A festival with an intriguing and perhaps spiritual name, Temples Festival is to take place between May 2nd and 4th 2014 in the industrial ‘Temples Quarter’ of Bristol, an area now filled with converted warehouses, skate parks, courtyards and river terraces. I want to go already, and that’s before I talk about the line up…
Temples Festival is an independent, sponsor-free, heavy music festival that is playing host to an astounding range of heavy bands and artists. To call it a metal festival would be a disservice as it covers far more bases than this. Highlights would appear to include Neurosis (who this writer has been pining to see for decades), Electric Wizard, the last ever UK Brutal Truth gig, Replusion, A Storm of Light and Clutch. John E Smoke settles down with the man behind Temples, a certain Francis Mace.
JES – So Francis, how does one go about arranging a festival like Temples? How long have you been planning and perfecting the debut event?
FM – I’ve been planning Temples 2014 since around this time last year, prior to which I’d be contemplating running a festival in Bristol for a couple of years. As far as arrangement goes, a large factor in actioning the festival as a whole was securing a suitable venue – and although I’ve had Motion in mind for while it’s very popular among club promoters and therefore hard to book. Once I confirmed the venue, I set the rest of the plan into action………
JES – Temples has an incredible line up, something for everyone with a penchant for heavy sounds. Does the line up reflect your own personal music tastes? What else has steered the selection process?
FM – The line-up absolutely reflects my taste in heavy music, since I started promoting concerts I’ve only ever booked acts I’m personally a fan of and that’s definitely the modus operandi I’ve followed whilst curating Temples 2014. Truthfully the only thing that’s steered the line-up is my taste in heavy music, and as that covers punk, doom, hardcore, grind, black, death – I’d say ultimately my taste has been well reflected on this years edition.
JES – So are you going to be side stage enjoying some of the performances? Is there anything in particular that is getting you slobbering at the chops?
FM – I’ve been chasing Clutch and Neurosis for a long time (as a promoter), so I’ll most certainly be side of the stage for them two! I’m hugely excited about seeing Brutal Truth’s last ever UK show, Satan’s Satyrs, Tombs, Anaal Nathrakh, Doom, Wolfbrigade, SSS, The Secret and of course Repulsion. I’ve programmed a line-up full of bands I want to see, so hopefully my duties across the weekend will allow me to see as many of the bands I’ve booked as possible!
JES – Temples is in an urban environment rather than a muddy field. I am personally a fan of the urban festival, combining a city experience with a music festival. Was Temples always going to be in an urban setting or did you consider a more traditional rural festival?
FM – For our first year we were always going to go with a venue-based festival, and as Motion offers both indoor and outdoor facilities it was a great option for our debut year. All in all I’m just as much of a fan of the rural festival as I am indoor. Future editions of Temples Festival will perhaps take on a more traditional festival setting…….
JES – Have you taken inspiration from other festivals when planning Temples? It strikes me that it would appeal to those who might have enjoyed the Supersonic and Damnation festivals over the years.
FM – The main inspiration has been offering something that the other UK festivals don’t offer, so we’ve not taken any direct influence from any other festivals, certainly not UK events anyway. I think Temples Festival has much more in common with Maryland Deathfest than any of our UK counterparts and the narrative we’re working with is unlike anything that’s been hosted in the UK before.
JES – Is there going to be a 2015 Temples? Can you tease us with any tasters of what is to come?
FM – There most certainly is, we signed the venue contract last week and I have over 25 bands booked at present. Our first announcement will be on May 4th 2014, that’s as much of a taster as I’m willing to give, for now……..