The Festival Booker: Simon Jones

RockNess talent booker
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Simon Jones, talent booker for Rockness, talks statues of Ghandi and sorting the line-up for scotland’s monster fest.

"It’s less glamorous backstage than you think - not so much drinking cocktails schmoozing with the artists as loads of men lugging flight cases around, with their arse cracks out. There are portacabins, lots of drink, lots of liggers, and lots of sunglasses.

I’ve worked for Rockness for two years. It’s a really exciting festival to work on. When it comes to shaping the line-up, myself and the other three bookers get together to brainstorm and initially end up with our perfect festival.

Obviously some of the artists get rubbed off the board as the weeks and months go by, and we end up with what you see today. For the most part, we get almost exactly what we were aiming for in terms of calibre and balance.

We work further in advance than you think - we’ve already started on the line-up for 2012. In fact, I nearly let slip one of our headliners for 2012 to someone the other week. That would’ve been interesting to say the least.

There are always stories that come out, normally involving one of the headline bands, but as you can imagine I’m under oath to keep these under lock and key!

When it comes to the band’s riders, they always ask for a helicopter. Contrary to popular opinion, they don’t all get one. I’ve heard that Groove Armada always request fridge magnets from everywhere they play, but their rider is yet to be received, and although I can’t name names the most random request so far has been a statue of Ghandi!”

Rockness takes place: 11th-13th June, Dores, Scotland

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Words by Laura Foster

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