A Derbyshire music lover who last year held a successful music festival in Duffield is currently busy with preparations for this year’s event.
‘The Eyes Have It’ is billed as a ‘fantastic’ weekend of rock, pop and blues in the idyllic setting of the village’s Eyes Meadow.
This year’s festival will take place on July 15, 16 and 17, and the man behind the event is urging people hoping to attend to buy their tickets early to avoid disappointment.
“Last year’s event went down very well, explained organiser Simon Clark.
“We had 18 bands 12 months ago and this year there will be 25.
“Where we have the festival, it is a beautiful setting - it is absolutely stunning with the River Derwent running by the fields.
“In the winter it is used mainly for football but in the summer other than the carnival I think it is underused.”
“The outdoor stage especially is spectacular - it takes three days to build and is made of these huge oak beams - very rustic.”
Simon, 55, who plays lead guitar in band The Cubists, who may well make an appearance over the weekend, said his own tastes revolve around rock and blues, but he understands that the line-up needs to cater for all tastes.
“I think people are tired of the overly corporate festival - people are looking for something smaller and more relaxed which is nicer, more manageable and more affordable for people,” said Simon.
“Last year we nearly sold out - we had 500 people on the Saturday alone and there should be more this year.
“We also want it to be as eco-friendly as possible so we’re encouraging people to come by train if they can.”
The lead guitarist lives with his wife and three children on Park Road in Duffield, and says the festival has been something he has been thinking about for years.
“It has been something I’ve wanted to do for ages,” explains Simon.
“I have been involved in music for a long time and now I want to set up my own company specialising in hosting large scale events.”
The weekend will also feature an open mic stage open to all festival-goers and a real ale marquee with late licence.
People can camp for the weekend for a fee and stall holders are welcome to sell their wares throughout.
For more information, call Simon on 07707 562981 or visit www.theeyeshaveit.moonfruit.com.
Something for all tastes...
The festival will be closed out in style by Sunday night’s headline act, blues guitarist Aynsley Lister, whose ‘incredible’ playing Simon said will wow festival-goers.
However, there will be something on offer for all tastes throughout the weekend.
“On Friday we have covers band Littlefield who are a fabulous six-piece who do cool pop, dance and indie covers by REM, Crowded House, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, New Order and Bowie, among others,” he said.
“And on Saturday we have some country as well from a band called Itchy Fingers, who recently won the newcomers’ stage at the Great British Folk Festival, and an ‘utterly original’ folk-funk band from Wales called The Lonesome Stampede.
“Their original sound captivates everyone who has the pleasure to hear them and they have recently featured on BBC Introducing.
“They are fresh, folky, funky and they rock.”