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Q&A: Barn on the Farm music festival

PUBLISHED: 09:00 03 June 2015 | UPDATED: 09:33 03 June 2015

Catfish & The Bottlemen are just one of the acts to have performed at Barn On The Farm prior to making it big

Catfish & The Bottlemen are just one of the acts to have performed at Barn On The Farm prior to making it big


Festival director Josh Sanger explains what makes Barn on the Farm a unique addition to Gloucestershire’s calendar of musical events, and who we should be listening to this year

Barn On The Farm recently won UK’s Best Independent Festival at the AIM Independent Music AwardsBarn On The Farm recently won UK’s Best Independent Festival at the AIM Independent Music Awards

Q: What would you say is Barn On The Farm’s unique draw for festival goers – the thing that sets it apart from other summer festivals?

A: Barn on the Farm is an intimate affair that breaks the boundaries between audience and artist. Our festival family is a community of people from all walks of life that come together once a year to share our love for music and the importance of it in our lives. This festival is not about putting music on a platform - it’s about a connection, a moment in time, a happening. On top of that, we spend all year every year carefully curating our line-ups. We like to think Barn on the Farm plays a part in breaking artists in to the wider music scene.

Q: You’ve shown a knack for picking performers on the cusp of making it big (Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard, Bastille, Gabrielle Aplin, George Ezra etc.) – is there anybody on this year’s line-up tipped for success?

A: In terms of success, James Bay who is headlining our Sunday night is well on the way to being a worldwide name. Jack Garratt is also stamping his mark everywhere he goes!

Live music at Barn On The Farm festival / Photo: Josh HailingLive music at Barn On The Farm festival / Photo: Josh Hailing

Q: Is there someone lesser-known amongst the line-up who you think, in an ideal world, should make it big?

A: We’re really excited about Samm Henshaw, Port Isla, Louis Berry and Chloe Black, to name a few. Get on Spotify on the go and give the line-up a spin, I’m sure you’ll find something to your liking.

Q: What’s it like putting together a festival on the site of a working farm? Any particular obstacles to overcome (like the occasional rogue cow)?

A: It’s pretty chaotic, but in a great way! A few years ago, piglets were born just before the festival and these proved quite a distraction to the guests at the festival! We did manage to keep them all on the farm though. I think the rough and ready nature of the site offers something quite honest and is integral to the feel of Barn on the Farm.

Live music at Barn On The Farm, in the buildings of Over Farm, Gloucester / Photo: Josh HailingLive music at Barn On The Farm, in the buildings of Over Farm, Gloucester / Photo: Josh Hailing

Q: What does the Barn on the Farm of the future look like to you? Any plans to expand or change the format?

A: In the past we’ve taken it year by year and hoped our festival family would grow steadily. Now we’ve got a large demand and it’s allowing us to explore ideas that we never imagined that we could try out.

Some really exciting plans are in place but we’d like to keep them behind closed barn doors for now! Don’t worry, we will never grow out of creating an event derived from connection and intimacy.

Q: Barn on the Farm recently won UK’s Best Independent Festival at the AIM Independent Music Awards; how did that feel?

A: I still can’t believe this happened. We’re unbelievably honoured to be amongst the list of winners. It’s an incredible feeling to get recognition for something you’ve created and spent a lot of time on. That said, the award isn’t just for us. It’s for everyone that has been a part of the family; artists, audience, organisers etc.

The buildings of Over Farm, a working farm in Gloucester, being used as venues for the Barn OnThe Farm festival  / Photo: Josh HailingThe buildings of Over Farm, a working farm in Gloucester, being used as venues for the Barn OnThe Farm festival / Photo: Josh Hailing

Q: If you had to attend any other music festival around the Cotswolds this year, which would you choose and why?

A: We really respect 2000 Trees. The organisers and promoters know the festival that they are creating and I’ve heard great things because of it. Ultimately I’m a big believer that if you make something because you love it, others will feel that passion and join you for the ride.

Q: What album released this year should we all be listening to?

A: Other than James Bay’s Chaos and the Calm, you should really go and listen to The War On Drugs’ Lost In The Dream. We love that band!

Festival goers enjoying the music / Photo: Josh HailingFestival goers enjoying the music / Photo: Josh Hailing


Barn On The Farm 2015 is sold out, but you can preview the line-up here, and stay tuned for details about next year by visiting

For more music festival suggestions, have a look at our line-up of the best in Gloucestershire.


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