LOST Festival Returns | An Interview with Founder Jodie Powell

LOST was was one of festival highlights last year, taking us by blacked out coach to a secret location, deep in the woods, for a 24 hour experience like no other. It was such a unique experience that reading about the 2015 edition will tell you more about it than any generic lineup preview ever could. Find our review here. With the main stage headlined by Bestival founder Rob da Bank this year, it is not one to miss. (Photo: Zoe Savitz Photography)

We also caught up with LOST and Please do not not touch founder, Jodie Powell, to explore her experience of last year’s festival and her expectations this time round.

Bizarre Culture: You’ve heard what we loved about LOST 2015, but as its organiser, seeing it come together must have been incredibly fulfilling. What were your favourite moments?
Jodie: LOST Festival was overwhelmingly fulfilling! The whole experience completely blew me away, but interacting with participating was truly special. Curating the live painting of the main stage during To Kill A King’s set; sneaking into the crowd for a quick dance during TCTS’s set; stumbling upon various paint-splattered mannequin limbs; witnessing participants lose their minds in Alice Kilkenny’s glitter curtain installation in the DISCOFUNK area; watching Shotgun Carousel’s performers wander around the woods and interact with participants; and discovering an impromptu yoga-session hosted by the effervescent Marbles & Ware mermaids beside their washed up boat installation. I could go on…


Lost Festival Jodie Powell

(Photo: Carrie Tang Photography)

BC: What was expected and unexpected for you about last year’s festival?

J: I expected it to be a huge challenge and a very emotional experience. I also expected the whole LOST family to feel proud of what they’d created and built. I suppose what was unexpected was just how much the artists, musicians and volunteers bonded over the build and during the festival. We were living together in the woods for over a week; eating, sleeping, painting, decorating and exchanging ideas, all in our little LOST community. It was truly special.

In fact, some of the most common feedback from participants was about how friendly the crowd was. I spoke to many people who came to LOST alone and made lots of friends. The weather was another delightful unexpected treat! We were blessed with beautiful sunshine all weekend, which added to the warm atmosphere created by our wonderful participants.


BC: What can we expect to be similar this year, and what have you changed?
J: You can still expect the same feel at LOST, with the intimate crowd, bright colours, interactive artworks, fantastic music, and engaging decoration and performances. This year we have a much bigger team, so the woods will be packed full of surprises and the line-up is fierce. We’ve got Greenstone Festival hosting our acoustic stage, which will be a much bigger feature this year, and will offer an alternative music experience for those who prefer to cosy up with their friends on cushions and enjoy the bands’ twilight sessions. Overall, we’re still a small, independent festival, offering an escape from reality and pure artistic indulgence – this time we’re going all out on the art and music. Oh, and there’ll be more paint!


Lost Festival Jodie Powell-min

(Photo: Zoe Savitz Photography)

BC: How did getting Rob da Bank on board come about?
J: To have such an influential figure in the music and festival scene involved in LOST is a dream! If he can bring even a sliver of Bestival’s magic to the woods I’ll be ecstatic! His musical knowledge and inclusive, eclectic sets are exactly what the crowd needs to kick off an incredible party, so I think it’s obvious that I’m looking forward to his set on the main stage! When we approached him last year, we assumed he would be too busy for a 24 hour, micro-festival like LOST. Here we are now, 16 days away from his headline act in our woods. It’s so great to have his support, and I can’t wait to show him what we’re made of.


BC: LOST struck us as a festival with more of a purpose than most events. Did LOST 2015 achieve what you set out to? And what do you hope to achieve with this year’s edition?
J: I believe it does have more purpose – and I’d like to think more soul – than some other events. LOST is an accumulative art project, as well as a festival. Everyone who comes is an essential piece of a creative movement, whether a participant or a member of the crew. I was extraordinarily pleased with LOST 2015 and what everyone achieved. Every single person involved has helped make art more accessible, and more appealing to a much wider crowd, which is my mission.

This year, I hope to push this concept even further, by growing the team of emerging creative talent and challenging participants’ views on how to engage with art. LOST is not the usual gallery experience, nor is it the usual festival experience. I hope participants leave with a deeper connection to art and music and appreciate creativity around them in their every day lives a little bit more. I think it helps that we ask them to leave their mobile phones at home and truly live in the moment!


Lost Festival Jodie Powell

(Photo: Zoe Savitz Photography)

BC: You ran an event in Bristol earlier this year. Tell us more about that.
J: LOST [in Bristol] back in March was a lot of fun. Bristol is such a vibrant, creative city and the crowd was brilliant. We took over The Island and had two stages. Our mix of talent brought over a few of our London based LOST artists and DJs, as well as inviting some local Bristol-based artists and DJs too. Artists also took over the venue’s original police cells with interactive visuals and performances. I can’t wait to tour LOST in the future!


BC: What would you say is the one thing you truly can’t wait for at LOST this year?
J: Narrowing it down is really hard! One of my favourite DJs, Two Inch Punch, is playing on the main stage, so I’ll definitely time my break around that set. I have to say I’m really excited about watching the 2016 team collaborate, as we have some seriously talented people on board. Most satisfying will be witnessing the entrance to the woods open up as the first participants jump off the LOST coaches, while the artists, musicians and volunteers are buzzing. That’s when LOST comes alive – I’ll probably be crying like a proud parent…


LOST comes to a secret woodland location near London on August 20th-21st. Rob da Bank headlines, whilst Discofunk and Greenstone host two more stages. Visit the LOST website for tickets and info here.

Lost Festival Jodie Powell

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