Organised by Jaymo and Andy George, Lost Village Festival had a great first year, combining a unique theme with a top-flight line-up and performances. Jaymo and Andy George are stalwarts of the UK dance scene: having played up and down the country, and run the Moda Black record label hosting the like of Groove Armada, Hot Since 82, and Ben Pearce though, they are still relatively new to organising festivals. We caught up with the duo to talk about their experiences with starting up one of the UK’s best new musical events, and what’s in store for Lost Village this year.
Lost Village Festival was one of our highlights of last summer! The UK is not short of dance music festivals, especially small, intimate ones. What was the unique idea behind Lost Village? Why do you think Lost Village stands out?
The aim was to create a really cohesive, immersive experience, that goes beyond being thought of as simply a music festival. Lost Village is it’s own world and everything about it makes sense within that context. It has an ongoing storyline and, like a film, it has a director and cast. Beyond that it’s down to the set design, decor and even the aesthetic of the food vendors – the idea is the entire woods films like a film set and that everyone who enters the Lost Village becomes part of the story.
We’re lucky enough to have either played at or attended the majority of UK festivals, so I guess that gives us a really useful perspective that maybe differs from someone who is purely a business person, running a festival for business reasons. We obsess over details and add intricacies that only a few people may notice, but for those who do it’s extra special. It’s very much another creative outlet for us.
How would you describe Lost Village in one tweet?
A surreal, otherworldly experience in an abandoned woodland village, resonating the sound of the world’s finest artists….
What are the biggest challenges you come across when putting on your events?
When something becomes your obsession, you can find it quite frustrating when others don’t obsess quite to the same level… We’ve learnt to chill a bit in that sense though.
Aside from that, there’s the constant challenge of marketing the product and really making people understand what it’s about. Especially in the era of social marketing, where we’re having to learn new things all the time. But it’s the constant challenges that make us buzz and push us to learn new things, which is what it’s all about. We started our business about 10 years ago – it was just a little party back then. It evolved into us DJing, producing, then the record label, radio, then warehouse events and now Lost Village. It’s the challenges that have allowed the business grow, and so we tend to savour them.
Which acts are you are most excited about this year?
Robag and Koze, obviously. They’re so fucking good. We’re big fans of the art of sampling, and these guys take it to a new level, that mix of techno aesthetics with really creative sampling just ticks so many boxes for us. Palms Trax is fast becoming a favourite of ours. Leon Vynehall – the album is amazing! Craig Charles – his 6 Music show is so good. Loyle Carner – his ability to tell and deliver stories is utterly captivating. We could go on… Every artist on the line-up we booked because we’re truly passionate about them.
The beautiful woodland location of Lost Village is one of the characteristics that makes it such a distinctive festival on the summer calendar. We noticed that you have added some activities at the lake this year. What else is on offer?
There’s loads more this year. The Lake of Tranquility is a totally new area, with wood-fired hot tubs on the shore, yoga, and massage, saunas, etc. There’s lots more in the Basecamp, loads more street food vendors, new Lookout stage, a new area called Bureau of Lost, the Tribal Banquets with Lee Westcott from Typing Room and Micahel O’Hare from The Man Behind The Curtain, comedy in the Lost Theatre… So yeah, loads more!
Any advice for people who are joining the tribe for the first time this year?
Bring an open mind, good friends, feathers, war paint, a decent tent and a ton of energy. More than anything, Lost Village is about discovering new things and having new experiences. So if that’s your thing, then you’ll be welcomed with open arms.
What was your most memorable moment of last year’s festival?
Koze’s set at the end of the weekend was insane. So many people messaged us after to say it just felt like some weird dream – and it really did. He’s not a quick fix DJ, you have to invest in the journey with his sets, but man does he take you places. And no, before you ask, I was sober!
What are you most likely to be doing once the gates open and the tribe starts to arrive? Do you get a chance to party or do you wear the managers’ hat?
We’re so involved with the running of the festival that we keep it pretty professional. We’re kinda like the hosts, running around making sure everything is happening as it should. Seeing a plan come together and people being blown away is such an insane buzz. Literally months of ideas and fine tuning all coming together – it’s quite surreal. We may go a little off piste come Sunday night :)
Why is the festival in May and on a bank holiday? Are you attracting a working audience given it’s a busy time for the student due to exams?
Lost Village is definitely for people with mature taste in music, food, comedy, etc., as you’ll see by the line-up and the additional entertainment, but the date wasn’t a deliberate move to make it hard for students, that’s for sure. All we can say is next year… watch this space.
As dance music moves toward over-saturation, how do you see its relevance progressing?
It terms of EDM, its foundation are weak, and so it will topple like most pop music fads. There’s not generations of people singing its praises. As soon as the cracks start forming everyone will scatter and pretend like it never happened. Christ, I’ve even heard EDM guys say they can’t stand most of the music in their own scene! However, house and techno have generations upon generations of supporters fuelled with a genuine love for the music. Disco peaked and was all over the billboard charts in the late 70’s; hip hop peaked in the late 90’s, but they had underground roots are those roots are solid, which is why they’re still strong today. EDM doesn’t have those roots.
In addition to organising Lost Village, you’re well-known DJ/Producers, radio presenters, and label owners. How do you balance organising the festival with DJing, producing, travelling, and everything else you have going on?
I suppose we’re the faces of the of business, but there’s lots of people involved who you don’t see. Most of which are friends, who we’ve been in partnership with for quite a while. But, of course, as things have grown, new people have come onboard, and often they bring new ideas too. We’re so lucky to be in the position we’re in, working with some of our closest friends on a daily basis, turning our random ideas into real life things. It’s a massive buzz and very fulfilling.
You can purchase Lost Village 2016 tickets from here.