BARRY ASHWORTH (DUB PISTOLS) PATRON OF TONIC MUSIC FOR MENTAL HEALTH CHARITY & CURATOR OF MUCKY WEEKENDER 2-DAY MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL, TALKS TO DMCWORLD….
It’s Mucky Weekender’s big return this September with house icon Robert Owens as the very special guest, and the likes of X-Press 2 and the Faith DJs. It’s the third instalment and you’ve re-camped to a new location; Vicarage Farm in Winchester. How’s it going?
Hey DMC! This is our 2nd year at Vicarage Farm and 3rd year of Mucky Weekender. Last year was a massive challenge coming out of lockdown so late and then having to organise the whole event at a new site on very short notice. So many people had left the industry or had gone out of business. There was also still a massive concern around covid so we had nearly a 40% drop off from people who had bought tickets to those that actually attended. My team rose to the challenge and the event was a massive success. The atmosphere was incredible and the feedback post event was amazing.This year has been a lot calmer going into the event and we are super excited for people to join us for what will be our biggest event to date. We have added a 4th venue which is a pirate ship and a whole new heap of site art to enhance the experience. This year’s line up is also our biggest to date and I know the party is going to go off.
Who else has played in the two previous years at the festival?
So far, I have been lucky enough to call on my friends to come and play they have included; Leftfield, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Tom Findlay (Groove Armada), Stanton Warriors, Don Letts, 3 World DMC champion JFB, Doorly, Justin Robertson, Bez, Ragga Twins, A-Skillz and a host of others …
What else should everyone expect?
Expect the most electric of atmospheres. The MW crowd love to and know how to party. You can arrive alone and leave with 1000 new friends. It’s a Dub Pistols party. As well as the music, we have circus acts and some fantastic walkabouts. We have also sourced the finest food vendors in the country so you won’t go hungry.
How did you get Arlen Figgis involved son of the great British film Director Mike Figgis?
Arlen went to school with my wife. He is a good friend of mine who is an amazing artist in his own right. He directs and produces music and the shack venue he has created is a thing of beauty. It’s hosted up in the woods at Mucky and has quickly established itself as a place to hang out at our festival.
You’re the patron of Tonic Music for mental health charity – it’s such an important one this, as it’s affected us all directly & indirectly. How did your annual Barry ‘s Flying Circus go? Please tell us all about that, and how much your raised for the very good cause?
I’ve been a patron of Tonic for nearly 15 years. Mental health is a subject that is very important to me, having lost too many friends over the years to suicide, and having suffered from depression myself over the years caused by the lifestyle of being an artist on the road. The late nights, the party lifestyle and the ups and downs of the industry. I started the Flying Circus 3 years ago to raise money for Tonic. We get up to 40 people from the industry and beyond to join me as wing walkers at an airfield in Cirencester. It’s hosted over 2 days and to date we have raised over £100, 000. Something that I’m very proud of as I know these funds go to helping and improve people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Barry, you’re always busy on the road during the festival season with your band ‘Dub Pistols” it’s a joy to see so much energy on stage, how do you keep that fit?
I’m not sure I’m fit and the high energy show we put on have taken their toll on my body over the years. When I was younger it was easy but now, I try to ride at least 25km a day on my days off.
What’s in the pipeline for the Dub Pistols, single releases, new album? UK tour?
I have just finished my 9th Studio album called Frontline which features a whole range of my favourite artists including, Demolition Man, Horseman, Ragga Twins, Myki Tuff, Natty Campbell, Cheshire Cat & Seanie T. I’ve also had the help on production from Aston Harvey (Freestylers), King Yoof & Bill Borez. I know I’m bias but I think this is my biggest album to date. We have 5 more festivals to go then we start on our UK tour up until Christmas and beyond.
We hear on the grapevine you have a Dub Pistols ‘fly on the wall’ type of documentary in the making? How did that all come about? When will this be out?
The Dub Pistols career has been a colourful one full of highs and tragic lows. It’s a real look at the music industry and how to try your best to ruin your own career. It’s a rock n roll story with no holes barred. It’s tragically funny but brutally honest. We have been lucky or unlucky enough to have filmed all the disasters as they happened. It’s due for release sometime in 2023.
Your Festival highlights this year so far?
This year has been filled with so many highlights it’s hard to choose one but these have been the stand out festivals; Beat-Herder, Electric Castle (Romania), & Boomtown.
Tips for the top, any up and coming DJs or bands we must see?
Katalyst is a fantastic up and coming female DJ.
Too Many T’s have an incredible new album out now.
Natty Campbell is the finest break through artist in the Reggae world.