Chris Hawkins Interview: "Highest Point has such a special place in my heart"

Returning once again to Lancaster's Highest Point, Chris Hawkins of BBC Radio 6 Music is going to be hosting the Festival's Sundial Stage. We caught up with him to chat about it all. Check it out below!

Thomas Hirst

Date published: 2nd Apr 2024

The voice that narrates the mornings of the loyal Radio 6 Music fans out there, BBC radio presenter and DJ, Chris Hawkins is returning once again to Highest Point Festival in 2024!

Chris is returning to host the Skiddle Sundial stage; which will feature a bunch of DJ sets, Live shows, and more. Whether it be another edition of The Lovely Eggs Pub Quiz, a DJ set from Ross Jarman of The Cribs, a set from Lancaster locals LOWES, and a whole host of other fun activities throughout the day, his stage is set to be a highlight of the whole weekend!

With Highest Point fast approaching, we caught up with Chris to chat all about his stage, why he keeps returning to the festival, and also about the local band competition he recently judged for the festival. Check it out below!

 

 

So Chris we’re here to chat about Highest Point this year, you’re back once again to host a stage, what is it about this festival that keeps bringing you back?

"First of all, the setting of Williamson Park is absolutely stunning, and for the past few years, it feels like it’s always been soaked in sunshine. 

"It's a fantastic site for a festival, and the lineups keep getting better and better."

 

 

You hosted the Dell stage last year, what are your memories of the festival?

"I’ve got so many great memories from hosting that stage last year, particularly the LOWES acoustic set. They're a band from Lancaster who I am totally in love with, and their set was brilliant and they got a huge hometown crowd. 

"I also did an in-conversation with DJ Paulette, a legendary DJ, and she was fascinating. Then at the other end of the spectrum, I did a pub quiz with Lancaster's very own The Lovely Eggs, which was absolute chaos and carnage. It was the best kind of fun, but with some of the worst, most pointless prizes, but that just added to the chaos.

"There was also this really surreal moment over the weekend when there was a stag do of about 20 lads, all dressed as Wheres Wally, who were just having the best time. At one point, as I was DJing, I put on Britney Spears, ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ and got all of the stag do up on stage dancing, and it was quite the sight, a brilliant festival moment."

 

You’ll be returning to this year host the Sundial Stage at the festival, you’ve got a real eclectic mix of things going on there, are you excited about it?

"For me, the Sundial Stage is, away from the main stage, the absolute best location on the site. It's right next to a good-sized bar and overlooks the whole of the rest of the festival, as well as those stunning views across Morecambe Bay. 

"It's a perfect setting. I'm very excited."

 

Whilst you’ve got returning acts like LOWES and The Lovely Eggs, which of the new acts for this year on your lineup are you particularly looking forward to?

"It's a real privilege to host a festival stage and I've worked hard with the team at Highest Point to find just the right mix. 

"So it is me hosting and DJing through the weekend. 

"But in terms of those playing, I can't believe that we've got Ross from The Cribs coming along to DJ. He’s a relatively local lad and he's going to bring a big crowd. 

"We’ve got Utah Saints, whose DJ sets are absolutely legendary. I'm going to try and predict a moment, and when Tom and Jez bring the feel-good bangers and get the whole crowd dancing, I'm going to say in advance that that will be a lot of people's best moment of the festival.

"There’s Jaguar Skills, and he is like watching a wizard at work. So I'm delighted that when I asked Jags, he said yes to doing the stage.

"Then there’s this kind of crazy Hacker T Dog & Katie Thistleton double act that has really started to blow up. Katie and I are very good friends and I was desperate for her and Phil, who let's say ‘works’ with Hacker, to play. 

"George Egg I can’t wait for too. I have George on shows that I do on 6 Music. He's a Snack Hacker and his show will involve creating food and putting food recipes together with blowtorches and chainsaws. It's going to be spectacular. "

 

George Egg was the one that I saw on your bill I was particularly excited about. I love his social stuff and after reading up on what his live shows involve I think it's going to be a real stand-out for people.

"For sure, to me, it's what festivals are made for.

"You've got big headliners on the main stage and then really weird, crazy, bonkers moments away from the main stage. George is going to be awesome."

 

We spoke about the new ones, but, as mentioned, you’ve LOWES and The Lovely Eggs returning. It’s great to have these acts returning, but it’s particularly great with them both being local acts.

For sure, I mentioned that LOWE's got one of the biggest crowds of the weekend last year, and that’s down to not only them having an incredible local support base, but also being a brilliant UK dance band. 

They are big news and I think they're one of the hottest dance bands in the UK right now. I premiered their new single on my show on 6 Music this week, in fact, and it went down an absolute storm. 

So having seen them stripped back and kind of semi-acoustic last year, I think it's going to be a more full-on experience this year on the Sundial and I can’t wait for it. 

And The Lovely Eggs? Well, they just take a walk up the road to Williamson Park and they bring their unique brand of charm, their punk ethos, and their absolute silliness. They did it with the pub quiz last year and they'll do the same again this year.

 

Whilst we’re on the local connections, you were also asked to judge the local band competition for this year's festival, how was that? what can you tell us about the winner? and what do these opportunities kind of mean for local bands in the area?

"It means the world. It's never been easier to make good high-end new music, and it's never been harder to get heard, so it's really important that new bands are given these opportunities. 

"So it was a really tough decision picking that winning band, and I agonised over who should win. Because getting to play on a festival's main stage, on the same stage as acts like Tom Odell, Busted, Cat Burns, Sam Ryder, and LOWES, it's a big deal, it's a chance to make your mark. 

"However the winners, IndifferentMonKeY, who are from Morcombe, so just up the road and around the corner, they're kind of like a trip-hop indie-rock hybrid band, which is really my thing. I just love their sound and I think there's huge potential for them to go on to big things and hopefully, this appearance at Highest Point will help them on their journey."

 

Read more about IndifferentMonKeY winning the Highest Point local band competition - HERE

 

Cheers Chris, just to round up, having been to HP a few times now, what would you say to someone who is considering grabbing that ticket but hasn't done so yet?

"I would ask; Why not?

"Because of all the festivals that I do every year, whether it be hosting or DJing, Highest Point has such a special place in my heart.

"Williamson Park is beautiful, and it's a great size, you can cover the whole of the festival site nicely and breezily make your way around the whole site. 

"It's got a fantastic lineup across all the stages. There's something for everyone that it's got a family feel during the daytime.

"But, by night it becomes a massive party. There's great beer, great food, and the best live music. I don't think you can ask for anything more from a festival."

 

 


 

For tickets to Highest Point Festival 2024, so you can see all of the incredible acts on Chris Hawkins's stage and more, scroll down to the bottom of this page!

For more information, and some FAQs on Highest Point Festival 2024, visit the festival page on Skiddle, by clicking or tapping - HERE

 


 

Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.

 

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