Words: Ian Chadderton, Fat Lip Festival

When I came to Bristol to attend UWE nine years ago, just like any student, I found it difficult to fit in. I took a flyering job for a club night in my second year. I had found my true calling – the nightlife industry. I got my first paid DJ set alongside New Found Glory at the start of 2012. Finally, I could start to make my mark on the scene.

A few years on, I was offered a job managing a night. I was naïve back then. It seemed a huge opportunity, however the man in charge hugely took advantage and paid me pennies for months of graft.

Then everything changed. The Lanes and I decided to cut out the middleman and create something new. Fat Lip was born. It was built by the local scene, for the local scene. That was the whole point. We’ve been hosting silly pop-punk parties every month since.

The breakthrough for us was last year, when we decided to start the festival. It was always a dream to host an event that large, so I dove headfirst into it – and I’m forever grateful to my hard-working team for making it happen.

This year we’ve upped our game, added another stage and have a bigger main stage. It’s an honour to host some of the best up-and-coming artists from across the UK.

I believe it’s the sense of community we’ve built that has given people the same sense of belonging I now feel. Whether it’s attending our events or volunteering at the festival, it’s making our alternative scene feel inclusive that keeps it alive. It’s for this reason that even if I ever left our happy little Fat Lip bubble here in the Southwest, it would live on. It’s bigger than one person, it’s about all of us.

Fat Lip has been a hub for rock and alternative music in Bristol since 2013, with the festival itself now in its second year, taking place on 28th July.