Farmfest Diaries #3

Art & Culture

My name is Mike Fuller, and I work in the area of Operations and Security of Farmfestival.  I am 31 years old, married to Tracey, and have 2 boys Jamie (6) and Tyler (2) – my whole family are a part of team Farmfestival, including my Nan, Andrea, her partner Paul, my brother Tom, my best mate Ollie – the list goes on…(a particular favourite is that my ex-boss John is now involved – payback anyone?)
I guess the message there – is the emphasis on Farmfestival being a truely DIY festival, and despite going from strength to strength, we have remained sponsor free and self-organised with no corporate string pullers or event organisers – it remains a party, how we like it – with input from all of our guests, each year – to make it the perfect weekend for everybody.
I am responsible for the sort of operational organisation of the event – which I’m conscious makes my job sound quite boring – it is everything but…please bear in mind, that as Bob mentioned in his diary, we do all of this whilst doing full-time day jobs.
So – onto me and a bit more on my role I guess. My responsibilities really vary, I’m working on the operation of the event, from setting up and looking after ticket pre-sales, and recruiting volunteers – to working with the team in deciding how we lay out the site to make the most of the space we have at Gilcombe Farm, ensuring the event is convenient and comfortable for everybody – with aesthetics in mind ….we are proud of how Farmfestival looks when everybody arrives. 

Between now and the time the gates open, me and my amazing crew (well my friends really) will be busy cleaning, fixing, painting, making and counting, to make sure everything from fences, to marquees, to lights, to signs are ready for the weekend, please give us a thought as you drive into Gilcombe Farm…
This year, following some very useful feedback from our guests, I am very focused in making sure that everybody not only enjoys their experience with us, but feels free to have fun in their own way, whilst feeling safe and secure as well.  This year, we are introducing fully attended family and main camping areas, which are separated from each other.  There will be members of the Farmfestival team inside each campsite in 2014 – so everyone can enjoy the party, whilst feeling secure, and having piece of mind that someone from our team is there to help for any reason whatsoever.  Over the weekend, I manage the Security and Entry operation. We’ve put a lot of investment into this area since last year and I am excited to see the improvements in place, and I just know that our new approach will give a great, even more friendly feel to the festival.
Talking of friendly, one of my favourite moments of every Farmfestival, since our first one in 2006, is being at the main entrance in the hour leading up to the gates opening. There is just no atmosphere like it – so many happy people, excited and full of anticipation for the opening of our creation – I love chatting with people, joking with people and sharing my excitement with people that have taken the time, and given us the honour of spending time with us – probably sounds cheesy – but I reserve the right… haha….
So – I left out the boring detail about licensing, risk assessment, meeting local council officers and authorities – but I guess I don’t need to explain what happens, there – but it does go on within the team, and is also a very important part of organising any major event (wait – did I just refer to us as a major event…!)
So I guess, I’ll sign off with an “I look forward to seeing you at Farmfestival” – and get on with some work…..after all – we have a festival to make 🙂

Mike’s Farm Favourites


Early Days


I was torn on this one, both 2007 – Friendly Fires performed that year – they were truly awesome, and I am not surprised they got so big. However, the best moment had to be the Surfin Turnips playing – we had to close our main-stage early due to bad weather – and everyone partying to "Drink Drink, wherever you may be" inside the main tent was a fantastic highlight, to contrast with the weather! And a rare moment caught on camera!



Recent Memory


As a massive pro-wrestling fan, I was so excited for our pro-wrestling show provided by Extreme American Wrestling.  There has been huge crowds watching the action for the last 2 years, and it definitely provides a novelty and something different that you don’t normally see outdoors, with high flying and hard hitting action, that got adults and kids cheering and booing together. A particular favourite was one of the wrestlers, Mr Monster, completing a high-flying move from the raised forks of our site forklift.


This Year

I have to admit to not knowing much about the bands before hand – but having checked out the music and performances from the Hot 8 Brass Band – I am mega excited to see them. Their sound is amazing, and I can't wait to see the crowd jumping and dancing to their music.