How are plans progressing for this year's festival and is the planning any different this year to previous years?

The planning is going very well and we seem to be ahead of where we are normally. We have strengthened the core team and increased the numbers of staff but that has to be done gradually and to budget. The planning is always different as we learn, plus this is the second year at our site, Catton Park. 

We have never had such a helpful and supportive landlord, he is behind us all the way. He has installed full site drainage and maintains the site very well.

To be in the 8th edition of the festival and with so many other events falling away, what has been the key to your success?

Careful budgeting and letting the festival grow organically.

I have met other festival organisers whose ego is bigger than the event and it can cause problems, as they do it for themselves and forget about their customers. 

How big is the team of people running the festival? It is reported that all or most are unsalaried, so this is a real labour of love?

All un-salaried and around 10 people in the core team day to day.We are lucky to have some of the best people in the industry, as our awards prove.

Which other UK festival would you most closely align yourself to?

Beautiful Days. I think it would be fair and proud to say. Mark Chadwick has been very good to us with help and support. He really is a top bloke and his advice has been great.

With a Whitsun weekend date on the calendar, how have you fared with the Great British weather over the years?

Last year we got sunburnt and a little wet. We have just booked in loads of metal track way so we will be ok anyway.

What is the capacity of the festival in 2015?

Around 9500 hopefully. I think by the looks of it we will sell out early. We have a very good line up this year which is why my business partner won Promoter of the year at the UK festival awards.

What do you think is the key attraction for people coming to Bearded Theory and what lasting memory would you like people to take away from the site this year?

The ticket price is still £87 for 4 days including camping. Food and beer prices are reasonable and we pride ourselves on value for money.

I think the lasting memory will be the people who you meet are all very nice and it’s like a big family. We have never had a violent incident ever and the atmosphere is great. I also think the line-up and what we have planned and the woodland stage will blow them away.Freddie Mercury hoovering the field might also be memorable…...

How do you fare with band riders? Without naming names, any memorable ones?

We don’t do too bad to be honest, Fresh herbs and spices at 10pm being demanded springs to mind….

Any one piece of advice for anyone thinking of entering the UK festival market over the next 2-3 years?

We are at 8 years and still building slowly, it won’t happen overnight so if you are a bit lazy don’t bother……

2015 is set to be an iconic year for Bearded Theory. As well as the eclectic range of music on show there is, amongst other things; a teen area run by the Drop Inn, the amazing Children’s Village, more site art by the wonderful Labyrinth Arts and finally Groovie Movie Solar Cinema will be making an appearance.

These changes along with bringing back the old favourites such as the real ale bars operated by award winning brewery Thornbridge, allowing own drinks into the arena, the magical Woodland Stage, Disco Shed, Open Mic Tea Tent, Magical Sounds, Victorian Circus, Healing & Earth Area, wandering weirdness all mean 2015 is on course to be our best festival yet.

Bearded Theory Festival, 21-24 May @ Catton Park, South Derbyshire

2015 Line up in full:


Friday - The Mission, Alabama 3, Gun, Itch, Dizraeli & The Small Dogs, The Wakes

Saturday - New Model Army, Afro Celt Sound System, British Sea Power, The Mahones, Skinny Lister, Neck, Three Minute Heist,

Sunday - James, Buzzcocks, Misty In Roots, The Beat, Mad Professor + The Robotiks, Pronghorn, Back To The Planet, New Town Kings


Friday - LAB4, Jah Scoop/ Geezer, Zion Train, Clumsy, Halcyon, Andy Haze, Chigs and Techip, Data 3, Drum Machine

Saturday - East Static, Green Nuns of the Revolution (DJ set), Cosmosis, Ed Tangent, Zetan Spore, Kristian, The Pressure Technique, Charlie H, Drum Machine

Sunday - Banco De Gaia, Merv Pepler (DJ set), Transglobal Underground, Black Star Liner (DJ set), Dr Trippy, Templehead, Grousebeater Soundsystem, Rev Phil Dread, Ushti Baba


Friday - Jaya The Cat, The Talks, Pigbag, Kilnaboy, Tree House Fire, Captain Knives,

Saturday - Cara Dillon, Bill Smarme, The Jack Ratts, Louise Distras, The Leylines, Joe Zeffa, Mark Harrison, Troubadour

Sunday - Paprika Corps, JB Conspiracy, P.A.I.N, Baba Jack, Mistys Big Adventure, Keiths Big Uke Jam, Superfast Girly Show, Please Y Self Skiffle Band, Mr Motivator


Thursday - 3 Daft Monkeys, Hobo Jones & The Junkyard Dogs, Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican, Zombie Met Girl

Friday - Radical Dance Faction, John Player Specials, Gaz Brookfield, Muff Said, Sweetchunks Band, Ash Victim, Ukulele Dave,

Saturday - Inner Terrestrials, Tarantism, Who Killed The Bear, Pure Evil, Demob, Muddy Summers & Gails Whores, Efa Supertramp

Sunday - AOS3, Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth, Society, Abdoujaparov, Skewwiff, Quercus Burlesque, Penny Orchids, Tez & The Suicidal Fish

Festival Website

Buy tickets here