotte Twin Made
Photography and Videography
Andy Wain
Keyo
Gangsta Wrappers under Greener Pastas marquee with Top Chef Pete
Pass The Buck Promotions

The festival was a hit. Despite all the cancelations and personal dramas we managed to pull together as a team, the NosDa crew, the regulars, the talented bands and artists and we look forward to hosting this festival every year! So look out guys, you’re Spring Bank holiday festival is sorted and always free to attend :)