Dominic Penna (DPP Festival) – interview

DPP Festival 2018 posterGetting ready for the second DPP Festival, and indie-rock single venue weekend festival, we talk to organiser and local promoter Dominic Penna. 

“I was born and grew up in Derby, so feel a strong connection to the city. My love of music and live music in particular drove me to become involved in the local scene just over a year ago, when I started putting on gigs at the Sitwell Tavern. In that time, I’ve organised UK tour dates for Dantevilles, Idle Frets, The Recreation and many more.

“But the driver behind the festival was the absence of a ticketed, ages-14+ festival event in Derby.

“The first DPP Festival this June featured Judas and Misfires, both of who are now going on to big things, and got a decent crowd down from both Derby and wider areas. I want to replicate and expand on the successes of this year, giving a platform to some of the best live acts about.”

Dominic Penna is getting ready for the second DPP Festival, which is set to take place in January 2018 at the Sitwell. He’s already announcing bands onto the line up and is excited to bring another set of local and touring bands into the city. Across Saturday 6 January and Sunday 7 January 2018 bands will play from early evening and Penna says there are some exciting names on the line up, “Saturday night of the Festival will be headlined by No Hot Ashes, a Manchester indie-funk four piece regularly selling out their shows. They’re among the hardest working and most exciting live acts around.

“On Sunday, Sheffield’s Oddity Road will be playing – they packed out the second stage at Y Not Festival and venues like the Bodega and their hometown’s O2 Academy, so they will really get the crowd going in a more intimate venue.

“I’ve already confirmed three local acts – Hitfaced, Ayres and Niamh Melton – all of whom are amazing at what they do and well worth seeing. In the next month or two there’s five more bands, including the Sunday night headliners, to announce. Again, it’ll be a mix of acclaimed touring bands and some of the best local talent about; giving Derby talent a chance is really important in terms of my events.”

Many local promoters are those who have found the Derby scene as gig-goers and Penna is no different. He’s pragmatic about the state of the city’s current scene saying, “It often gets talked down, but there’s some exciting things happening, and quality promoters and bands working hard to make things happen.

“Bands like Wolf Alice, Mint and The Extons coming to play suggests that Derby is on the map a bit more for touring bands now, which is really good to see. There’s lots of rising local talent such as Reqs, Scribble Victory, and obviously the three incredible Derby acts currently confirmed for DPP Festival.”

Penna is excited about the prospects on the DPP line-up in January and bringing band’s to Derby for smaller shows than they would play elsewhere, giving Derby gig-goers an experience other’s would envy. He said, “I’ve booked No Hot Ashes and Oddity Road knowing how special their sets will be. With their plans for 2018 looking big, it’ll be one of the last chances to see either band in an intimate venue, especially in Derby.

“That said, I’m looking forward to all aspects of the Festival – from the handpicked mix of national and regional acts, to what is guaranteed to be an enthusiastic crowd from Derby and beyond.”

DPP Festival takes place from 5.30pm on both Saturday 6 January and Sunday 7 January at the Sitwell Tavern, Sitwell Street.  The full line-up is yet to be announced so follow the festival on social media for latest announcements.

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