Put simply, Boogaloo Weekender is our kind of festival. Featuring a veritable array of top drawer talent from many corners of the discerning house, techno and disco world, it’s a festival that pays homage to the roots of electronic music while also staying true to a truly underground ethos. That’s why you’ll find some seriously impressive names on its line-up, from David Morales all the way through to Graeme Park. Put simply, when the definitive tale of dance music is told, chances are a fair few DJs on the line-up will have a fair few things to say. Another man with a story worth sharing is Boogaloo director and long-time promoter Jamie Costello. With the festival now very much on the horizon (the action goes down over three nights from Friday 15th October – Monday 18th October at Camber Sands), we thought it a good idea to put some choice questions to the man himself…
How are you? What’s good and bad in your world?
Hi! As a promoter, life in general has not been particularly favourable for us over the last 18 months. It does look as if things are finally starting to get back to normal but with an err of caution. The bad, all the uncertainty that hangs over us. It’s almost impossible to plan an event like it was, pre covid.
So how was the pandemic year for you then, how did you survive?
Very tough!! When the very first announcements came out, there were a lot of knee-jerk reactions from people who thought they would be without income for the foreseeable future. Some real ‘head the head’ moments. I’m still not completely over the challenges that the pandemic has brought, but I can thankfully say I am now very close!
What is your role in the boogaloo weekender – what does day to day look like?
Generally overseeing the full infrastructure of the event.We have three partners, a handful of promoters and a shed load of staff, all doing an amazing job in piecing together this gigantic puzzle that we call Boogaloo. There’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears being put into the event, but it’s something we are massively excited for, and can’t wait to see the end product.
Tell us about how you found camber sands for this event and what makes it good, what it has to offer?
The pandemic drove us to this one…one of my partners has a security company that covers a number of events in the UK and knows the management. We were looking to offer a ‘safer’ option when planning for an event, as the majority of events we run are all overseas. The climate at the time (and still now) made it impossible to plan flights, book holidays etc plus we also have to take into consideration local laws. Offering a musical ‘staycation’ seemed a viable option. We must have checked out nearly 20 different sites but Camber Sands offered the best facilities for our purpose by a mile.
How important is it to you to book a line-up that covers all genders, sexualities and races?
Very. We actually have Sarah Sandy from Groove Connection talking about this topic on our panel, and the challenges she faced running the UK’s first dance agency in a male dominated industry.
Tell us about how this has been programmed with a view to being a history of dance music…
We’re basically connecting the dots from when jazz funk was the underground music scene through to the Blitz Kid era, right through the explosion of acid house and the very roots of house music. I think our line-up for the event tells its own story and really demonstrates what we are trying to create. There are probably a good few djs, mags, blogs etc that know this story, but there is also a younger generation that probably do know how these DJ and events went on to become global names.
What have been the biggest challenges about getting this set app this year?
I touched on it earlier but the uncertainty the pandemic has brought. Speak to any promoter and they will tell you each festival or event comes with its challenges. Multiply that by 1000 and times 50 and we’re still not close to what we have to currently do, just to get an event over the finishing line.
Have you got any tips for people who are coming for the first time?
We know this will be the first main event for many people this year. It lasts 3 days and 3 nights. Please don’t make the schoolboy error of burning yourself out on the first night!!
What else is there to look forward to apart from the music?
We have so much going on outside of our music program. A speaking panel with guests who were influential in shaping dance culture, an art gallery, Boogaloo Bingo, traditional campsite entertainment, Graffiti lessons, trade stalls, yoga, fitness and loads more!
What are you most excited about and why?
Mike and Claire Manumission coming over to speak on our panel. As an ex-Ibiza worker the whole Manumission concept fascinates me. I can’t wait to hear what they have to say!
The Boogaloo Weekender takes place from Friday 15th October – Monday 18th October in Camber Sands. For further information and tickets see: https://www.skiddle.com/festivals/the-boogaloo-weekender/