Pier Jam is a festival and event series that takes place on Blackpool pier all throughout summer.
It has been going a while now and brings a fresh house and tech flavour to the coastal resort. The likes of MK and Basement Jaxx all lined up back in July and more are lined-up for August and September with Hannah Wants and Duke Dumont among the guests. We chat to the man behind it all to find out more and get the lowdown on the history of Pier Jam, amongst other things.
“Its always a nerve wracking time the week before Pier Jam, everyone in the office is just praying for great weather”
Who is behind Pier Jam and how did you all come together? Who does what?
James Cohen – Director
Dave Lee – Director
Janine Thompson – Marketing
Brian Murphy – Marketing
Jorge Meehan – Marketing
We all work full time together at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. We have lots of events throughout the UK. Pier Jam is a full time operation, the hard work never stops!
How hard was it, what hurdles did you face, what was long?
Doing big dance music events is never easy. There have been many hurdles along the way to make 2016 our best Pier Jam season yet. However, the biggest thing for us was to continue to provide the biggest and best names out there within our industry to come and perform on our Pier in Blackpool. With Blackpool being in the north west, it can make getting the biggest & best artists to play very challenging, there is such a huge scene in the north west currently, so every day is a challenge getting those big names to come and play for us.
Were the council helpful and supportive of you from the start or did they make it hard?
The council have been very helpful & very supportive. We have a great team behind Pier Jam and we all work very hard to make it what it is. Not only that but to make it as safe as possible and the best it can be for Blackpool town.
What were some of the highlights from the Pier Jam just gone?
MK opening up with his latest remix of Aurora’s I went to far created a very special atmosphere on that Pier at 9:30PM! His set was amazing! The Basement Jaxx were just as we expected, awesome! The crowd really got them, and there hit singles were belted out word for word by many on the Pier! Lastly, the weather! Its always a nerve wracking time the week before Pier Jam, everyone in the office is just praying for great weather, and luckily on the 23rd July it was on our side, red hot sun all day long!
What are you most excited about regarding Pier Jam 2?
Following on from Pier Jam’s launch party on the 23rd July, the whole team sat down and put forward the good bits and bad. Following on from this, the things we are most excited for is the improvements we’ve made and for everyone to see them. Pier Jam part 2 will blow every one away, and we will continue to set this standard and build upon it throughout the rest of the series.
Have you started working on next year’s Pier Jams already? Will you do anything differently?
We have not started on next years as of yet, as Pier Jam 2016 season takes up much of our time. Works for Pier Jam 2017 will commence as soon as the 2016 season has finished. However, have just launched Pier Jam hastings which is on 24th September with MK, Hannah Wants, Camelphat & KC Lights, We look to do these next year the same as Blackpool 4 shows 4 dates similar line ups.
What are the key things to get right at a festival do you think? Sound, line-up, crowd, or what?
I think there are numerous key things. First being line up. I think this is the first thing most look for when selecting an event/festival to go to! The bigger/well known the names then the more heads that will turn initially. Secondly, the production is a huge factor. Nowadays with there being so much choice and competition in the festival industry, you really need to go that extra step to have people leaving at the end thinking ‘WOW’, this is something we try to better for each Pier Jam. Lastly, the crowd plays such an important role in creating a great experience for all. With the right atmosphere within an event it becomes almost contagious, and this can snowball into everyone having the best time they can.
Tell us about the new show in Hastings – what should people expect?
Expect a very similar event to Blackpool. Hastings is a beautiful, historic coastal town on the South-East cost. As such, backdrop is perfect for a Pier Jam event. The Pier itself has just undergone a 14.2 million restoration, and we couldn’t be happier to bring Pier Jam to the South coast.
What sound system and production do you have at Pier Jam, who is in charge of that?
UK Events group LTD provide this for us. I believe the sound system was one of the latest RCF Line array’s.
Pier Jam host events at Blackpool North Pier and Hastings Pier – For more information – www.pierjam.com