SEPTEMBER | ME, MYSELF & I
Access catches up with
one of the founders of
London-based Matt’s BBQ
Matts BBQ started out as a BBQ in
my mum’s garden to celebrate my
18th birthday. Well, when I say BBQ,
there was a BBQ on the go of course,
but there were also some big speakers
about 30 of my mates and it went on
until about 4 in the morning!
Since that birthday, word got around, the birthday parties got
bigger, the complaints from our neighbours came in and my mum
kicked us out after five years. We went to football clubs, parks and
then dedicated festival sites, this year reaching over 7000 attendees.
Half of my family are from Jamaica, and I visit there a couple of times
a year. Jamaica has been the best partying of my life and I take most
of my inspiration from there. Not in the terms of the music, but by
way of the effort into production, they really go all out.
Each year, we sit down and review who is doing well as a DJ in their
genre of music. We aim to select the best in dancehall, hip-hop,
house, garage Afro beats and Soca. Some of these genres are rarely
represented at all in UK festivals, and they certainly don’t get a main
stage spot. So we like to give genres like dancehall a main stage spot,
even flying in acts from Jamaica to headline the main stage.
We have worked with many suppliers and service providers that we
have met via trade shows, these shows really help smaller festivals
similar to our size, meet the right
contacts they need to grow. Our
favourite contact we’ve made has
been Redbox tickets, the guys there
have been great and were a key part in
enabling us to grow. They take away a
lot of the stress we wouldn’t be able to
The only bugbear about the event industry, is that sometimes you
invest your whole life and money into something that sometimes
feels like it could be effected by factors outside of your control. For
example, if events have happened in a venue you are booked to use,
and maybe they haven’t gone so well or the neighbours are really
against events in that area, your event may be pulled or forced to
reschedule or relocate and that is a continual worry, for I imagine
any event organiser.
Aim high! We have had such amazing support over the years from
our party goers. It really is an event different from every other and
the word is spreading.
We have grown on average by 50% each year with no major sponsor
and without any investors. It seems like we are making some waves
now. I read in Access that Parklife Festival started with very small
numbers and since its birth in 2010 has turned colossal. So that’s a
good festival to draw inspiration from!