Transitions is a truly one of a kind festival. Taking place in London, next to Thorpe Park, on July 29th and 30th, it marries on point musical offerings from headliners like Mistajam, Tough Love, Eton Messy and Artful Dodger, with a very watery theme: it is a one stop shop for surfers, right on a beach, and allows you to party under the stars as well as experience the intensity of the highest level of Extreme Sports.
We decided to call up the man behind it all, Ben Cordery, to find out when the idea came to him, who is involved in the festival what it offers and how hard it is to put together. It makes for a great read and offers insight into how helpful the council are with things like this, who the target audience are and what is on offer besides the musical and sporting treats.
“Our goal is to bring the summer beach festivals you find in Ibiza or Croatia to London but cheap and easily accessible for everyone!”
How are you? Relaxed and all ready for the festival or still busy planning the final stages?
Kicking back & waiting for the 30th July to come around, sort of.
How did you get into promoting? What were the first events you put on and how did they go? What is the history of the festival?
Our background is wakeboarding & wake surfing & its where the original idea started we had a few comps with a party that proved popular then we started bringing the music in – then the music took over!
How many people are involved in the team to put the festival on and how long does it take to plan from start to finish?
Our team is pretty small, so it takes a while to get everything sorted. I would say there are 4 of us who were pretty vital to making the whole thing happen this year but that doesn’t mean everyone involved isn’t really important as well.
Is the council helpful with you when setting it up? Are they glad you are doing this or was it a struggle?
We actually have a pretty good relationship with the council. Obviously all councils get nervous when the word festival comes around but we have been here for a while now and as long as you show respect & do what you say you are going to do then usually there are no drama!
What is the aim of the festival, what is the sonic niche you are representing, what crowd are you trying to attract?
So we are based inside the m25 on a direct train under an hour from Waterloo – we are situated on an incredible spit of land surrounded by tranquil lakes with the backdrop of Thorpe Park. Our goal is to bring the summer beach festivals you find in Ibiza or Croatia to London but cheap and easily accessible for everyone! If we can do that and everyone leaves with a big smile on there face thenI feel as if we have accomplished what we set out to do.
From coming out of the Wakeboard & Wakesurf background our crowd has always been really diverse in every way and we wouldn’t try and change that for the world.
What are the stages like and what will there be aside from music? Food, drinks, water sports etc//
Our stages defiantly have a beach theme to them. Our main stage has our man made beach running all the way down the side of it whilst our other stage brings a tikki vibe to the equation. & then some pop ups acts playing in some interesting spots which you will have to see for yourself not the day.
One side of the spit out on the water we have pro wakeboarders doing there thing and then on the other we have the European WakeSurf Tour so no matter which way you are facing during the day there is going to be something to keep you entertained. Throw in a few extras such as SUPing, Aqua Parks, Ringo Rides for people to have a go at then include all your festival usuals with various unique vendors + the sports related brands and you are looking at Transitions.
Tell us about some of the bookings you have and why you booked them – who are you most excited about?
This year I’m really happy with how we have managed to include a bit of everything going on the main stage. MistaJam is a tastemaker these days and will bring a bit of everything to the party, then the artful dodger will bring some nostalgia for the over 25’s & Eton Messy being a big hit with the students. Shaping up to be a great party!
What has changed for this year, what is new?
We have worked on our line ups pretty hard this year we feel its going to be a great show from start to finish which I’m excited for. The sports have gone up a level as well with the Americans all flying over for the WakeSurf event which is awesome! Little change in the lay out an some great additional to our trade stands its shaping up to be a good one!
What have you learnt since last year? What was the hardest bit of talking this happen?
Hmm, I suppose that you want to make the festival as easy and enjoyable for everybody who comes. So spending a lot of time on site lay out etc has been a really important part to this year – making sure none of the main events get a hard time of it as well is vital. I think its important to give as much attention to the second stage as the main stage or the wake boarding to the wake surfing each part makes the overall event happen so its important not to neglect something.
Have you got any advice or tips for first timers so they really get the most out of it?
Bring your flip flops and a big smile:)