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17th August 2011

Melvin Benn comments after The Big Chill celebrated its 17th year

A bright future predicted for The Big Chill as Festival Republic reflect upon their long-term plan

Following the Big Chill's 17th event Melvin Benn talks about plans to ensure the continuation of one of the summer’s most original events.

“This is our second year promoting The Big Chill and it has been a great opportunity to implement some changes and improvements. There was a brilliant response to our improved and expanded family area ‘The Little Chill’, often at times over the weekend as popular with the parents as it was the children! The Therapy & Chill field was increased in size and the treatment tents were busier than ever, Big Chill Radio got its own stage, BBC 6 Music broadcast three shows live from site, and there were new additions to the music on offer including The People’s Ear Stage, the psychedelic White Rabbit Lounge and Tom Middleton’s Sound Of The Cosmos, whilst classic parts of the festival, such as the Art Trail triumphantly returned in partnership with Saatchi Online.

Some of the first to arrive were the participants of the Tour De Chill, our new charity bike ride to the festival which raised £5300 for one of our official charity partners, Kenyan Orphan Project. They were amongst the numbers who enjoyed music a day early this year with James Blake headlining our first ever Thursday night Deer Park stage performance. Headliners The Chemical Brothers, Kanye West and Rodrigo y Gabriela all put on brilliant sets. We were also very lucky to have many other diverse and celebrated performances from Jessie J, The Bullitts, featuring Lucy Liu, Idris Elba and Jay Electronica, Jamie xx, Hercules & Love Affair, Ghostpoet and Robert Plant & The Band of Joy, to name but a few.

West Mercia Police have confirmed that there were ‘no serious incidents or serious crimes on site’, which we are extremely pleased with.

Last year we were able to bring bigger and higher profile acts to The Big Chill, such as MIA and Lily Allen who brought with them a new wave of younger festival-goer. We’re pleased to see many of those faces return this year. We now have a broader and more diverse line up reflecting a broader and more diverse audience, children, teenagers, adults, families, students and young people alike.
We worked hard to respect The Big Chill’s history whilst bringing it to the forefront of the festival calendar. The event is often sited as ‘the original boutique festival’ and we are confident it will grow to become known as one of the major players of the summer calendar. It has been a privilege to enable the festival to continue as its heritage and place within the festival market is something we believe is worth protecting.

Deepest thanks and appreciation go out to everyone involved this year and to everyone who joined us for the festival.”
Melvin Benn, Festival Republic

Roll on The BIg Chill 2012!

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