Oneedm has had an opportunity to speak with Greg Pitts, one of the festival directors about Darkest Before Dawn. Darkest Before Dawn will take place on August 19th through August 21st at the Junebug Boogie Ranch in Cookeville, Tennessee.
Is Darkest before Dawn your first festival? If not what other events have you put on?
Darkest Before Dawn is our first official festival that we have thrown together but we have a big group of people that goes to festivals together and often times coordinating those events can be quite the ordeal. Most recently we rented a big mansion out for an event with 70 plus people. The type of organization required to make things like that go smoothly certainly translates over to planning larger events. This has nonetheless been a learning experience and we can only hope to improve in the years to come.
How does Darkest Before Dawn compare to other festivals? What is similar and what is unique?
Darkest Before Dawn is a transnational music and arts festival much like many other big ones going on today. My favorite festivals have been places like Electric Forest and Gathering of the Vibes that have a lot going on music-wise as well as a lot of art and workshops that are there for the attendees to enjoy. We hope to imbue a culture of caring for each other and really make people feel as though they are part of a tight knit group or family. All the festivals that make that a priority have always been the best ones that I have been to. Good vibes and leaving no trace are key!
How did you get into the event planning business?
We all love going to events and the next logical step to going to events is making them happen for yourself. Speaking for myself I have been to many festivals and there were many things I likes and certainly many things I didn’t enjoy about them. The great thing about planning your own event is that we get to take all the good parts of events we have seen and incorporate them into our event and keep the bad things from happening to the best of our ability.
What is your inspiration for this festival?
The total solar eclipse was the main inspiration our event. We wanted to center an event to bring in this special moment.
Total solar eclipse. Photo by Nicholas Jones.
What is a typical day like when planning Darkest Before Dawn?
Every day is different. Some days were spent negotiating with artists and drawing up contracts while others were spent going out and promoting. A big part has definitely been finding artists to play the festivals and immersing myself in their music to see how they would fit into the vibe we are trying to create. There has been much deliberation when choosing what type of festival we are going to put on and everything we do every day flows back into that main overarching goal.
Who is your favorite artist playing at Darkest Before Dawn?
Personally I’m very excited for Wax Future. They have been a personal favorite of mine for quite some time and to have them play at our festival is such an honor.
Wax Future. Photo by Wook Vision
What do you expect to be the top three moments at Darkest Before Dwan?
The top moment will definitely be the solar eclipse on Monday afternoon. Over two minutes of pitch darkness in the middle of the day is something I have never experienced and I am excited to see what that will be like. As far as the other two moments I think when things start going in full force the first night and everything is in full swing will be another great moment for us and once things start back up again on Sunday morning it will really be a special time for those of us who have put in so much work to get this event off the ground.
What would you say has been your biggest challenges putting on Darkest Before Dawn? How have you resolved them?
Our biggest challenges have been realizing how much actually goes into throwing a music festival and juggling everything at once. We have been able to accomplish everything through the help of our talented network of friends and family with specialized skills perfect for any obstacle we have faced.
What would you say has been your biggest success in planning this festival?
Booking all of the artists that we were able to get for our first year festival has been my biggest point of pride thus far when planning this festival.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about Darkest Before Dawn?
Darkest Before Dawn will be an incredibly special festival and we hope to see as many of you all there when we all bring in the total solar eclipse together. If you do come please respect yourselves and each other. Be responsible and be safe and above all have an amazing time!
Darkest Before Dawn looks like it will be an interesting festival and certainly an event worth checking out. Tickets Darkest Before Dawn is $70 for the weekend or $30 for single day passes. The festival takes place at Junebug Boogie Ranch, located at 115 Waterloo Rd, Cookeville, TN 38506. Click here to purchase tickets.