What to expect from Unfest 2018
24th May 2018
Jason Dormon, co-owner of The Forum and founder of this month's Unfest, reveals what the free local music event has in store for 2018
WHAT CAN FANS OF UNFEST EXPECT FROM THIS YEAR'S FESTIVAL?
Once again, there will be four days and evenings of free music and art, centred around The Forum and The Sussex Arms. There will also be gigs at various fringe venues, as well as spoken word, art and theatre performances.
IS THERE ANYTHING NEW FOR 2018?
'Unclass' is a free artist consultancy, which aims to give guidance and a helping hand to grassroots creatives when they're starting out. In addition, we'll be joining in with BBC Music's Biggest Weekend Fringe as part of the broadcaster's national outreach campaign, ahead of the Biggest Weekend in Coventry, Perth, Belfast and Swansea, which aims to celebrate music scenes across the UK. We're very happy that the BBC recognises the importance that small venues play in the nation's music scene.
WHO ARE SOME OF THE STANDOUT ACTS FOR LOCAL MUSIC LOVERS TO LOOK FORWARD TO?
The Forum and Sussex Arms Basement stages are curated by The Forum staff, and will showcase a variety of local bands, as well as a few touring acts who've previously played the venue. There will�also be stages curated by Local & Live, Word Up and The Acoustic Valium Project. Dan and Eloise from New Leaf Promotions' tips for Unfest include The Bay Rays, Thyla, joeythin, JC Palmer, Lily & Jessie, Five Kites and Placid.
THIS YEAR MARKS THE FORUM'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY - ARE YOU DOING ANYTHING SPECIAL TO MARK THE OCCASION?
We're releasing a 25th anniversary compilation album, The Forum: 25 years and beyond, and there will be a chance to buy one of the limited-edition CDs at the Unfest merch table. The record consists of local bands that encapsulate the club's past and present, and looks towards the future. Many of the bands on the album will be playing over the weekend.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS THE UNFEST APP BEEN UPDATED TO HELP FESTIVALGOERS MAKE THE MOST OF THEIR EXPERIENCE?
Last year saw a brilliant launch for the app, produced for Unfest by local digital design studio, Really Quite Something, which was well-received by festival performers and attendees. For 2018, RQS are working to bring the music streaming, vouchers and live schedule to the forefront. We always�want people to discover something new, so hopefully easy access to the loyalty vouchers will encourage people to seek new places and sounds.
WHY DO YOU THINK ARTISTS, PROMOTERS AND ORGANISERS ARE SO ATTRACTED TO THE AREA AS A HUB FOR LIVE MUSIC AND CULTURE?
There's de?nitely a cultural momentum in the area, and this is largely because of the people who champion art locally; from the bands and artists themselves, to the promoters and venues that facilitate events, and provide spaces for audiences to be reached. Unfest is very much about celebrating the venues and audiences, as well as the musicians, because it's the relationship between performers, fans and places that makes for such a vibrant scene.
Please see the app or website for the latest line-ups:�www.unfest.org�