Since its inception almost 9 years ago, Leopallooza has played host to hundreds of bands, thousands of people, countless DJs, exotic foods, strong cider and the odd bemused squirrel. But from the start, the ethos of the event has remained nailed down.
250 people showed up at the inaugural party way back in 2006. It was originally created by a group of friends with the idea that they could take all the qualities of a good house party and plant them in a field in Cornwall - a place where local music fans could congregate once a year, to play or to party. A stage was built using reclaimed materials, including 4 telegraph poles left behind by a phone company. A car was driven onto the site and set on fire. And lo: it was a roaring success... and Leopallooza was born.
In 2007, word had spread. Leopallooza doubled in capacity and the site grew, created from the ground up, specifically imagined and crafted around the party it was set to hold.
In 2008, due to its success and size it went legitimate, seeking the relevant licence and abiding by all the rules laid out by the authorities. But, importantly, it retained that initial spirit of the first, just as it does today - the house party atmosphere; the rootsy fundamentals of a homemade event for live bands and their fans.
Since those nascent days, it's been the same core team who have worked year-round to create each Leopallooza, helped out by the original small collective of selfless friends who, in true Woodstock spirit, know that good times lie in the process as well as the outcome. Happily, it works - it works because there is an understanding between all those who graft on it and all those who pay to attend - that we put this on not for money, not for social acceptance, not for girls, not for boys, not for corporations and not for all the small change we find in the mosh pit. We put this thing on because we love music and our friends, those old & new. We put it on for the kick of a meaty project and a taste for the good times.
Unlike other festivals, we keep the Leopallooza ticket prices as low as we possibly can. The bar prices remain sensible, camping is free and it is still administered by that very same group of close friends, politely turning down the offers of corporate sponsorship in favour of making all the key decisions ourselves.
Last year we hit a milestone - we sold out the entire festival. It was a validation that had been 8 years in the making. And this year, as it was with that very first party in 2006, and with every party since and every party yet to come, our mission remains the same. To create and throw...
The Greatest House Party... in a field.
NEXT STOP: LEOX