The Exetera loves music. We also love to party. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to announce our partnership with Hijacked Festival this year. We’ll be releasing a whole range of exclusive content – including mixes, interviews, features and headline announcements – leading up to the summer to get you appropriately hyped for Exeter’s biggest and best dance music event. We’ve even got a fancy new tab on our website so you can stay in the loop. Unless you’ve been living in self-imposed exile or are an innocent, doe-eyed fresher, you’re probably familiar with Exeter’s post-exam/dissertation festival shindig. But for those of you that aren’t (shame on you), we had a chat with three of the guys behind the team – Harry, Ian and Laurence – to shed some light on what to expect this summer.
Hijacked Festival sold out completely in its first ever iteration. How are you looking to expand the Hijacked brand and build upon the success of last year?
“In our first year many questioned whether something like this could work in Exeter. We believe that we proved our doubters wrong and were truly humbled by the incredible reaction. However, we have realised that we must not rest on our laurels. We believe this is good opportunity to announce that we will be leaving the Double Locks. It is a wonderful location, which served as an amazing launch pad to Hijacked, but we could not be more excited by the location for 2015’s event. Our new venue will not only provide some unbeatable views, but give much more opportunity for artistic talents to be expressed, whilst maintaining the intimacy which we base our events around.
In terms of other areas of expanding the brand, we are using 2015 to launch our multi city concept. When the Hijacked project started to gain momentum we started to believe that we had something that could travel. We will never forget that Exeter is our home, but are confident that the people of Oxford will have a great addition to their offering of summertime events.”
It’s fair to say that house has been at the forefront of popular UK electronic music for a couple of years now. Last years’ line-up reflected this trend with acts like Gorgon City, Bondax and Karma Kid making an appearance. Without giving too much away, what can we expect genre-wise for Hijacked 2015?
“Hijacked Festival looks to be forward thinking with its programming and bookings. We have secured some of the most exciting breakthrough artists that we cannot wait to present to the Exeter and Oxford crowds. It is crazy for us seeing Gorgon City headlining all the major festivals as well as embarking on their recent UK tour ‘Sirens’.
In terms of our Exeter line up, this year we have brought our biggest artist yet that can sometimes be known as an animal. There will be hotly tipped emerging house trio, in addition to the finest disco and techno acts the UK has to offer. The Aquarium is being transformed and will host a selection of Exeter’s finest residents in addition to a selection of headline acts. There will be also more variety across our headline acts with the return of the Jungle Stage on which you will find acts who hit those faster BPM’s.”
Within the space of a few years, Exeter’s music scene has changed dramatically with a number of different collectives – Our House, Hold It Down, Exit – and even venues (RIP Cellar Door) both closing and opening. What direction do you see it going in the near future?
“Cellar Door transformed Exeter’s nightlife. Any student who graduated over the last two to three years would not dispute that. With the exception of Beats and Bass Society, there were no student dance music events when all involved with Hijacked joined the University of Exeter. This gap in the market plus the opening of Cellar Door in September 2012 convinced the Thick As Thieves founders amongst us that the time was right to establish our own electronic music event.
The Cellar Door has been greatly missed as a venue and was an amazing home venue for Thieves, Exit and Beats and Bass events for over two and a half years. The Cavern has been a popular home for Our House for nearly three years and is the venue of choice for several new brands in the Exeter electronic music scene. The Phoenix is recognised as a regular student venue following the popular collaborations between Our House and Hold It Down, as well as Thick As Thieves Showcase with Waze and Odyssey and Fantastic Man. This was preceded by regular Hold It Down events over the last couple of years.
Despite the absence of Thick As Thieves from regular fortnightly events in Exeter, the popularity of dance music events is stronger than ever, and this can only be a positive for this years Hijacked Festival. In terms of the scene it is hard to pinpoint a definitive direction, however the city is now recognised as having a thriving electronic music offering.”
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