Jim Mitchell runs Over The Moon festival, which returns to the Sussex countryside this month (Fri 13th – Sun 15th September). He regularly lends his organisational expertise to events including Brighton Fashion Week and eco-festivals up and down the country.
How did you get into running festivals?
I was studying astrophysics at university and other members of my friendship group had interests in ancient things and astro-archaeology, the old pyramids. We’d be going to Stonehenge and Mexico, visiting ancient sites and seeing how they were aligned and then going to festivals with a touring rig and doing lectures on them. My particular angle was more scientific, talking about the history of astronomy. We called it the Antiquarian Society and there were a lot of hippie connotations so it got us into the festivals quite comfortably. So our initial idea was like a university in a field but if people come to a festival obviously they want more
How does Over The Moon differ from its predecessor, Out Of The Ordinary?
I’d run Out Of The Ordinary with a friend but he moved to Australia and it was inappropriate really to keep the same name. Over The Moon launched last year, we’ve kept all the old elements but the music’s become stronger. We’ve improved our reach in terms of activities that the whole family can get involved in and we’ve kept the workshops that we used to do, stuff like blacksmithery, woodcarving, stonemasonary and bushcraft. It’s nice to not let that fall by the wayside. We’ve also got a great healing area cos some people just need to relax and kick their shoes off and find somewhere they can get fixed up.
What are your future plans?
It would be nice to take the Over The Moon name and do club nights in Brighton, and we’d like to do a second festival, start and finish the season with events in the spring and autumn. It would be quite a big jump but we’ve got contacts in other countries so maybe we could take it international and make a living as a kind of franchise. We’ve developed a strong brand that appeals to people so it’s a case of working out what the natural next step is. It’s still a little bit up in the air how we’ll proceed but we definitely want to expand.
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