We spoke with One Inch Badge promotions’ Alex Murray about the upcoming Mutations Festival in Brighton.
Alex! What’s an average day for you at OIB?
I’m one of the programmers here – most of my day is spent looking for the freshest, most exciting new acts to programme for events in Brighton and across the UK. Where else have we seen your hand at work? One Inch Badge also handle live event management for the Haunt & All Saint’s Church, live diary management for Concorde 2, programme Together the People festival and Drill:Brighton festival (in collaboration with the band Wire).
How did you end up in this job? After a couple of years at Sony Music I joined seminal representation group Southern where I had the privilege of working with such esteemed artists and labels as Dischord (Fugazi, Q and Not U, Black Eyes), Constellation (A Silver Mount Zion), Kranky (Stars of the Lid, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Deerhunter), Anticon (Why?, Passage), Southern Lord (Sunn O))), Wolves in the Throne Room, Earth), Neurot (Neurosis) and many more. After a couple of years I founded One Inch Badge, initially as a record label – historically we’ve released records by the likes of Future Islands, Why?, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Sons of Noel and Adrian – later growing into a successful concert promotion company.
After a very successful Together The People Festival in September, OIB are launching multi-venue festival ‘Mutations’. What inspired this addition to the local event calendar?
Mutations came about very organically, off the back of the Drill:Brighton festival. As a touring festival, once Drill:Brighton was complete, it moved onto the next lucky destination – the guys have just done Drill Chicago with St Vincent and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (amongst others). We all loved the experience of Drill:Brighton and, seeing the enjoyment of the attendees, we agreed the time was right to present a similar format festival with a punk spirit annually for Brighton – and Mutations was born. The line-up’s extremely eclectic – what was your programming ethos? Being positioned well in the middle of the Autumn touring season we were very fortunate to have a very large pool of international touring acts to choose from. Artistically, the programming is really an extension of our collective tastes in the office. Everyone here has an eclectic taste and the line-up as a result is a mix of pioneering rock, folk and experimental electronica.
Any personal faves on the line-up that you’re looking forward to checking out?
I can’t wait to see Lightning Bolt, in Brighton for the first time in many years. Chelsea Wolfe’s new live show is just insane and we’ve been trying for years to bring John Talabot to the seaside! I’m incredibly proud of the line-up. Other highlights include Josh T Pearson, Metz, Christopher Owens, OM, Ought and many more.
What challenges does one encounter putting to-gether a festival like this?
We wanted to ensure that everyone got value for money, and gets to see all the bands that they want to see. We’ve structured the event so that venues on the Saturday are predominantly in Hove and on the Sunday, Brighton. At the start of the day, 1pm, there are more venue options at a lower capacity, as the day progresses the number of venue options decreases as capacities increase, so less clashes and more certainty of seeing all the big name acts! You can see Christopher Owens, Josh T Pearson, John Talabot, Tourist, Metz, Lightning Bolt, Chelsea Wolfe, OM, Blanck Mass, Ought, Vision Fortune, Kagoule, All Tvvins, Willis Earl Beal, Widowspeak, all without any clashes and all for a bargain price of £55 for the weekend or £28.50 for the day!
What’s the most important message to ticket-buyers?
It’s a toss up between the strength of the line-up – to see what I believe are the 50 most exciting acts on tour in the world right now for £55 is incredible value for money – and that there are no harsh clashes, music all day 1pm -10:30pm Saturday & 1pm -1am Sunday
Why did you cap capacity for Mutations Festival at an intimate 1,000? We want to build an exciting music-lovers event and present a very strong line-up in an intimate environment – we’re hoping this will become a staple of the Brighton festival circuit for this audience.
Along with great music, what else can Mutations ticket holders expect?
A pop up indie record store, bringing some of our favourite labels together, a poster fair and a secret stage (all very exciting!).
We love surprises! Speaking of which, Christmas is around the corner – what’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
The Leif Vollebekk album North America on vinyl – it’s incredible. You need to discover that artist, he’s from Montreal and very under appreciated in Europe. One of the greatest singer-songwriters I’ve ever heard.
Buy tickets for Mutations Festival early to avoid disappointment due to limit availability.
Day tickets for Sat or Sun are £28.50 / weekend pass £55.
Accommodation not provided.
Full info online at mutationsfestival.com