Splendour Festival Nottingham

Interview: How Splendour Festival organisers are celebrating their 10 year anniversary

Splendour celebrates its 10th birthday this weekend. As Nottingham’s biggest day out, with 25,000 people expected to Wollaton Park. We caught up with organizers, George Akins and Danielle Sorsby. 

1) A brief history of Splendour.

Ten years ago Nottingham City Council and DHP decided to start a festival for the people of Nottingham, an event to showcase some of the talented local musicians and bring some of the world’s best talent to the area. In the first year, acts such as Kate Nash, Paolo Nutini, Rufus Wainwright and Ocean Colour Scene graced the stages over a two-day event, as well as The Charlatans, who are back this year. Since then the festival has doubled in size, and now welcomes close to 30,000 attendees to Wollaton Hall & Deer Park.

2) In 10-years, how has the festival has changed or evolved?

Splendour has just got bigger and better over the years! There are more stages, lots of non-musical things to see and do, and the development of the whole event is really something to be proud of. It’s a very family-friendly event, with a kids’ area as well as stalls and pop-ups with activities to suit the little ones. There is also a fantastic VIP area which gets more impressive each year.

3) How does this year stand out in comparison to previous years?

It’s definitely going to be exciting to celebrate a decade of the festival and there will be some surprises along the way. The Fringe Stage is really strong this year, with poets, Nottingham’s favourite gran ‘Mrs Green’, and a Women in Music Panel featuring influential women who have been involved in Splendour, looking at issues such festival line-ups, Splendour memories, industry advice, and advice specifically for women in music.

Kasier Chiefs at Splendour 2017.

4) Who can Nottingham look forward to catching this year? What else can we expect?

This year’s line-up is epic, with multi-talented singer-songwriter Paloma Faith – one of the most successful British female artists of the last decade – headlining. Indie rockers The Charlatans are back, 10-years on since their Splendour debut; the crowd can singalong to ABBA hits from Björn Again – perfect timing with the recent premiere of ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ and pop sensation Sophie Ellis-Bextor. The Acoustic Stage in the Courtyard is made up of fantastic, local talent; one to definitely check out too.

Main Stage

21:00-22:30 Paloma Faith

19:15-20:15 The Charlatans

17:45-18:30 Marc Almond

16:30-17:15 Björn Again

15:30-16:00 Sophie Ellis-Bextor

14:30-15:00 Ady Suleiman

13:30-14:00 Nina Smith

12:30-13:00 The Dandylions


Confetti Stage

20:00-21:15 The Stranglers

18:30-19:15 Embrace

17:15-18:00 Peace

16:00-16:45 Ferocious Dog

15:00-15:30 Toploader

14:00-14:30 Ashfields

13:00-13:30 Don’t Forget Rupert

12:00-12:30 Clonk


Acoustic Rooms Stage (Courtyard)

20:30-21:00 To Kill A King

19:30-20:00 Soham De

18:30-19:00 Re Teu

17:30-18:00 Katie Cooper

16:30-17:00 Joey Costello

15:30-16:00 Ferris & Sylvester

14:30-15:00 Daisy Godfrey

13:30-14:00 George Gadd

12:40-13:10 Bria

11:50-12:20 Mollie Ralph & Chloe Rodgers


Comedy Stage

18:00-18:30 Brian Damage & Krysstal

17:00-17:30 Andrew Bird

16:00-16:30 The Raymond & Mr Timpkins Revue

15:00-15:30 Patrick Monahan

14:00-14:30 Alan Hudson


Fringe Stage

17:15-17:45 Mrs Green

16:00-16:30 Phatmagic

15:00-15:30 Women in Music x Splendour – panel

14:00-14:30 Nottingham School of Samba

13:00-13:30 Poetry is Dead Good

12:00-12:30 One Love

We also caught up with Danielle Sorsby, who has helped behind the scenes at Splendour for much of its history, witnessed several local artists climb through the stages and excel in their career.

 She says: “One of the best things about being involved with Splendour over the years is seeing how the festival has helped shape the wider Nottingham music community. It’s been great to be able to book acts on some of the smaller stages and then see them soon be promoted to the bigger ones and then maintain that success away from the festival. We always talk about the likes of Jake Bugg, Saint Raymond, Amber Run etc; well all of those had their first Splendour gig on the Courtyard Stage.

“My personal highlight was probably the year Dizzee Rascal headlined. Not your traditional Splendour headliner, but so much fun nevertheless. The whole of Wollaton Park was bouncing; it was a great day!”

You can still be tickets for Splendour here.

By Malvika Padin

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