Beacons Festival / Beacons Metro

Event type: Destival

Capacity: 8000 (in 2014)

Indicative Artists: Wolf Alice, Django Django, Toots and the Maytals, Andrew Weatherall

My role: Marketing manager

“The day after I handed in my PhD thesis I had the urge to get knee-deep in festivals again. Beacons had been launched, though it had suffered bad luck with a flood in its inaugural year. However, the team behind the event were determined to press on and, on receiving a CV from me, invited me in for a chat. Less than a month later I was heading up the marketing campaign for the festival, and proceeded to grow the event to its peak capacity of 8000 in 2013. I left before the 2014 festival to focus on completing my book. 

At Beacons there were ups and there were downs, as is always the nature of organising festivals – a vivid but sometimes vitriolic stream of ambition, passion, good friends, bizarre characters and onsite incidents. The most bizarre occurrence at Beacons was a genuine bomb scare and evacuation caused by a homemade wireless receiver that was left near an art installation named ‘The Embassy’. 

In 2015 the festival announced that is was rebranding as a metropolitan event, Beacons Metro, due to the crippling costs of producing the event outside. This was met with mixed responses, but the shift does hold greater economic and arguably creative potential, as the city centre of Leeds is desperately lacking unique events. Lets hope they pull it off!” – Roxy