Get To Know: The Tower

The festival game is hard to get right. We spoke to newcomers The Tower to establish why they are getting into such a popular scene and why their intimate, curated party will trump them all.

For those that don’t know, what is The Tower? And where is it?

The Tower is a weekend festival in North Lincolnshire where we use an old recipe to cook up a big party. We try to keep it simple and focus on dancey people and big tunes.

Small, independent festivals are all the rage at the moment, what will make The Tower experience unique?

Pelham Tower, the festival location.

Pelham Tower, the festival location.

We want to make The Tower a bit of a tonic - a relief from some of the bigger festivals. It’s a weekend for the DJs as much as it’s for the crowd. The focus is on keeping it intimate and letting the DJs get their teeth into longer sets. 

We were never interested in adding another ‘festival’, rather the opposite. The whole thing came about from a NO manifesto which listed all the bits we were sick of in the current festival repertoire. By eliminating all the noise, the picture was pretty clear of what we wanted to do. Our festival is deliberately small, with only two stages to keep people locked in with what we know will be top class music throughout the weekend.

We are all about the smaller parties. Is intimacy integral to The Tower ethos or will there be room for expansion in the coming years?

Intimacy could be confused with exclusivity and we want to avoid that. We’ve made the tickets really good value and have done everything to make it easy for people to get up to this lovely corner of the country. Tickets come with a free coach ride from London, there are showers on site for everyone, food is top. This has been mostly a word-of-mouth event this year as we have focused on quality over marketing.

We're not afraid of making it bigger if it's done right, as long as it stays something special. If scale comes at the cost of intimacy then we'll have to find another way of spreading the jam! 

The line-up features some serious selectors, how did you decide on who to ask to perform?

The two stages can be found in intimate and secluded surroundings.

The two stages can be found in intimate and secluded surroundings.

We decided the line-up based on our own experiences of having danced for decades and without limiting ourselves to any particular genres. We wanted to conduct a line-up which would keep the dance floor bubbling until 6am.

The programme is very diverse. We will be kicking off with Lakuti / Tama Sumo /Prosumer on Friday, which we think is a pretty flawless opening. The second night will usher in more broken beat, jazz and disco stuff, with Alex Nut, Henry Wu, Red Greg and Terry Juarez on the wheels of steel.

We chose the artists by considering who they like to play with. It’s a family affair with the mission to create a party that is as much of a party for the DJs and the audience.

Finally, we have a surprise guest who’s going to send everyone home on a buzz.

Love a surprise! There is a great balance between well-known and emerging talent. How important is it to give a platform to those on the rise?

This is a big emphasis. We’re putting rising talent alongside legends of the dance music scene. We want to bring in the new heads by putting them centre stage alongside more established talent and often in quite key moments in the night you'll see a fresh face.

You are providing a Funktion 1 and Martin Audio setup, clearly the quality of sound is very important to you, but what else makes a great and memorable festival?

Sound is very important yes. We’re being really careful about that because there’s nothing worse than getting your little white buds assaulted by bad frequencies. Funktion 1 is now an expected choice of speaker but they perform really well in open air environments and I think the setup is just right for the capacity we’re working with.

We’ve been really careful not to get too steroidal on the DJ lighting setup so that aspect is very well judged I think. Less is enough; that’s the ethos.


Warehouse rave or house party?

Warehouse rave.

 Burger or hot-dog?

Burgers are crazy.

In a tent or under the stars?

Under the stars.

A song to send people home?

Frankie Knuckles - Rain Falls (David's 12" Soakin Wet Mix) [1991], for all those staycationers!

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The Tower is on from the 18th - 20th August, for tickets and more information click here.