HERETIC FEST – interview

Heretic Fest is three days of Hard and Classic Rock emanating from Sheffield’s famous Corporation venue from the 30th April until May 2nd 2021. Originally scheduled for one day on a similar date this year but of course having to cancel due to the awful virus, they have done well at maintaining a lot of the same bands from this year’s festival while also adding another MASSIVE two days filled with amazing bands. It promises to be a great weekend both celebrating old rock while also supporting the NWOBCR!

The Friday night is where a lot of the bands from this year remain, headlined by the awesome Inglorious. Debuting with their incredible first album back in 2016, Nathan James’ crew have gone from strength to strength since then, putting out another two stellar albums and playing major festivals all across europe. With the guys teasing a fourth album currently, could it be out by the time the festival rolls around? Maybe we’ll get the chance to hear some new songs there, either way!

Opening for Inglorious are Oli Brown’s power rock band Raveneye, as well as Cellar Door Moon Crow, Dig Lazarus and CPSD.

The Saturday headliners are the US conquering hard rock band Stone Broken. Coming off the massive success of their 2018 album, Ain’t Always Easy, these guys are really gaining momentum and are firing on all cylinders right now. They get regular airplay across the world and were even set to headline this year’s Planet Rock Cruise before that also got called off, so they really are one hell of a grab for a headliner!

Opening for them is noted Heaven’s Basement alumni Aaron Buchanan’s solo project with the Cult Classics, a great live band who have an amazing setlist from their debut album. Rounding out that day are the likes of awesome modern rockers Fallen State, the great comedy rock band Bootyard Bandits and the great These Wicked Rivers, among others!

Sunday is a day for the older rock fans, headlined by the utterly fantastic Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. The man who previously guitared for rock’n’roll titans Motörhead, his solo project has really taken off over the last few years in large part thanks to their amazing live shows and awesome output of original music. In fact, their last album, Age of Absurdity, may have been my favourite album of 2018. Their recent singles have been awesome, too, and they always throw a few cheeky Motörhead covers in live to really get the crowd going.

To add to the awesomeness of the last day of the festival, The Bastard Sons are joined by the recently reformed (and excellent) Black Spiders, playing a hometown gig nonetheless. Other bands rounding out the last day of the festival include Irish blues/country rock band Blackwater Conspiracy, Rocket Dolls and Dukes of Bordello, among many others!

I had the chance to sit down with the Organiser of the Festival, Hannah Heretic (Hannah Mae Fellows),

Hannah pictured with Band members Phil & Tommy Goodwin of Cellar Door Moon Crow

in order to interview her and get a little more insight into the fest. Here is what Hannah had to say:

Q. So, what gave you the inspiration to start a music festival? What got you started?

“The festival started as my major project for my degree, once the event had to be postponed I decided to expand on the weekend rather than just move it to give people some positive news and help the festival grow”.

Q. Who is the most exciting booking you have made for the festival?

“All of the bands I have booked have been very carefully selected so I’m very excited to have them all there. There are a couple who I’m really excited to be working with though, such as Daxx & Roxane and Revival Black, they’re growing fast in the industry and deserve every bit of credit they get, I’m expecting big things from them”.

Q. Being a newer, grassroots rock festival, what advice would you give to anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?

“Don’t give up, it takes a lot of hard work, and a lot will get in your way, but the only real obstacle is yourself. As A great teacher once said, “Do or do not, there is no try”.

Q. If you could book one dream band from the current crop to play Heretic, who would it be and why?

“There’re so many great bands I’d love to book, one of them being Tremonti. They put on an excellent show and are a really great band that I think if people don’t know them already, will very quickly grow to love”.

Q. What are your plans for the upcoming few years? I assume you’re wanting to make this a yearly event?

“I would love the festival to carry on each year, and that has always been the aim. The way the festival is looking right now, and the support I’ve gotten, means this is looking very positive for the future and I thank every single person who has supported me”.

This blog is part of our Music Festivals community project to support grass roots festival. We can all do our bit to support these kind of events which offer a more exclusive and richer experience than some of the larger commercialized counter parts.

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The interview by musician, blogger & author – Joe Griffiths

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