Sofia Hagberg tells us more about No Direction Home Festival


For the first time this year the team behind music festival End of the Road are taking their lovely ideas outside of Dorset to set up camp in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire for sister festival No Direction Home. We asked Sofia Hagberg, Director of the festival, to tell us a bit more about their new venture.


Tell us a bit more about End of the Road Festival and the idea behind No Direction Home.

End of the Road Festival was started in 2006 by my friend Simon Taffe and I.  We had no previous experience of working in the music industry and we were simply two huge fans who used to go to lots of gigs and festivals together, and one day Simon got the idea that we should put on our own ‘dream festival’ incorporating all the different elements that in our minds would make the perfect festival.  The festival won ‘Best New Festival’ in the UK Festival Awards that year, and has gone from strength to strength each year.  We have reached our full capacity at End of the Road now (in order to keep a great atmosphere and to keep it intimate), which means that the only way for us to reach out to more people, and to do more of what we love, is to start a new festival… and so the idea of No Direction Home Festival was born.

What drew you to Welbeck when you picked the location for your sister festival?

We searched for a new festival site for over a year, and across the whole country… there are so many elements that need to be taken into consideration on a logistical level, but once you know that a site can cope with the demands of a festival, then the most important thing for us is the look and the feel of the site.  And this is where the Welbeck Estate stood apart from all the others… it’s so stunning, beautiful, amazing, wonderful and magical!

You seem to be working closely with the local community and businesses, is it important for you to get local people involved?

Yes, we have been made to feel very welcome by the local community and all the surrounding areas, such as Nottingham, Lincoln, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester and even as far as Liverpool.  And wherever we can give something back, we do… for example, we have been able to involve the School of Artisan Food, who will be holding workshops, tastings and demos, The Harley Gallery, where some of the artists are providing workshops such as pottery, felt making and more.  It’s also important to us to book local artists, and so far more than 10% of the bands playing the festival are from the local surroundings, such as Nat Johnson & the Figureheads, The Crookes, Laish, Best Friends, Wet Nuns and of course local legend Richard Hawley.

And finally, one other aspect is involving people in the actual running of the festival on site, and we are still looking for volunteers:

Do you hope this new festival to be a regular feature on the British festival calendar?

Absolutely!!!  We are in it for the long run and we’ve already set the dates for No Direction Home Festival in 2013!  🙂

What is your pick for a must-see performance at the festival? Any tips?

To me it’s the wholeness of our line up that makes it so exciting and if I wasn’t so busy running around doing lots of organising stuff during the festival, I would love to see them ALL!!!

But if I had to pick only one artist, then it would be Diagrams.  The main man behind this band, Sam Genders, is originally from Matlock Bath but is now based in London where he’s put together an amazing 8-piece to play this upbeat and fun music.  They have a completely original sound, but have also been compared to the likes of Hot Chip, Sufjan Stevens, Midlake, Metronomy, Gruff Rhys, Broadcast and Scritti Politti.  🙂

Check’em out:

For more information on No Direction Home Festival please visit 



Posted on 09 May 2012
Featured author: melissa.gueneau

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