Indietracks is an indiepop music festival which takes place every July at a steam train site in Derbyshire. The location is brilliant - as well as an outdoor stage and venue in a chapel you can even watch bands play on the steam trains themselves!
As well as enjoying the music, you can also take part in various workshops, run by Alice Hubley (who seems to have my dream job!). I interviewed her about what we can expect at this year's festival.
Hi Alice! First off where do you work? Are you crafty in your spare time?
I'm currently working as an events assistant for the Crafts Council and have a history of events and festivals work. I taught myself to knit eight years ago and since then have done all manner of things crafty, taught workshops, volunteered at various craft fairs and even knitted on stage with Chicks on Speed. I love watching TV and crafting is a great way to make TV watching appear productive! My current projects are a lovely green knitted cardigan and a cross stitch of a Yorkshire Terrier sporting a nice red bow. My favourite craft project is my crocheted pizza slice scarf!
How did the workshops at Indietracks first come about?
I think someone else came up with the idea that they wanted to have workshops at the festival, and that same year I approached the team and was like "I want to get involved with Indietracks". It kind of made sense with my knowledge of the craft scene that I coordinated the workshop program and voila, here we are four years later! I'm really pleased with how successful they workshops have been, but I think people these days are looking for festivals that offer more than bands and beer, so it's no surprise that they have been popular.
The workshops are generally free or really cheap, and a great opportunity for you to sit down and try something new. I have had people told me that workshops at Indietracks have inspired them to be crafty, which is really awesome. It's great to see so many families get involved with the workshops too, so much that after the first year, we've always had workshops aimed at children and encouraged workshops to be family friendly.
What's been your favourite workshop over the years?
That's not fair, I can't pick one as being a favourite! The highlights for me include...
Tatty Devine in 2009 - It was so great to be approached by my favourite jeweller asking to run a workshop, and their workshop was such a success. They brought half their workshop with them to help attendees make jewellery out of found items and things bought from the shop. The girls stuck around the whole weekend and really enjoy the festival (though I think their stall in the merchandise tent was dangerous for most of us ladies in attendance!). Tatty Devine also designed and produce jewellery for the festival for two years in a row, which was a real honour, the Indietracks bunting necklace is a particular favourite of mine.
Yoga with Frances McKee 2011 - So we programmed the workshops at 11am on the grass in front of the main stage. I spent most of the weekend worrying that a) it was going to rain and b) no one would turn up at
11am on the Sunday to do the workshop. Thankfully it all turned out great, it was a lovely sunny day and loads of people didn't get as drunk as my friends the night before and made it to the class!
Frances's festival yoga style is pretty unique, probably the smuttiest yoga class I've ever been to. I love The Vaselines so it was great to have Frances involved, and I'm looking forward to seeing them play at Indietracks this year. Fingers crossed we can get Frances back for another yoga session too!
I also really like the workshops that use craft to promote another message like the Knit a Neuron workshop we had in 2010 which was a project to promote brain science through knitting, or recycling and reusing workshops like the Tetrapak wallet workshop.
Indiepop 'Guess Who'
The workshop organisers always amaze me with the amount of work they put into their workshops for so little gain, the Baby Honey guys redesigned the Guess Who game for their Indiepop Guess Who, the Sugar Paper Zine girls made 20 different craft workshop kits for their workshop, and Verity made an insane amount of cupcakes for the cupcake decorating last year! They make my job at the festival so easy, they are the best!
The schedule for this year is:
Saturday - 2pm Eco Bunting: Printing With Nature
3pm Cake Club's Sugar Fuelled Cake Decorating Party!
4pm Super Spinners
5pm Lindy-Pop Indie Hop Workshop
Sunday - 12pm Super Duper Super Heroes! (kids workshop)
1pm Come & Have A Go If You Think You're Indiepop Enough Popquiz
2pm Sugar Paper Presents.... Postcards from Indietracks
3pm Ellie & Sarah's Magical Musical Album Cover Making Machine
4pm Indie record label round table
5pm Friends or Knot?' Friendship Bracelets
Thanks Alice, I can't wait to try out this year's workshops! For more info on this year's Indietracks festival which takes place from the 6th - 8th July, you can visit their website here.