Skintfest gets ready to rock

Dead Harts
Dead Harts

A monster festival showcasing some of the area’s best bands FOR FREE hits the stage this month.

Skintfest,the brainchild of local promoter Sam Hague, is now in its third year and has expanded to cover three days and two venues.

Almost 50 bands will play Chesterfield over the Easter weekend, based at The Crooked Spire pub, with a Saturday night show at Real Time Live.

Sam said: “When you’re in band and you get gigs, one the biggest pet hates is trying to sell “x amount” of tickets.

“Unfortunately it can be a struggle to get people through the door, the usual excuse is ‘I would but I’m skint’ or ‘I’ve never heard of them’. This is the main reason I started Skintfest, to introduce people to bands for free.”

Sam started Skintfest back in 2011.

“I noticed there was a lack of festivals and gigs throughout the easter holidays and I felt like doing something different during easter so I went to my local pub and asked if I could put on a free all dayer, booked a dozen bands and it all took off from there. The turnout was a lot bigger than all the other gigs I put on and I decided to carry it on. Although I put on several gigs in the area, I wanted to do something on a bigger scale including music from different genres that would appeal to all ages. And that was pretty much the starting point of Skintfest.”

He said: “This year’s Skintfest will be held over three days (Good Friday 29th March, Saturday 30th, Easter Sunday 31st March) and the line up is really strong.

“Neck Deep have really took off recently with their tour with Me vs Hero and air time on BBC Radio One. Rumour Mill is the band of ex-Your Demise vocalist, George Noble. There’s a lot of hype about them. Also Dead Harts are continuously progressing as a band with talent as well as popularity, they’ve made a name for themselves with many European and UK tours and festival appearances including Download and Slamdunk Festival.”

Sam, added: “Quite a few old Chesterfield bands have reunited for the occasion including Population Lost, Chasing Amy, Back In 5 Minutes, Dead Bee and Tim Storer (Lukas). There’s also 2 venues involved this year. On the Saturday night after 7pm Skintfest will be moving to Real Time Live on Marsden Street. Doors open at 8pm and its free entry. Line up includes - The Natterjacks, Back In 5 Minutes, The Culture Thieves, The Famous Class and headliners Take The Seven.

And for lovers of music, the festival offers a wide choice of bands, styles and genres.

“You can expect to discover a lot of talented bands you’ve never seen or heard before and some you may recognise,” said Sam. “A great atmosphere with awesome music. Genre wise expect anything and everything from acoustic to death metal. There’s literally something for everyone.

“Chesterfield has lacked an audience for its music scene for a while now. Five years ago it was thriving. 10 years ago even more so. For some reason over the years there has been a lack of interest in local gigs. With Skintfest I’m attempting to bring back the music scene and give all 46 of these talented acts the recognition and exposure they deserve. Every town needs an affordable form of entertainment, particularly younger people who probably can’t afford to go to Leeds Festival or see their favourite band at the O2 arena. Skintfest gives everyone a chance to see great live music without having to spend a penny never mind hundreds of pounds for a festival ticket.

And as for the future, Sam hopes Skinfest will just get bigger and better...

“My aim will always be to better the last Skintfest. I hope to encourage more bands that have a large following to play Skintfest so their fans get the chance to see them for free. The response for Skintfest this year has been amazing. So many bands applied to play. It was extremely difficult to decide who to pick for the final line up. The response over Facebook and Twitter has also been amazing. There’s people who are travelling miles to attend. Without this positive response Skintfest wouldn’t be able to expand like it has each year so hopefully next years will be even bigger.”

For more on the festival, check out: www.facebook.com/skintfest