We recently caught up with Jed Southgate, founder of the brilliant boutique Deerstock festival near Nottingham.
Give us an introduction to yourself Jed. What compelled you to organise Deerstock?
I am a 56 year old married father of three who has always worked for myself driving around the UK working at Heritage properties. During the time spent driving I started to put my two joys together – music and charity work – and subsequently Deerstock was born.
What charities does Deerstock support?
We support three different charities each year. For 2015 we are supporting: The Alzheimer’s Society, as my wife’s father suffered very badly until his passing last year; Reach UK, a project for adults with learning difficulties based locally; and The Lee Bonsall Memorial Fund, a charity founded by the parents of a soldier who suffered from PTSD and who ultimately committed suicide – this charity was founded by our good friends Ferocious Dog who are great supporters of Deerstock.
You support the local music scene by booking many Nottinghamshire bands. Who can we expect big things from this year?
Luckily I am fortunate to have one of my heroes as a supporter of Deerstock: Doggen, that is Tony Foster, the guitarist in one of my favourite bands Spiritualized who also runs a recording studio in town. He puts together an All Star Band every year so we have had members of The Fratellis and Spiritualized guesting at the event. We also have Ferocious Dog who I know you have featured recently. Some of the other local bands who support us and are doing great things are Lois, 94 Gunships, These Skies, Lee Gough and of course my daughter KT Ana.
Who have been your highlights from previous years?
Obviously Doggen, but also a new local band called April Towers smashed the event last year and have recently been recording their new single at Abbey Road Studio in London.
What’s your best memory from running the festival?
My daughter made me cry with happiness the first time I saw her on stage. I had never seen her sing solo before.
What has been the biggest challenge?
Having to find another site after the NIMBYs in the local village decided they did not want such a worthwhile event in the back of their local pub. Luckily the response and support has been amazing and a local farmer gave us our new site.
Which other festivals inspire you and why?
I get a lot of ideas from SXSW in Austin Texas. For example, showcase sets of only thirty minutes enabling plenty of acts to get stage time. Also, Dot to Dot festival in Nottingham. My oppo Naomi is more of a regular festival goer and she brought a whole new dimension based on her festival experiences last year and it was quite magical.
What are your ambitions for Deerstock in the future?
I have passed a lot of the running of Deerstock to other people this year, hopefully enabling new fresh ideas to keep the event selling out and raising funds for good causes.