Terminal V Festival: "After two years without events, we’re pulling out all the stops"

Terminal V Festival: "After two years without events, we’re pulling out all the stops"

Terminal V Festival 2022 | Resurgence

Terminal V Festival 2022 | Resurgence

Newbridge, United Kingdom

In the comparatively short time since the debut edition back in 2017, Terminal V Festival has already become a major force in the dance music landscape of Scotland, and of the UK as a whole. 

From the earliest outings, the events have been defined in many ways by their sheer scale – from the packed lineups of global techno talent, to the physical production values on the day; the staging, lighting, sound. 

Now, after many painful postponements over what has been, as we all know, a very difficult couple of years, the festival is back and bigger than ever, with a supersized two-day edition at the Royal Highland Centre just a matter of weeks away.

So with the long-awaited return within touching distance, we took the opportunity to ask Terminal V's Festival Directors Simon McGrath and Derek Martin a few questions about the event, the trials and tribulations of the last two years, and what it takes to put on an event on such a spectacular scale.

I imagine it has been a real emotional rollercoaster for you guys with regard to postponements and the like, how are you feeling now that the festival is finally going to happen?

Simon: Excited, relieved, focused… Quite a few mixed emotions, which is understandable after the last two years of stop-starts. With just over seven weeks to go we’re definitely feeling the pressure; good pressure though as it's great to see the positivity surrounding events again in Scotland. Given that we’ve had two years of no events, we’re pulling out all the stops with this edition with upgrades in all areas within the event.  

Derek: Feeling more than ready to finally deliver the event after it has taken over our lives for the last two+ years to plan/reschedule/plan/and so on. It feels exciting yet nerve-racking, it’s quite surreal that we’re now almost finally there.    

It’s a two-day event this time round, were there always plans to extend the festival or is that simply in response to the circumstances? Could you see that becoming a permanent fixture?

Simon: It was always part of our long-term plan to increase to two days, and it made sense at Easter given that everyone has an extended holiday over that weekend with Friday and Monday off. Circumstance potentially made it happen sooner as the growth did happen within the two years of Covid and no events. With every reschedule we felt we always needed to give something fresh and new to the lineup which did see additional stages and the increase to two days.   

Derek: We had previously – pre-pandemic – discussed it as a next step for the festival when the time was right, but the pandemic forced our hand to take that leap sooner, as we wanted to give our loyal fans and ticket holders something extra special when we returned. We spent a long time programming the lineup and fixing bits we didn't think worked too well each time we moved the date.  Now as we go into Easter 2022 with stage splits just revealed, it's feeling good and will become an annual two-day event.

For anyone who hasn’t been to a Terminal V event before, how would you describe it to people? What can they expect, especially from this 'supersized' edition?  

Simon: Improved site and creative. We’ve spent the two years away from events improving all aspects of the site to get it to the standard we had always set out to reach. This can be also said for the lineup. We’ve now got to the stage we’d always been aiming for in terms of acts, featuring 85+ international acts from the well established acts to current favourites over seven very different stages, all with their own strong individual identities.

The lineup is packed with big names, including a fair few international acts. Has the booking process been harder this time round in terms of securing those acts, or are you finding that DJs have freer schedules and a heightened appetite to get back to it?

Simon: The hardest thing for us has really been the rescheduling. With 85+ acts reallocating new set times and dates when other festivals are in the same position and still rescheduling too to get everything realigned perfectly has been hard but we’ve managed to get there!  

Derek: We are most definitely in a different place from when we first launched the event in 2017. That was a challenge to get the first ever lineup over the line. Now we find many of the top tier acts are holding out to play Terminal V on the Easter and Halloween weekends, which makes the full process a tiny bit easier when booking such a large lineup, although it's a never-ending game to program the dream lineup for each event. Acts have been super supportive the last two years to allow us to roll over and finally deliver this incredible lineup.

Is there anyone in particular, on a personal level, that you’re particularly pleased is playing Terminal V this time round?

Simon: I’m looking forward to catching I Hate Models, VTSS, Adiel, Special Request, and I can see one of the standout sets for me being Helena Hauff B2B Ben UFO – I can’t wait for that. But again there are so many acts I want to see.  

Derek: There are so many acts it's really hard to choose. We’ve tried to balance the lineup on a strong selection of the more traditional to contemporary new wave artists. Of course [it's] techno heavy, but [there are] some outstanding artists over many electronic genres playing over the weekend. The six B2Bs we have lined up are really exciting including Ben UFO x Helena Hauff, and Octo Octa x Eris Drew for starters! Plenty of legendary acts on the lineup too, I can't wait to catch including Luke Slater, Kerri Chandler, Sven Väth, Ben Sims, etc.


Could you tell us a bit about each of the stages – both in terms of how the lineup has been assembled as well as the physical spaces themselves?  

Simon: Creative and production-wise, each stage has its one style and identity. We’re working with numerous creatives within design and production to have six very different concept stages all with their own different looks. 

Derek: Terminal V is mainly an indoor event ran over the massive halls at the royal highland centre, interconnected and designed to create 5 very unique stages. We've now added on a huge outdoor area for Easter 20202 with 1 more main enclosed stage and a 7th stage focused on local artists. Each stage is bespokely designed to the highest level, all bringing something unique to the festival in terms of production and look and feel. Stage production is at the core of Terminal V.

Finally, how do you expect you’ll feel when the lights go up on the end of the second day of the festival?

Simon: I imagine I'll be feeling a mixture of achievement and exhaustion… especially after two years, can really say this time, this has been a long time coming!   

Derek: That's going to be a very special moment. Two and a half years in the making!

Terminal V Festival: Resurgence takes place in Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh, from 16-17 April. Final release tickets are on sale here.


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