For most of us, festivals are the highlight of the summer. Three days when we can press pause on life, crack open a Carlsberg and remember who we are when we’re not stuck on trains and in meetings. All while watching some of the best live bands on the planet.
For a few lucky other people, festivals are their 9 to 5. The thing they’re actually paid to think about every day. All year long. One man with the dream job is Jon Mcildowie from Festival Republic, a promoter for the Reading & Leeds Festival and the person who decides exactly which bands you see during your long-awaited festival weekend.
The moment the bands walk on stage is the end of a long process for Jon and his fellow Festival Republic promoters though. He started thinking about the line-up for this year’s Reading & Leeds Festival as soon as the 2017 festival finished. From that point, the race started to create the best festival bill possible for 2018 and ensure this year’s Reading & Leeds was the must-have festival ticket of the summer.
That means securing the right headliners to top the bill, predicting the acts who everyone will want to see in twelve months time and spotting up and coming bands about to break through. So Jon spends as much time as possible listening to new music, seeing bands live and watching how audiences react to the bands he sees. It’s this instinct and passion for new music that helped him book Post Malone for the Main Stage before he became one of the most talked about men in music.
For Jon, it’s all in a day’s work. Although even he admits he can’t believe his luck. “I love what I do,” he says, “because it combines a job with a hobby.”
We Danes would just call it the ultimate work/life balance.