Get To Know CloseUp

With their highly anticipated festival ready to rock the 11th of September, we caught up with founder Sam Tucker on the festival itself, challenges they've faced and the dreams.

Started out as a long-distance dream in Winchester, CloseUp past four years has been nothing other than a success. Now the UK national live promoters, booking agents and recently a record label boast partnership with Dork Magazine, Jägermeister and host internationally acclaimed artists.


But we are not here to talk about CloseUp in general. We are here to spread the word about the hottest festival within the heart of London, one that offers a one-off party of tasteful and ones to watch indie-pop acts. Though previously billed headliners whenyoung are no longer attending, the team have pulled highly rated Bamily alongside popsicle Natalie Shay, with Abbie McCarthy already billed as DJ headliner.


As live music reopens and fans rush to green fields across the country, CloseUp Festival shall not be missed.


Starting in Winchester in 2017 and now based in London, Close Up has had quite the past four years. How would you describe your rise and journey within the music scene?

Hello Vibez Music, ya, absolute legends, lovely to speak to you. Yeah! CloseUp started as a pipe dream whilst I was finishing uni in Portsmouth, not so far from my hometown of Winchester. I think I saw an advert about running events and thought, damn this is a cool idea. We booked Fickle Friends somehow for the first show at The Railway Inn and, the room was like, mostly my pals, ha-ha. From there, it's been a wild ride, we're onto our 4th festival and have stages at some of the most notorious festivals in the country, which, until I say it out loud, does not feel real. Oh, and rooms aren't mostly my pals anymore, which is legitimately the biggest step of progression in my mind.


COVID has certainly, been an interesting footnote in the journey, but we're just getting started at CloseUp, to be honest, especially after two years off. More shows, more tours, more acts than ever. CloseUp Festival 2021 sort of feels like the restart button, dare I say?!


This has been in the works for two years now. How excited are you to finally go ahead with the festival?

God, I have no words for how excited I am. The festival is usually the biggest thing in our diary every year. It's where we really get to showcase our favourite artists with a, little bit less rigidity. It allows us the freedom of bringing in a few acts (of any size really) we've always wanted to work with but perhaps not been able to for whatever reason.


It's also packed full of Jägermeister, with a pop-up bar serving specifically designed cocktails. It's just the sort of event you dream about putting on. Bamily are like an act I've loved for years and soundtracked many a summer, The Hubbards are absolutely my favourite band ever, and I guess Sad Boys Club won't be awful either.

So YES. About as excited as possible, thank you for asking.


With everyone being affected by COVID - how did it personally affect Close Up and the festival itself?

Honestly, now the dust has sort of settled, I sort of look back on it as a really valuable important time for CloseUp. Not only did it give us time to re-evaluate, but also to start working with some amazing artists (King No-One, Mollie Coddled & more). As well as build some amazing partnerships, like our new live series with Dork Magazine and focus time on parts of the company I never had before, like our label w/ Modern Sky.


It was probably worse for the festival itself tbf. For CUF, we've booked four different headliners, and three have pulled out since the last one, artist plans changing, reschedules and such. It honestly felt like CloseUp Festival was just an idea and not a real tangible event. HOWEVER, we made it friends, we just about made it.

Hosting a plethora of artists in the heart of Colours Hoxton, what was the reason behind picking those specific artists and why the venue?

As I was alluding to earlier, CUF allows us to have a bit more freedom with our lineup. We get 8/10 acts a day, rather than 2/3 acts in a night on a normal show, so it's so much fun to be able to curate a lineup that actually sonically builds and develops throughout the day. It's super important to us to have a headline act that brings the party. CUF tends to attract fans of various music genres/sub-genres, so ultimately, someone that everyone will love as a headline act is arguably more important to me than the size of the artist in many ways. After 7 hours of standing up, drinking, you're going to need something to hype ya, up right?!


Specifically, Bamily are one of LDN's coolest indie/electronic acts, reinventing the wheel with their live shows & are totally known for the most fun of sets, I've never seen them live, and this will be special. Abbie McCarthy is hosting the Reading main stages, mental, and DJ'ing for us. The rest of the lineup is bursting with talent. It's so good to have almost certainly our strongest ever lineup fall into place for the return.


Venue wise, Colours is our home really, we couldn't do it anywhere else. They took a chance on CloseUp all those years ago, and we love all of them. It helps they have the best lighting & sound of a venue for its size, in LDN as well of course, but the aesthetic / location is just the one. FORZA COLOURS!


Finally, with experience of events across the board, what is the dream for Close Up?

Haha, honestly, the dream six months ago was to have a festival again, so it's funny how the goalposts are always changing. I think our next big step is probably an outdoor festival or multi-venue in LDN, but we'll see what the future holds.


I love the idea of a CloseUp venue down the line as well, but yeah, honestly, just SO great to be back promoting shows and curating tours for our artists. The dream changes every week with us.


Love you Vibez, thanks for the rocking questions, and we hope to see you on the 11th of September at Colours, Hoxton!


Unfortunately, we can't make it, but you can, so why not buy a ticket here for just £16.50.

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