Get Your Freek On!

December 14, 2011 at 12:25 pm 2 comments

Freekie are running a huge New Year’s Eve event at the University of Essex. With the big night just around the corner, Peter Fitzgerald got in touch with the organisers to find out a little more about the people behind Freekie.

How did Freekie get started? What made you decide to take the plunge and start putting this venture together?

Freekie at work!

The Freekie concept was conceived after holding a private birthday party in a fantastic location near Bures on the Essex and Suffolk border back in 2008. We had such a great time that year that we decided to put on our own ‘mini fest’ the following year. There was (and still is) very little of anything alternative in the area so we wanted to give others the chance to come and enjoy the great music and the safe, fun atmosphere in such tranquil surroundings. The concept was not to create a rave but an intimate mini festival experience! This year was our third. We had three different arenas that offered a full spectrum of underground music including drum and bass, breaks, dub, house and techno, hip hop, funk and electroswing. Each year it improves and everyone that attends always goes away with great memories. Even the police have commended us on the quality of the organisation.

Can you tell us a little more about the people behind Freekie? Who are you, and what do you do in the run up to an event?

The Stumble Inn

Freekie is run by a small group of good friends who like to party and also love to put on a proper show. The main organiser Martin has been putting on intimate underground events since the early nineties and has always had a reputation of going one step further than the rest. This really can be seen by the effort that goes into our yearly Mini Fest. Joe Morgan and Guy and Fen Murray work alongside Martin behind the scenes on the general construction of various props and structures that have been dreamed up for the next event! And of course keeping him sane (or insane!) during the very long and tiring week leading up to the Mini Fest. Martin’s wife Anna is an amazingly talented artist who has no end to her skills, be it craft, painting and drawing or working with materials. Fen Murray, another very talented and creative member of the Freekie family works alongside Anna on the décor side. Between them they come up with some fantastic ideas which get turned into master pieces such as the Stumble Inn (our onsite pub!). Various other close friends and family members make up the team. As you’d expect these kind of events take huge amounts of time and effort to pull off so the Freekie family is always open to adoption!

How did the name ‘Freekie’ come about?

The name actually came after Martin (the main organiser) was browsing equipment on the internet. He noticed a company known as Martin that have a lighting desk called Freekie and it just seemed to make sense! We like to live up to the name with our décor and lighting, not forgetting our rather freaky looking mascot!

What inspires you when you’re planning your events? What helps you really get your teeth into making these nights stand out?

As far as inspiration goes we are all keen festival goers and have been for years, so it would be fair to say that we have been inspired by events such as Glastonbury, Glade, BoomTown, Bestival and suchlike. We are forever expending on our equipment year on year, constantly investing to ensure that we up our game every time we put on a party.

You’ve got a really dedicated following. Why do you think people keep coming back to Freekie events?

One of Freekie's mighty equipment rigs.

I guess our dedicated following is due to the whole package we offer. Most promoters will only focus on one or two elements. We pride ourselves on going all out in every element possible – fantastic music, huge state-of-the-art sound and lighting, funky decor, a friendly and safe atmosphere, all of which, combined, are the perfect remedy for a fun and unforgettable night out. Also there is nothing else in this area that offers something so alternative. We had such a great response again this year – keen followers were calling out for another party – so we thought, why not put on a Freekie New Year’s Eve and give the area something totally different for once. It’s become common for a lot of people to stay in on New Year’s Eve these days to avoid the drunks in town and the extortionate prices. We have a very good value entry price for such a huge line-up of talent and the show we are offering, and the University will have their usual drink prices. We also have a great reputation for a friendly, music-loving crowd. So with such great night going on locally, anyone who likes a really good night out would be crazy not to see the New Year in with us at the University! This really will be one for the history books!

If you had a ‘mission statement’ for Freekie, what would it be?

We strive to offer the area state-of-the-art underground events like no one has ever done before.

Another great night from Freekie!

If you could run any event under the Freekie banner, without worrying about cost or organisational problems, what would it be?

If we could put on any event under the Freekie banner it would be a Glastonbury-type affair on a miniature, more intimate scale. Huge events attract all sorts and become hard to police. We like to keep everything on a more personal basis where possible as it tends to create a friendlier, more outgoing vibe. So if there are any local willing land owners reading this then please feel free to get in touch!

We know about your plans for New Year’s Eve at the University of Essex, but what about 2012? What’s on the calendar for Freekie?

At the moment we are focusing all our efforts into the New Year’s Eve event but as soon as that is out of the way and we have recovered we will no doubt be planning some more great events in the future. Anyone can become a member and keep an eye on our website for updates.

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