Create Festival goes beyond just the day-long festival. It’s about celebrating arts and creativity across the town and region, and supporting artists to have a long career in the industry. On Wednesday 19th June artists, industry professionals, and local people gathered at Lost Sheep Coffee, Ashford McArthur Glen Designer Outlet, for some music, talks, and networking aimed at showcasing the best that is coming out of Ashford, and encouraging people to continue to follow their passions and find success.
It all kicked off with Arts and Cultural Industries Manager, Chris Dixon introducing the evening and Create, saying “Create is proud to be extending further into the Ashford community, providing opportunities for local talent across the borough”.
Adrian Cooke is Music Relationship Manager for Arts Council England, based in the South East area but with a national role for Contemporary Popular Music. A champion for increased public funding for the rock & pop sector and talent development, Adrian has previous experience in promoting live music, running festivals, record label management, and rights licensing. He spoke about what it means to have a festival like Create happening on our doorstep, and how local artists can get involved.
We also heard from David Manders, an artist manager with over 20 years’ experience and a background in running clubs, tour managing and label management. David is the founder and director of Liquid Management, currently representing and guiding the careers of Ren Harvieu (Bella Union), LIFE (PIAS), Flamingods (Moshi Moshi), and Animal Noise. Liquid Management also launched the career and spent 8 years managing Public Service Broadcasting, with their past four releases selling over 300k copies worldwide. So he knows a thing or two about music and was on hand to offer advice.
But this is Create, so music took centre stage. Estelle May played a gorgeous stripped back set, enamoring everyone with her French and English singing. Lake Folks, an indie folk project that started in The Netherlands and cites influences such as Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens, serenaded the room with gorgeous sounds and gentle songs. Jaz Ellington, as well as speaking about the steps that got him to be one of the top six singers to represent England in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, and the opportunity to work with Will.I.Am on a project for NASA, enraptured the audience with an acoustic set.
It was a great evening of celebration and excitement around what is happening in Ashford’s musical scene. Create Festival are hosting another Artist Cafe event on 15th July, follow this link to find out more!