Deconstruction boss explains all!

By paul

So basically it’s been another day of twists and turns with the Deconstruction Festival and here is the daily round-up. After yesterday when Download stated the tour wasn’t confirmed, Punktastic got in touch with Decon’s main man Dave Pollack, who agreed to both email and phone interviews. I’ve spent almost an hour on the phone to Dave this evening and we’ve spoken at length about various things. Here is the upshot of what the score is – but may I add that a lot more information is still to come from this and although it may seem at first to be disappointing, there are a few surprises still to come…

The Deconstruction Festival will take place at Download on June 1 at Donnington Park. Dave Pollack flew into London yesterday for face-to-face talks and the deal was basically only agreed today. The same confirmed nine bands, including a secret band still to be confirmed, will play and all have agreed to move to Download. On top of this, it is likely, but NOT confirmed, that as many as FIVE further bands will play on the Deconstruction stage. Of these, three are likely to be UK acts – only one has been confirmed. We have been asked by the band’s label not to release their name, but they are Punktastic-approved and we wish them the best. Unlike as previously stated, [spunge] have NOT been confirmed to play but are under consideration. To quash another rumour, it is very unliklely that Farse will play. Two further acts could also be brought onto the bill because the stage times run for a couple of hours longer than the original plan for a London festival. This means of course, extra punk bands. On top of this we have heard that several other Punktastic-approved bands will be playing at the festival on the same day. Less Than Jake have been confirmed for the main stage and there are two ‘interesting’ bands who are strongly rumoured to be playing the second stage. Punktastic will bring you the names of these bands in the coming days.

Of course the major gripe that people have had is the price of the ticket, having shifted from £17.50 to £39.50. The reason for the move to Download, the only date on the tour to be incorporated at another festival, is because of the huge costs of the London date, which even though gets the largest crowd, also has the largest costs. Dave said: “This has been well thought out and I could see that some people would rather we kept this independent, but the truth of the matter is we made a compromise to keep this tour alive and this is only on one European date. On the other side though we have put cool music on Reading, Leeds, Bizzare(Germany), Lowlands(Holland), Pukkelpop(Belgium), Indiependent Days(Italy) and many other festivals and never heard complaints! But I do understand that, as I myself [would like], people would like to see this as the cool indie fest it has been. It has been a hard place to be.”

Dave admitted that the original plan was to have dates in Birmingham and London as Punktastic had previously reported. But the costs dictated that something would have to give without a major sponsor. He also admitted that he had studied many punk forums, including his own sites, and was disappointed at the level of criticism he had received. “That was what I intended to do the whole time,” he said. “I was the very last person to go for it – I was the last one to give in. It has been very difficult and I have lost sleep over it. It’s been hard, and very difficult, weighing it all up. What people say hurts, but it hurts because I feel the same. The reason it all took so long is that I had not made up my mind. I was the last to decide.” He also admitted he was far from happy at the ticket prices and understood why people would be upset. But he stated that he had no control and that this was one compromise he reluctantly had to accept. “I would rather pay £17.50 than £39.50. I agree with some of the comments. Some aren’t thought out but I can understand that people would rather be kept independent as I would myself. As far as I am concerned, this is a compromise, but the big piss-off is the price. But they have to pay their main stage bands.”

Of course there have been more than a couple of whispers about bands pulling out, but these have again been quashed by Dave. “It seems strange but I was the last one to give the OK. I had very mixed feelings about it, problem being I always wanted to stay independent and we have always been the one who wanted to keep the ticket price low. Truth of the matter is I did pull the bands and some of my better friends into this matter and I was the last one to decide to go for it.” The sponsor merry-go-round also seems to continue as Dave revealed that talks are underway to make sure that the usual Deconstruction crew are involved. “This is one of the compromises, that I have to be able to have my people at my stage,” he added. “I am fighting to get the people I want on. I am keeping it as my identity even if it is part of something else I don’t have much control of.” Although names are being withheld, there will be some familiar people involved with the festival this year and more will be announced soon.

But how do NOFX feel about playing with Limp Bizkit and Hed(PE)? “How did they feel playing with Guns and Roses?” Dave replied. “They are playing a stage with only other punk bands at a festival where on other stages other bands are playing. Now tell me you haven’t ever been to one?” He did add, however, that some Deconstruction-friendly bands were playing on the other stages, including Less Than Jake. Dave also hoped that The Real McKenzies would get a good reception as their madcap ways were this year replacing ska, with no bands scheduled to play the genre. “There are only two ska bands,” he said, “The Bosstones and the Mad Caddies and we couldn’t have the Mad Caddies again!” He also added that with such a massive audience, he hoped that the political messages that NOFX and Boysetsfire talk about would help to change the way of thinking for those who may not be familiar with their music. When quizzed if this would be the last year of the festival, Dave hit back with a resounding answer. “NO WAY! There is way too much work and love poured in to this tour. If it was gonna go down this would of happened a few years back. We can’t stop now!” He added that the plan for next year would be to revert back to the old ‘independent’ system.

More developments are expected in the next few days so keep your eyes peeled. Hopefully now both sides have been given at least people can see the reasons behind the decision to move the festival, even if you don’t always agree with them. Having spoken to Dave I know he accepts this wasn’t the ideal way – but without it there may not have been a tour ever again. “It’s been a tough one,” he admitted. “I take criticism to heart, that’s who I am. I am part of the scene and I have tried to make it happen best that I can. I always wanted to stay on my own, but sometimes you have to compromise.”

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