Introducing Off Grid Festival’s Live Music Curator – Demelza Jennings AKA Cakey Girl
Demelza Jennings is the musician and promoter behind Cakey Girl, described on her Soundcloud page as “loops, cake, nature.” Demelza lives out on Dartmoor and as we chat, the telephone connection splutters and gurgles. It’s rare to find that poor a connection in today’s digital age but for me, it always signals a kind of wildness that makes me wish I was there…
I’ve been listening to her rhythmic, quirky tunes, so I know Demelza’s singing is sweet in an ironic, Lily-Allen-like way, but still the gentle, slightly nervous voice on the phone is a surprise. I ask about her role as curator of live music for the Off Grid Festival in Devon.
“I’m really passionate about good musicianship and good music but it’s nice for me to be doing a festival that is not just about the music. The daytime stuff at Off Grid is so intense and vibrant and wonderful, that the music is the icing on the cake, really.”
Cake features high on Demelza’s priorities, having got her name from her love of the vegan cake which was at one time only available at alternative-type festivals such as Off Grid. Apart from the cake, I ask her, what does Off Grid Festival mean to you?
“I suppose it’s that One Planet philosophy. That we’re all in this together and doing what we can on a local level. I’ve learned so much and I really want to get along to a lot more workshops this year. For me it’s about how we all live together and how we make it all relevant, how you take all these brilliant ideas and amazing concepts out into the wider community.”
Which bands this year are you most looking forward to?
All of them! I love all the acts who are booked to play this year, I really hope there’s something for everyone.
All this year’s bands have got something to say, a certain attitude, there’s something in the air!
From intense, captivating singer-songwriters like Dan Days through to the feel good dance-a-thon hip-hop of NUMB.
“I’ve got a few essential criteria for booking.” says Demelza. High levels of musicianship, a bag full of feel, and because there is still a massive gender inequality in the music industry, I try to ensure that female artists are properly represented.
“Being a musician means I’m lucky enough to get see a lot of other bands, good bands really stand out, and if my band has got a gig somewhere, that means they’re a venue or festival who are booking original, unsigned, live music. If we’re doing it, there’s a good chance I’ll find other great original bands there too. This year we have the acoustic area as well so we’re expecting some lovely slots from singer –songwriters and spoken word artists, in common with other ‘pop-up’ spaces at this year’s festival, part of the day on that stage will be an ‘open-mic’ format, so anyone can put their name down on the board, we’re hoping for some lovely surprises! There’ll be music from mid-afternoon onwards in the ampi-theatre, the barn stage opens at 7pm. It’s gonna be great!”
Book your tickets for Off Grid 2017. 10th-13th August, Biophilia Project, Exeter, Devon.
Links to this year’s music:
Five Finger Discount: https://soundcloud.com/five-finger-discount-2/none-of-that-matters
Dan Days : https://soundcloud.com/user-667336512/roses
BTW Five Finger Discount link on the live music page is broken. try this: