In The Woods Festival organiser Charlie Andrew talks the event's future

In The Woods Festival organiser Charlie Andrew talks the event's future

In The Woods Festival organiser Charlie Andrew has said he has no plans to expand the event's capacity despite the success of its first 10 years.

The BRIT Award-winning producer (pictured) launched the festival with his Laurel Collective bandmates in 2006. Acts have gone on to include Alt-J, Kate Tempest, The Cribs, Years & Years, Laura Marling, Young Fathers, Jack Garratt, Jorja Smith and Slaves. 

Named Best Independent Festival at the 2013 AIM Awards, the event is held in private woodland in Andrew’s native Kent and celebrated its 10th anniversary last year. Its 2017 edition will be run from September 1-2. 

“We thought it would be fun to play a gig in this little clay mine,” said Andrew of the first event in 2006. “There were about 100 people there, everyone brought a few cans of beer and we had a laugh. 

“We now attract a couple of thousand people each year, but it still has a very homely feel. There’s no advertising or corporate branding, we price everything in a fair way rather than trying to make money; in fact, it’s never made money. Thankfully, it’s never made a loss either, we just do it for the love of it.” 

He adds: “Our remit is to showcase up-and-coming artists, almost like a precursor to the ones to watch lists that come out a few months later. We’re like A&R scouts, going out there and seeing what’s brewing.

“They have to tick a lot of boxes - we get pitched a lot of bands, but ultimately we need to make sure we’re a fan of them before we ask them to play.”

On In The Woods’ future, he added: “The festival is on a site that can’t grow much bigger. If it wasn’t on that site, to us, it feels like it would lose a certain magic. So we’re going to keep the physical size of the festival he same as it is now.”

As a producer, Andrew has collaborated with the likes of Madness, Bloc Party, Eugene McGuinness, Nick Mulvey and Rae Morris, but is best known for his work with Alt-J. He produced their platinum-selling debut LP An Awesome Wave, winner of the 2012 Mercury Prize, and subsequent follow-ups including their upcoming third album Relaxer, which comes out in June.

Andrew, who launched record label and publishing ventures Square Leg Records and Big Tree Music last year, took the BRIT Award for Producer Of The Year in 2016, having triumphed at the Music Producers Guild (MPG) Awards earlier that month.

See the latest edition of Music Week for a full interview with Andrew.

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