Mad Ferret have been involved with some of the best events across the UK for the best part of a decade, and are continually pushing the boundaries when it comes to making things look amazing. No stranger to a party, they were the perfect team to call on when we needed some added zest at Acid Future. Here’s a chat with Jack from Mad Ferret…
1.Can you tell us a little about the origins of Mad Ferret
We started out in Manchester 9 years ago. It all began by throwing house parties every week as well providing club nights with sound systems. After a year or two we decided to take the next step and set up the first Mad Ferret Festival in 2008. After the success of the first Mad Ferret Festival, we didn’t want to stop there. That year we went on to manage our own pub as well as a pop-up nightclub in a chapel and threw licensed warehouse parties.
2.Where did you go from there?
We moved to London after the second Mad Ferret Festival, after which it became Parklife. Six years on we still remain the creative partners of the festival working closely with WHP Manchester. In London we used our festival experience and style to launch our own series of theatrically driven parties with the idea of bringing a bit of festival spirit to London club nights.
3.Can you tell us a bit more about what happened once you moved to London & the team now?
We set up camp in a large warehouse in Kings Cross and from there we have grown massively as a team, now currently based in our Brixton workshop and office.
Year on year we have recruited more permanent staff and we now have a core team of 10-20 during peak season. Our core services include developing creative concepts, designing and creating bespoke builds, event management and production and lighting.
4. Where does your passion for putting on parties come from?
We have always loved developing and creating exciting and extraordinary places for people to party in. We think about what we do as one off experiences rather than parties.
We initially got involved in the music scene with the ethos of wanting to throw parties but looked to avoid being your average club promoter. The house parties grew, the word spread and it became apparent we were going to have to find new locations.We looked for anywhere we could throw a party that wasn’t a nightclub, which led us to the fields.
When we did throw immersive club nights we would pile in the bass speakers, rigging elaborate lighting systems through the ceilings to transform the space until it was pretty much unrecognisable.
We then started these immersive nights in London adding in new aspects such as experienced actors and talent to interact with the crowds and basically help people lose their minds.
This remains the essence of Mad Ferret – always looking to build bigger and better sets as well as locating and transforming new and unusual spaces- we want to keep people on their toes.
3. What has been some of your highlights over the years?
In 2012 we had an epic time working alongside Secret Productions to design, build and install the centre stage for Glade. In an unforgettable climax to the festival, our stage became the focal point and after 6 months of planning we watched as it was burnt to the ground!
Obviously working alongside LWE and Red Bull to design and install The Red Bull Music Academy Stage at Bestival 2014 was a highlight. Bestival has such a wicked and creative atmosphere and watching thousands of people spill out of our flame blasting Aztec inspired stage was a very good moment. This year I’d say a highlight has definitely been helping Annie Mac bring her vision alive for the first Lost & Found festival in Malta by transforming the location into a hidden tropical paradise including a 3D carved palace stage we built on site.
4. Can you give us any clues to what you’ll be bringing to Acid Future this Summer?
Without giving too much away we’re looking forward to testing out the newly designed and built psychedelic bar back which will be touring with LWE to future events
5. What else have you got coming up this summer?
Building and installing stages at Greenman, Shambala & site decor at Garden Party Leeds to name a few. We’re working on a pretty exciting new venture which will be kicking off in London this November – but that’s about all I can say right now….watch this space.
6. Who are you most looking forward to hearing at Acid House?
Looking at the line up you’ve definitely saved the hardest question for last. But it has got to be DJ Harvey.