Anyone who knows me knows that I’m beyond bonkers when it comes to 80s music. In fact I just love everything 80s. I always think of it as the happiest of times, most likely because as I was only a pre-teen, but whatever the reason I’d take a Delorean back to to 1980 tomorrow and do it all again if I could.
So I couldn’t believe my luck the day I found a banner announcing Tony Hadley and other huge 80s stars were performing at a concert in Tring. Surely not in my town? But of course it was true and I’ve been every year since to lay worship at the 80s music shrine that is Chilfest.
This incredible event was the brain child of local businessman Steve Butcher so I was keen to speak to him and hear more about how he came to start what has become the biggest event in Tring since the arrival of the Rothschilds.
So here is his Essential 5…
What’s your business when you’re not organising Chilfest?
I run a technical production company. We provide technical services to the live events industry; sound, lighting, set staging and video. We cover events like awards dinners, conferences, product launches and work all over the UK and Europe.
What made you decide to run Chilfest?
I’m a keen 80s music lover and first had the idea of bringing live music from original 80s bands to the area while at a barbecue at a friends house one evening. Once the seed for Chilfest was sown, that was it.
What do you love about running the festival in Tring?
It’s great to do something for the local community, and I’m particularly proud that we’ve raised money for local charities over the last four years.
What’s been your best memory of the festival so far?
Being on stage with my wife and mum while Billy Ocean was performing and looking out over thousands of people having an amazing time.
What can we expect from Chilfest 2017 that we haven’t seen before?
There’ll be eight acts, opposed to just seven in previous years, a silent disco, a second entrance/exit and the festival site has increased by some 4,000 square feet.
My goodness just so much to get excited about! July just can’t come soon enough. Thanks so much for giving us the inside track. We absolutely love having Chilfest in Tring and feel very lucky you took on the enormous task of organising it for us. Thank you Steve.