Dave Harvey: “I pinch myself and ask how all this happened”

Across a period of over a decade, Dave Harvey and Steve Nickolls have established an outstanding reputation under the banner of Futureboogie as DJs and selectors of the highest order. Label parties all over the UK and Europe and more recently worldwide have also seen their DJing reach an increasingly wide range of audiences. Pushing the music they loved, their wide experience and ability to engage with a crowd are completely reflected in DJ sets which continue to captivate audiences wherever they play. Label owners, club night programmers and music connoisseurs, Futureboogie DJs create the whole brand of electronic music making it trendsetting and contemporary. Having that in mind, we are glad to have them on board for some time now.

Dave Harvey

Dave Harvey has been responsible for curating The Garden Festival's sound for the last few years so it was about time to meet the one charged with the direction of our musical identity. Dave also runs the company Team Love with his partner Tom Paine. They run the Wow stage at Glastonbury Festival, and have run stages at Secret Garden Party, The Big Chill and other events such as See No Evil and St Pauls Carnival. They are part of the team behind Love Saves The Day, the two day Bristol based festival that has been garnering attention throughout the country. If you haven't heard already, Team Love will be taking over the helm next year and putting their own Love International festival at The Garden Resort!

You travelled back and forth to Croatia before your engagement with The Garden Festival even started. But how did this love affair start actually?

The whole thing actually started through a very good friend of ours Adam Regan who in turn is a very old friend of Nick and Eddie’s. He was booking Steve in the UK in the early days pre Garden and suggested to Nick that he get him out to play at the Garden bar in Zadar and it grew from there. I actually came out to the first Garden as Steve’s plus one, had a scream in the stormy madness that was the first weekend and the rest followed on from there.

You have been programming The Garden Festival's sound for years now. How do you feel being a part of a festival that inspired the whole music and festival scene on the Adriatic?

Pretty much most weeks I pinch myself and ask how all this happened! The Garden is and has been so important and defining for both myself and many of my friends, for loads of artists who are part of it and obviously for British dance culture beyond that. This tiny festival that started so small has gone on to be the catalyst for all the others over here and  created a massive shift from everyone going to Ibiza for their summer raving to jetting out to the Adriatic instead. To be a part of anything like that is amazing – but really all credit has to lie with Nick, Eddie and the team for having the original vision/balls!

Why is Croatia the festival hotspot?

To start with like anything, people came out and it felt like we had all discovered some unbelievable secret party, in one of the most beautiful settings you can imagine. It was populated by really good party people, it felt really special  -  and in those days, it was so cheap, which played a huge part in this. People who couldn’t afford to go to Ibiza and get rinsed for drinks suddenly had this amazing new world of parties in the sunshine. Word of mouth took over, everyone was coming out here and having the best time, falling in love with the place and the party -  and as with everything in life, when people see something great going on they will replicate it, be inspired by it and do their own thing, from there all the other festivals sprang up. Several of the people who started their own events had been part of the magic that was happening in Petrcane and they took a little bit of that elsewhere.  The countryside is beautiful here and the sea is probably the best sea I have ever seen anywhere in the world, the food is great and  it’s still cheap so it’s a great place to come even without all the festivals. In general the locals are really pleased to have the influx of tourists plus the Croatian government are very supportive of these kind of events -  so it kinda works for everyone really. Also what you find is that the events out here are generally a bit more specialist in a music sense meaning that the promoters are catering to a clued up music crowd who aren’t catered for elsewhere, Croatia has become the place to go for a new generation of people who don’t have any interest in what is going on in Ibiza. It will be interesting to see how things pan out with the beginnings of events in Malta and Greece -  because really up until this year there haven’t been any other countries pushing music festivals to a UK audience.

Give us a little intro into the secrets of business. What's the recipe for a perfect lineup?

Ha - I wouldn’t possibly know the answer to that in a big sense but for me a nice eclectic line up with a few big names to help you sell the tickets and then as many great DJs as you can fit in!

Is there someone you have been chasing and couldn't get for a festival?

Well this time last year it would have been Harvey but finally got him on board for this year, well happy with that, last night of the festival is gonna be a big one.

How many emails do you send per festival?

My word - I have no idea but for all the bookings it must be in the several thousands!

Futureboogie is a record label and club night, which now also extends to the booking agency and management company. What connects all of the branches?

Actually the agency no longer exists as an individual entity and Steve is now really focussing on being part of the Agency Group and managing Crazy P these days so I guess that leaves me to handle the label and parties – that’s definitely enough to handle!

You've got some great names such as Crazy P, Christophe, Outboxx on your label - anything exciting coming up?

Yeah been a great run of releases and we have some fantastic music coming up - EP’s from PBR Streetgang & Xpress 2, Outboxx, Maxxi Soundsystem, Lauer, Fernando, Felix Dickinson and loads more in the pipeline so keep them peeled for those. Also just started a new monthly radio show for KMAH in Leeds where we will be showcasing a lot of our new music so worth a look at that as well.

You've marked Bristol as one of the hotspots like London and Berlin. What are your events all about?

There’s a lot of exciting stuff going on in Bristol at the moment so I guess you could say it was a bit of a hotspot yeah  in a very different way to London or Berlin though! In terms of our parties we still do a big one at Motion every year with as many great names as we can fit in and the odd couple of label parties in off location spots. We now do regular parties at our bar The Love Inn and try and play as much as possible around the city still, we are actually away a lot these days though.

Team Love: Dave Harvey and Tom Paine

You also put Bristol on a festival map since you have Love Saves The Day Festival. How is that going on?

It’s been fantastic to be honest, we got out license for our new site at Eastville Park and we have some really big plans for it plus we think we've had our strongest line up to date. So buzzing to have a festival back in the city as much as anything!

Going down the memory lane, what are your best tunes of The Garden Festival's history?

Well in a totally biased way I’d have to say Jim Crazy P’s remix of The White Lamp is definitely up there for me, really was magic that summer it was out! Craig Richards dropping “It’s My Life” at the end of his set last year was next level good as well. Other than that there have just been so many over the years, but on a personal tip I will always remember Scruff dropping Fela Kuti “Water Get No Enemy” on the main stage at Petrcane on the last night, that was pretty special, Eric Duncan playing Joy Fleming's “The Final Thing”, the 20 minute version or however long it is, we were already 10 mins over and I remember Nick running over evey 2 mins and Eric just going “It’s the last tune man…” Brilliant scenes…

Your boat parties as well as Barbarella's afterpartes are always the talk of the season. What's the ace up your sleeve for this year?

Oh yeah! Fleetwood Mac Everywhere - that moment on the boat when we played that as the last song was probably the ultimate moment of all the 10 years for me, pure euphoria on board that ship, not sure it can ever be topped – probably should have mentioned that in the previous answer. But for this year, pure tops off vibes from start to finish, we played it a bit cool last year but this year it’s no holds barred hands in the air action, cannot believe it’s gonna be the last one…

Describe The Garden Festival in 10 words?

Family, Music, Dancing, Love, Vibes, Sea, Sun, Boats, Barbarellas & Lilos.

Name you most Wow! Bang! moment at The Garden Festival?

See above…

What are your wishes for the after Garden life?

Listen to the Resident Advisor Exchange Nick and me did and you'll know all about our plans for next year.

Monika Marušić for The Garden Festival