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Cloud 9 Festival Organiser Interview July 2011

Catherine May


At More Than The Music, we love to bring you interviews with bands and artists who we love and who we think are doing great things for the industry. Hannah Cox, one of the organisers of Cloud 9 festival very much falls into the latter category. The Festival is into its third year, but on August 6th it will be the first time the festival has partnered with the charities CALM and Headculture to provide a new charitable festival experience. Profits from ticket sales and car parking will be going to the North West based charities who raise awareness of suicide in young males. It’s a harsh subject, but Hannah explains that’s exactly why more people need to be talking about it…

MTTM: Can you tell us what’s new about this year’s festival?

Hannah Cox: Well this is the first year our company [We Are Anchor] has been involved in running the festival. We’ve brought in big name acts which the festival previously lacked and have chosen to support charities close to my heart. The two charities both raise awareness of suicide in young men and by bringing that message to the festival we’re making it a less scary way to approach the subject.

MTTM: So which acts are you most excited to have on board?

HC: I’ve known Ed [Sheeran] for quite a long time since he was starting out in London several years ago so I’m really, really happy that he’s playing. And I’m massively looking forward to The Futureheads – I’ve only ever seen them at gigs before so seeing them at a festival will be great. And we’ve got Scratch Perverts offering amazing dance music. We’ve got six different tents and so many genres for people to dip in and out of.

MTTM: What else has the festival got to offer other than music?

HC: Aside from the music, Headculture are actually running their own chill out tent with sofas, shishas and face painting which should be cool. And I’m really excited about the Eskimo Mohito tent; They’re setting it up so it’ll be like walking into a mental dream  with crazy games.

MTTM: Other than the charities, what makes the festival stand out?

HC: We’re offering something for all ages – we are a family festival. We know that not everyone is going to want to watch live music for hours on end so we’re hoping the variety of tents will offer something for everyone.

MTTM: What made you choose two charities which support the same cause?

HC: Well really they’re both very closely linked already. They’re both based in Manchester – though CALM is more of a national charity now.  Headculture focuses more on raising awareness among uni students. That’s a time when guys can be particularly affected – the stress of studying, bills and finding jobs. And CALM is really for everybody. Both charities come across with a very no nonsense approach which is often something that is missing in regards to the subject. We’ve got 5,000 people coming to the festival and if we can help just one person talk about their issues and seek help, then we’ve done out job. At the moment CALM only operate a helpline at weekends but hopefully, with the festival’s support, this can change.

MTTM: And how do the artists feel about the charities?

HC: All of our headliners are men and that is something that was done consciously. We want people to come to the festival and see acts who they look up to supporting causes that they are scared to talk about. All the headliners have said they are massively excited to be involved with this – especially The Futureheads.

MTTM: So what’s next for Cloud 9 Festival? If all goes well this year what can we expect in 2012?

HC: I really want to continue the relationship between the charities and the festival. We’re planning to arrange other events throughout the year to show our continued support and hopefully encourage other festivals to do similar things. This year we’re only running for one day so it would be great if we could add another one next year.

Cloud 9 Festival is running on 6 August in Love Lane Farm, Cheshire.