An Interview with Joe Patten (Splendour Festival)

Hello, Joe, so first thing’s first, where are you from & where do you live today?
Hi! I’m from Nottingham and speaking from our office in Nottingham. I had a stint at uni down south for a few years but came back after graduating to get out my overdraft and never left (Nottingham or my overdraft)

Can you tell us about the DHP Family?
We are a concert and festivals promoter as well as music venue operator. Our venues include Rock City, Rescue Rooms, Bodega, Stealth (Nottingham) Thekla (Bristol) and The Garage, The Grace and Oslo (London) Our festivals include Splendour, Dot To Dot, Bearded Theory and Beat The Streets.

So, you’re involved in organising a festival – how did you get into that?
I started at DHP around 10 years ago behind the bar of the Bodega, from there I had a few different jobs in the head office and eventually started booking shows and holding the diaries for Rescue Rooms, Thekla, and Bodega. I had been involved in booking the local acts for a few years and then started booking the larger national acts for this year’s event.

When do you start booking the bands, & how easy is it all?
We’re asking the questions for the 2024 headliners now, there’s definitely more competition and exclusivity clauses to navigate than before. Even for the smaller bands on the bill costs of putting a show on has skyrocketed so it’s not made it any easier!

What kind of a relationship do you have with your local council?
Very good, the event really benefits the city and offers some great opportunities to local acts so they are full on board.

What kind of line-up have you got for us this year?
It’s really exciting, great mix of well know legends Madness, Noel Gallagher, Rudimental, The Kooks, Sugababes, The Vaccines, Jake Shears, The Coral and some newer names that you will be blown away by – Venbee, Confidence Man, DYLAN, Cian Ducrot, Charlotte Plank, Bellah Mae, Lizzie Esau – and LOADS more

Every festival is a step in the great learning curve of life, what improvements have you made on last year’s festival?
We want to make the experience the best it can be for people attending, better options of food/drinks, and things to do that will appeal to everyone. For everyone to have an even better time year on year basically. I think coming out of the pandemic was a reset for a lot of festivals and event producers, many people left the industry and haven’t returned so finding an experienced team or crew can be a struggle. Last year we were happy to have the event on without any major issues, so this year we aim to improve everything for festival goers.

Finally, to somebody who has never been to Splendour before, what are they to expect?
Loads of fun!

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