Festival Application Form

Performance Details


Tip of the Pops Solar Powered Wheelbarrow Disco


Experimental mobile disco made from waste reclaimed by dumpmiester DJ Dirty-Ali Disco. Spinning classic 7 inch vinyl and spanning 5 decades of dance. Earwig (the ‘barra’) is a self-sufficient tried and tested party generator with serious environmental credentials. All of the equipment and music was once waste including the digital camera, recording, editing and PC suite used for updating the blog and audio.

Because Tip of the Pops is wheely-mobile it can join in with parades and other on-site activities even do a mini-tour.  We can set-up in a tiny space and at short notice to fill-in wherever necessary. Other people can use the equipment for DJ’ing workshops,  youth-work and beatbox etc.  At the Earthwise gathering and Boscombe Communty fair Tip of the Pops provided childrens entertainment as well as all of the above!

Hours of Operation

Earwig can go for 6 hours without recharge. I would prefer to do various ‘themed’ 2 hour sets in different locations throughout the festival a sort of mini-tour. The themes can include but are not limited to love, war, green etc. or contact me with ideas for a theme. I will guarantee to do 6 gigs in 4 days (including workshops). One on Thursday and Sunday, two on Friday and Saturday. It’s possible to do more (or less) as required and they can be either impromptu, solo or collaborated with other artists / venues.

Production (nuts-n-bolts)

Tip of the Pops is totally self-sufficient although at busy times it is useful to have a festival steward at hand for crowd control / assistance. I have a campervan with awning which acts as my workshop. I need this in a secure place to camp and return to throughout the festival in-between performances.  I come prepared to play outside and I do not bring a venue / marquee / canopy.  If the weather is bad I cannot perform unless there is some undercover space provided e.g a cafe, art gallery, band stand.

A Roaming or Static Performance?

As I am mainly playing vinyl I cannot be mobile and play music unless it’s a Cassette, Mini-Disc, CD or MP3.  As I will only use equipment from the dump I can bring all of these players with me in case someone else would like to use Earwig on the move e.g. a parade.  I normally wheel around everything I need for the performance to the right spot then set-up in aproximately 5 minutes.  If you need a mobile public address system for a particular activty like dance or making announcements I can do that too. At the Boscombe Community fair my barrotheque was used in the arena for playing music and public announcements.

What does the Audience Gain?

Tip of the Pops is about engaging people socially and environmentally with a healthy dose of comedy. Great slabs of irony are provided by dancing around listening to rubbish, it’s also a satirical swipe at DJ-club culture and a form of activism highlighting a wasteful society. Using recycling and renewable energy Tip of the Pops is showing how to make the best use of available resources whilst raising awareness of environmental issues in a practical and social situation. This social learning is achieved by empowering people to reflect on their own lifestyles without delivering a hard-line or scientific message that could otherwise patronise, intimidate or put-off people interested in being ‘green’.

In summary, a good time without harming the environment ‘a disco with no carbon footprint’

Performer / Instructor Details

How many people are involved?

Two, one performer / DJ and one assistant /  MC

Do you have any relevant experience

Prior to Tip of the Pops I ran a voluntary arts organisation in Boscombe, Dorset. We turned empty shops into art galleries and took art galleries to festivals along with other projects like a newsletter, a website and artist studios with varying degrees of success. 2004 was my first renewable gig at the Earthwise festival and a Zia solar powered art gallery. Tip of the Pops is my first solo creative environmental project and debuted at the Big Green Gathering in 2007. The first ‘system’ consisted a car battery, ghetto blaster, some old records in a wheelbarrow and a blanket! Since the first gig and some excellent feedback in 2008 Earwig has undergone development, I have collected 100’s more records, 60 plus members on facebook and an average 300 hits per month on my blog. I am health and safety, first aid trained and qualified in waste management (recycling) NVQ Level 2.

Estimate of Financial Support

Please pay my travel cost (£1 per mile from Wimborne in Dorset, UK) and a donation to the Butterfly Foundation raising awareness of domestic violence see here

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One Comment on “Festival Application Form

  1. When you are applying to perform at summer festivals you have to start well in advance. I began my research back in November with a couple of emails to various contacts which I had found on the web. Although I had heard from friends that they knew someone involved it is always best to make your own enquiries as only you can pitch your project and make a personal introduction to the right person. If there is no immediate response you should not give-up and continue trying to find the right person who can help you.

    It is best to write something personal rather than a blanket email sent to ‘many’ so try and find the name of the person you need to contact

    Weigh-up the costs and benefits of each event before you continue ‘badgering’ them and potentially wasting valuable time and enthusiasm

    Realise your own value and worth, don’t underestimate your originality and be prepared to work all-hours necessary to make a good impression

    Set yourself realistic goals otherwise you may be disappointed and dis-heartened if you don’t reach them

    Try and keep your application short and to the point. If there is no forms or information to guide you concentrate on giving them the what, where and why in just 3 paragraphs

    Do not be ‘form-o-phobic’ (afraid of forms) once you have done one you can copy and paste what you’ve already written to use in other applications

    If you are lucky enough to be contacted by a festival and are invited to play make sure you are both clear about what’s expected… number of artists, crew, performances and budget etc. This is always a nightmare so make sure you have a clear idea of what you’re after – offering BEFORE you start applying.

    Some festivals provide application forms with a deadline for you to meet. Above is an example of an application form for performance and roaming artists to be seen at a UK summer festival.

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