Every year at the Jersey Live music festival I get an opportunity to interview, in person, a fairly good number of the acts taking part in the annual event.
As I’d actually been pretty proactive this year and interviewed most of them before the festival – I didn’t really have a lot to say that I hadn’t already said – or at least that THEY hadn’t already said.
But I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to meet them, and having interviews recorded in person is always better than ones done over the phone.
Which is why I decided to try out a short form interview – one or two questions at most for every act and in most cases asking the same question all the time. It worked basically like an extended voxpop – but with bands instead of random nameless people.
So at Jersey Live I took my little Sony camera (more on that in another post), a microphone and went back stage with the festival press agents – Excess Press who were wonderfully helpful.
I did have a chance to join BBC World in an interview with Dizzee Rascal – but it was at the same time I needed to get photos of Basement Jaxx on stage (you only get the first three songs in the ‘pit’) so went for that instead.
Then, with the help of a wonderful MacBook Pro and pretty good WiFi I was able to upload a few of the videos during the festival and have been working on putting the rest up ever since.
They will all be up on the BBC Jersey site and on YouTube and I’m told they’ll be going up on the BBC Introducing ‘Advice’ section as well as part of a blog post I wrote for BBC Introducing – although I’m not 100% convinced that’s still happening.
Some of the advice included Frank Turner suggesting bands carry their own kit and avoid writing Coldplay style songs, Craig Charles telling bands to take their time over decisions and Annie Nightingale suggesting you should perservere and stick with it.
As you can see from the footage I’ve tried to film in an intimate style where I’m focusing very closely on the person and they’re talking to the camera as if they were talking directly to me – the camera is held to my chest.
I’d never use that style if I was filming the interviews for television usually – although some of my footage was used as part of the wider television coverage of the event – but for the more intimate web viewing experience I think it works well.
A weekend for me is usually a fairly predictable affair; I wake up on a Saturday and spend the day looking after my (nearly) six year old son while my wife goes shopping with our eight year old daughter and toddler.
Then on Sunday we spend the day together as a family – go the park, sometimes to the zoo and usually have a Sunday roast at around 2pm – like I said, all pretty predictable.
But one weekend a year, the first weekend in September to be exact, I spend nearly a full 23 hours interviewing, listen to, photographing or filming bands.
This is the sixth year of the event and the sixth year I’ve covered it for the BBC in Jersey.
For the first four years I spent the weekend gathering content and then pulled it all together for the BBC Jersey website, BBC Radio Jersey and a bit for BBC Channel Island News (then BBC Spotlight Channel Islands) on the following Monday.
Then last year I tried an experiment – instead of holding all the content and publishing it on Monday – I’d publish as I went along – socially.
Actually the original idea was to publish it all to the BBC Jersey website – updating a series of features and galleries as the weekend went on.
But it didn’t really work out that way due to an error with 1) logging into the BBC FTP server and 2) intermittent WiFi in the press tent.
So our coverage sort of went social by accident and by that I mean photos on Flickr and updates on Twitter – with slightly longer reviews posted to our MySpace blog.
This year we have a whole new look BBC Jersey site, a new publishing system and no way to update the site remotely on a non-BBC laptop.
So I’m planning to go social from the start and will be tying the whole thing into the various social media pages for my show – BBC Jersey Introducing.
As with last year I’ll be posting photos to Flickr as I come out from the front of the stage, or as I get back from wandering the festival site taking photos of people.
Then I’ll write 140 character reviews of the bands on the various stages I visit (as will the other two people covering the festival with me) on Twitter as well as using our Twitter stream @jsyintroducing to write any interesting festival facts or stories.
I’ve also set up an Audioboo account for BBC Jersey Introducing where I’ll have the phone next to me when I interview bands – so you’ll be able to hear (albeit slightly lower quality) interviews as I do them.
I’ll then be pulling the mass of content together using Tumblr so it can be found in one place and having that re-post the mass of content to the BBC Jersey Introducing fan page on Facebook.
I’ll then be able to use all of the above to help me write the various reviews, articles and create the galleries that will make up the bbc.co.uk/jersey coverage of the festival.
It will also help me piece together my first ‘post festival’ show on the following Saturday as the highlights will be on Twitter and Facebook.
And obviously I’ll be trying my best to respond to any comments or feedback on any of the various social sites while running around the Showground in Trinity.
So if you’re not going to Jersey Live but want regular updates on what’s happening just follow @jsyintroducing on twitter, become a fan on Facebook at jerseyintroducing, follow my boos or keep track of the whole thing on Tumblr.
Or you can still do all of the above from a half decent mobile if you’re AT the festival – you might even hear about a cool band just starting you might not have gone to otherwise.
Then again you could just enjoy the event and catch up with our coverage on the BBC Jersey site on Monday – they’ll even be video.
I’ve been working in Jersey for about nine years now and seven of those have been spent at the BBC doing everything from live blogging elections (first one was seven years ago) to photographing a street carnival in the form of the Battle of Flowers.
There is also the Jersey International Air Display – one of the largest free air displays in Europe.
In the last few years a number of new, cool events have started up in the island – some with a message like the Human Rights Film festival and OxJam – others cool, fun and funky.
First there was the Jersey Live festival, now in its sixth year and featuring some of the hottest musical acts in the world. This year headliners include Basement Jaxx, The Kooks, Doves, Dizzee Rascal, 2ManyDJs and Passion Pit.
Then last year two new events joined the funky fold in the form of Grassroots, a more acoustic, green festival taking place the first Sunday in August and featuring mainly Aussie singer songwriters – this years headliner is Newton Faulkner.
Anyway – here is the promo video for this years festival:
Last year I reviewed four films over the three day weekend and went to see about six. Although because of BBC rules the reviews had to be more features than reviews.
This year I’m hoping to do at least as many reviews and will also be co-hosting a live music event tied to the BBC Introducing brand – not done anything ‘live’ in front of actual people before – so it could be fun or it could be horrible.
I know I’m talking to a few thousand people when I present my show – I’ve seen the stats – but it just isn’t the same, sitting locked away in a stuffy soundproofed studio talking to a microphone isn’t really the same as standing up, amplified voice in front of a few hundred!