This March 25th see’s the inaugural Collision Day Fest taking over Bedford Esquires for a day filled with incredible acts across two stages in what will be a fun, mosh pit filled day showcasing some of the best emerging alternative artists around. The event is a collaboration between Castlefest UK, Anti-Mind Music Promotion & Black Orange Music. We caught up with the organisers from each promotion to get the low down on what the festival is about and who to look out for.


Can you sum up the ideas behind starting Collision Day Fest?

Paul Mercer (Castlefest UK): We wanted to build a collaborative event that involves rising talent and breakthrough artists supported by local bands from different areas. Work with new promoters and music organisations that helps to build the heavy music scene and relationships between us in the south and north west. We wanted this Collision of groups to help build something supportive going forward.

Cameron Wilson (Anti-Mind Music Promotion and the band Lure In): The idea behind the day fest was to showcase what we believe are the coolest bands in the current alternative & metal scene. A massive factor with the idea as well was to create a very diverse bill which included many styles & backgrounds from all over the UK.

Connor Connolly (Black Orange Music and the band Feel Shame): We wanted to create a festival that showcased a collaborative attitude towards artists and bands within a music scene that doesn’t always get the love it deserves.

Cam Dunn (Castlefest UK): Collision fest is about being promoters together with there different interests and skills to create a great day for fans


Why did you choose to bring it to Bedford?

Paul: Bedford is central and accessible easily by train or car and Esquires is a great venue that supports local talent, promoters and musicians. It’s a great environment for bands to cut their teeth and work in an established musical environment. Gareth at the venue has been supportive of this venture and given us a lot of support.

Cameron: The team we ended up assembling for this event has ties with the area as well as Esquires, so for us it was a no brainer.

Connor: Esquires as a venue has always been an amazing place to host events that are multidimensional, you can really create an atmosphere that appeals to artists, punters, local businesses and sponsors alike.

Cam: Bedford is (almost) a central point in the country, not quite London and not quite as expensive for fans to travel to. It is also home to a legendary venue that has supported local and upcoming talent for many years.


Who are some bands on the line up not to miss?

Cameron: My personal favourite picks are Good Cop as they’re a band I’ve tried to get to the north west for a long time so when this came together I was very much interested in getting them involved, I love what they stand for and they are definitely one of the most unique bands on the bill who will definitely make a statement. I’m very much excited for The Death Of Us too, as a big shoegaze nut myself, I was extremely excited to get a band who I believe could be a major force in that scene involved with this & since discovering them I’ve never been able to take my eyes & ears off them. I’m also extremely hyped to check out Lake Malice too as I’ve seen them absolutely tear through the UK scene as of late with a style that combines my love of alternate metal & pc music.



Connor: All the artists are absolutely amazing but Shoot to Kill and Swarmed are rising through the ranks fast, graphic nature and black coast never ever disappoint live either.



Paul: Having had most of these bands play for me at the Castle Tavern in Luton or on Castlefest I am honestly looking forward to all of them although if I had to pick a few I am really looking forward to it would be Graphic Nature who’s debut album “A Mind Waiting to Die” through Rude Records is already looking like a strong candidate for my top 10 albums of the year, Knife Bride, Terra IV, Swarm6ix and of course Lake Malice.



Cam: All the acts are great but don’t miss Graphic Nature, Cage Fight and Lake Malice.



Why do you think these sort of events are important to the scene?

Cameron: I think with events like this they’re important because it encourages people to be active in their own music scenes. I know for myself personally the tipping point to really get involved in the Manchester scene was by going to events like Outbreak Fest, Fall In The Brawl & other big local shows that inspired myself to be not only in a band but to also take up putting on shows in my area. The end goal for all of us involved in music is that the underground scene is as solid as it should be & events like this can lead to more engagement towards it.

Connor: It’s important that we’re continuing to create opportunities for upcoming artists to perform in professional environments alongside larger bands and industry figureheads. It gives people the opportunity to progress that they deserve.

Paul: In honesty all events are important to the scene. Bands get to build new relationships either working or personal and audiences get to support new artists that are cutting their teeth in this industry. Its harder than it was, there are so many more factors for artists to manage now, social media, releases, shows and those can be difficult to align without guidance. Giving bands the opportunity to work and be on the same line ups of bands they admire drives the creative aspect of this industry to new heights and provides new views on working and building for their musical careers. For audiences these events are where they (excuse the cliché) find the bands of tomorrow, today.

Cam: These are events are great for smaller artists to network with each other and start building working relationships. It also provides the fans with the opportunity to see so much emerging talent in one day.


What else have you got coming up this year?

Paul: With Castlefest UK we are changing the way we work and looking to expand into new venues outside of our home territory. We are supporting and promoting shows in a few different areas later in the year and working collaboratively on events like this elsewhere so watch this space. We are also working on our Wrestlemania as we call it “Castlefest 2023” and a bigger project for 24.

Cam: Castlefest 23 will take place on September 29th and 30th in Luton.

Cameron: from a promoter standpoint I help run a promotion called Anti-Mind, we do a run of shows called The Noise Club which attempts to run gigs as cheap as possible with fairly mixed bills full of variety, we currently have shows planned in Manchester, Leeds & Stoke so keep an eye out for those. Not to mention we put on a day fest called Love Day which has a similar mission statement to the noise club gigs but at a bigger capacity. From the band side my band, Lure In, are hitting up Scotland with Burner & Below The Neck in march, aswell as playing Collision and many other cool fests + tours planned which we can’t exactly announce just yet.

Connor: Keep your eyes peeled for Detonate 2023 announcements

Collision Day Fest takes place at Bedford Esquires on the 25th March 2023, tickets are available here right now!

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