INTERVIEW... with SomerRock organiser Dan Smith

Chard & Ilminster News: OASISH OASISH

NEXT month the third biggest tribute act festival in Europe returns with a stellar line-up for its ninth year in Bridgwater and the sounds of Neil Diamond, Coldplay and Stereosmith.

Also billed are Oasis, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Muse and Madness … or certainly the next best thing!

Mercury What’s On reporter DAISY BLACKLOCK caught up with SomerRock organiser, music promoter and Bridgwater man DAN SMITH to find out more …

How did SomerRock come about? 

“The idea formed during a night out drinking – they say all the best things happen in the pub! 

“We’re all into our music, nothing was going on in the area at the time, and I had land with the Sports and Social Club years ago. 

“So we thought, why not throw a mini festival, and see how it goes? The response was incredible, so we just rolled on.” 

And now you’re the third best tributes festival in Europe? 

“Every single band that’s played SomerRock has rated us the third – sometimes second – biggest and best tributes act festival in the scene.

“There’s TribFest and Glastonbudget, which attract 15,000 to 20,000 people. Then there’s SomerRock.”

What sets SomerRock apart in festival season?

“Every festival is about joining your friends for a fun weekend, but SomerRock has that local community feel.

It’s close, it’s personal. It’s not trying to be something it’s not. it’s basically a huge, annual, Sedgemoor get-together.”

And you have a big team on board…

“Without everyone who works with me, my friends, family, and employees, SomerRock couldn’t happen.

“There are 44 bar staff alone this year – including Marketeers Carnival Club, which also does

all the stewarding. 

“Then my team of helpers, which is about 40 strong. We’re looking at well over a hundred people.”

What are your SomerRock highlights? 

“It’s all of it, the build up to the finish. Seeing a big crowd of people, and knowing two-thirds of them personally, and the whole of Bridgwater town enjoying it.

It’s almost like a carnival festival.”

Where does the SomerRock big top come from?

“It actually comes from a company which also supplies the Isle of Wight Festival, so he travels a fair way.”

Any last words to those yet to buy their ticket? 

“It’s nine years of SomerRock now. I’m already planning something big for our 10th. We’re

hoping of drafting in a big name for the show. Last year went perfectly, in my eyes. Good weather is all we need now.”

SOMERROCK is at Bridgwater and Albion RFC Friday to Saturday, August 8-9. Tickets cost £14 for Friday, £18 for Saturday or £25 for the weekend. Buy them from Blake Hall, Strings ‘n’ Things, Castle Club, on 07834-572782 or online at www.seetickets.com

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