So what exactly is ‘passion not profit’ ?
It is all we stand for. In a world of BIG festivals sponsored by BIG corporations held in BIG fields by BIG men in BIG suits everything has got a little….well, too big.
Here at Sunk Fest, we are proud to be different. We live, eat and breathe music and we like small. Small means we can remain truly independent and stay in control of all we do : a festival for musicians, made by musicians and music-a-holics. We seek out new, underground talent. The kind of music that gives you goosebumps. The kind of music that exists because of hours spent in a sweaty practice room, because of years of being sat in a bedroom learning to play a guitar, because of an undying passion to make music with integrity. in short: our bands make the music that DESERVES to be heard and loved, NOT music that a big man in a big corporation decided was worthy of success.
This is what Sunkfest is at it’s core: a platform for the best music you’ve never heard of to be celebrated and enjoyed by an appreciative, music-intelligent crowd who are just as excited to listen as the band are to play. Small also means we have a unique atmosphere. We parade as a festival, but in truth we are kind of like the most awesome summer camp you never went to as a kid. You know the one where no grown ups were allowed, and you camped in the middle of nowhere and listened to some wicked band you’d never heard of, but that quickly became one of your favourites because they were SO AWESOME and you stayed up late and made loads of friends and cried when you had to go home? Yup, that’s us.
There is no need to be nervous when you come to Sunkfest: if you don’t know anyone at the start you will certainly know EVERYONE at the finish.If you fall after one too many tequilas, at Sunk Fest someone will pick you up. If you have a problem or worry just tell one of the Sunk-crew and we will help solve it. All our staff, crew and management run Sunk Fest without pay: we do it for the love of music. ALL of Sunk Fest’s profits (if we make any!) go straight back into running the festival or to local charities.
We want everyone to have an amazing time, and are not afraid to go the extra mile to make it happen.
That’s passion, not profit.
A little bit of history…
Sunk Fest is a Rock/Metal/Alternative music festival held annually in the secluded countryside parish of Sunk Island. It was started by Sunk Island resident Laura “Law” Murrell and began when a little bundle of joy, Law’s daughter, arrived in May 2007. Although Law was over the moon with her new baby, she also felt sad – all her friends were heading to Download, Bloodstock, Leeds Festival etc. and having a newborn meant Law wouldn’t be able to go to any of them.
Therefore Law decided she would hold a festival-style party in her own back garden! This way she could be with her baby whilst getting the music filled festival experience she loved. Her friends camped over, the alcohol flowed, a local band by the name of Sworn Amongst played and everyone that attended said it was the best party they had ever been to and couldn’t wait for the next one.
Since 2007, Sunk Fest has been held in Law’s garden every year (but don’t let that fool you, although it technically is a garden it’s more like a field, and can comfortably hold 300+ people!) and has developed into a real asset for the local music scene.
Bigger & Better
Law listened to everyone’s feedback from the first year and tried to improve the party – to make it bigger and better. Law had been in a band herself and knew how soul destroying it can feel to practice, promote and love your music to death, yet turn up to an empty bar to perform in front of nobody. Quickly she began to see that Sunk Fest could be so much more than a party, it could be a platform to help bands reach a new audience and for the attendees to discover new, quality underground music.
Each year she made improvements to the stage, arena and camping area. A family friend, David “Leave it with me” Napierski helped a stupid amount with this. He built (with the helping hands of a few friends!) the Sunkfest stage we use currently: a magnificent all-weather covered stage with raised drum platform! He also made sure we had adequate lighting and electricity for the site, built our toilet blocks, our bar, and even made a shelter for people to have a BBQ when we had a bad forecast one year: HUGE thanks to Dave for all he has done to make this whole party possible over the years!
More and more people attended each year and more and more bands applied to play. In 2010, Paul ‘Chunk’ Watling stepped in to help Law organise and run Sunk Fest – it had grown so much that it was just too much for 1 music loving mum to handle alone! Chunk had also been in a band for many years and is currently studying event management at university. With his help Sunk Fest has now grown into a 2 day festival, showcasing 18 bands with 300+ attendees. We charge for tickets, but this is just a small amount to cover our costs to break even with everything needed to keep the festival going each year. In 2014, Lewis Ford joined the management team and has helped make the festival even bigger and better, with new facilities and fun activities. Lewis is now our social media guru and looks after our facebook, twitter and instagram accounts.
We get asked “Why?” a lot. Why do all this organising and put yourselves under this much stress for no profit at all? The simple answer is: WE LOVE IT. We absolutely fudding love music and we love helping our artists and we love discovering new talent. Going through the applications every year and hearing the quality of music on offer is just amazing. Then to see them up there on this stage we built with our bare hands, performing to a crowd who are there because they love music too, with everyone having an amazing time… there is no better feeling in the world.
We feel there has never been a more exciting time for unsigned bands: the sheer variety and quality of applicants we receive every year is vast, and we want to give a home to underground rock, metal and alternative music in our area and further afield. We want to give them a large crowd who appreciates them, and we want to give the crowd music they will fall in love with. But most of all, we want people to have a great time and go away with some fantastic memories.
That’s our ethos: passion, not profit.
Sunkfest would have never have been possible without some wonderful people, so special thanks and fist pumps to: Dave Napierski, Heather Hopper, Lee Adams, Dave Perry, Darren Bunting, Ian Wright, Phil East, Peter Talbot, Lewis Ford, Matt Lund, Andy Silverback, Alex ‘Joey’ Pentecost, Shaun Hudson, Lottie Bishop, Geoff Pinder, Anna Fox, all the bands that have ever played and finally, everybody else who has supported this crazy adventure over the years. It’s been one hell of a ride and we can’t wait to see what the future brings!