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Interview: Andy Hudson (Indietracks)


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Indiepop is one of those little genres whose followers live for it. And for those fans, Indietracks festival is their Mecca. 

The annual indiepop gathering in the Derbyshire hills, as the spawn of C86, the must-attend venue for DIY indie music with heart. We caught up with organiser Andy Hudson about the twee-est gig on the festival calendar. 

IndietracksWhat makes Indietracks different to other festivals?

We're based on a steam railway, so it's a pretty unique location. So our visitors can catch steam trains during the day and even watch bands playing on the trains. We also have a picturesque outdoor stage that the trains drive past, and bands playing in a locomotive shed and a tin tabernacle church. 

We're a very informal and relaxed festival with a small capacity, and lots of people comment on the special atmosphere. 

What exactly is indiepop? 

Ha ha, this has been the subject of lively debate by our visitors in the past! 

For me, it's as much about a community of people with a DIY and independent outlook on music as it is about any musical styles or similarities. We describe ourselves as an indiepop festival, but there's a wide range of music every year; from melodic guitar pop and softly-strummed folk to screeching punk pop, and atmospheric electro. 

Who are you looking forward to seeing this year? 

I'm really looking forward to our Saturday headliners, Camera Obscura, who released a gorgeous pop album earlier this year. We also have rare shows from The Pastels, Helen Love, The Magic Theatre and The Secret History. And our Sunday headliners Still Corners promises to be a very special occasion too. 

What are your highlights from the festival so far? 

Edwyn Collins playing in 2011 was a great occasion. He played hits from Orange Juice as well as his great new solo material, and the atmosphere in the locomotive shed was electric that evening. 

Teenage Fanclub also played an incredibly uplifting set in 2009 and drew one of the festival's largest crowds. However, sometimes the best moments are the less well-known bands during the day; I really enjoyed Haiku Salut and Stars of Aviation playing in our tin church a few years ago, and it's always worth popping in there to check out some newer bands. 

How are the bands selected? 

We invite bands to apply to play at the festival, and listen to every application that comes in. We also invite our regular visitors to recommend bands on an online message board, and try and invite their most popular choices. Hopefully that keeps things democratic and varied. Our team also has lots of bands in mind that we'd like to play, and we try and book an interesting range that people will find exciting. 

Who would you really like to see play? 

We managed to book our dream line up this year, especially with Camera Obscura, The Pastels, Bis, Still Corners and Helen Love all playing! For future years, we've a few people in mind – there are artists we invite every year who haven't made it along yet. It's not really fair to name them in public though! 

Also, we're really guided by who our audience want to see, so we'll be checking the message boards as soon as this year's festival finishes. 

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