My Festival Life… Barry Ashworth, Dub Pistols interview with Virtual Festivals

Barry Ashworth, ex-promoter and the man behind Dub Pistols, takes VF through his Festival Life…

The first festival I ever went to was Glastonbury. I was probably about 14 so it was about 30 years ago. I can’t remember who played there. To me, a festival is about the crowd, not about the bands. You’re more entertained by the crowd than you are by the bands. That’s what makes a great festival: a great crowd who just make their own entertainment. Even though they’ve got the Berlin Wall round it now, I remember we used to just run and keep running as kids. Every time we got thrown out we used to keep going back.

The best show I ever saw at a festival was probably Oasis at Glastonbury. They’re a band that can rock a festival – to me, Gorillaz last year weren’t very good, and Jay-Z wasn’t in 2008. I’m not having a go at either of those artists because I like both of them probably more than I like Oasis, but I think as a headline act at Glastonbury you’ve got to be a barnstormer with anthems. You need big, big records, sing-along songs – that’s what a headline set is. That’s not dissing Gorillaz, it’s just it’s got to be up-tempo and it’s got to rock. The same thing with Jay-Z – that kind of rap at that time of night is not the right thing, that’s all.

My favourite festivals are Beat Herder, Snowbombing, Bestival and Glade. They are all something different and they’re not mainstream. At Beat Herder, the first time I met the promoters it was pouring with rain and I just remember pulling up and the farmer coming out and shouting: “get in there, it’s bloody buzzing in there!” Our tour bus got stuck in the mud and the promoters were pushing it and were covered from head to toe in shit. They were lovely guys, they’d organised something that they were so in to. Snowbombing is on top of the world and it’s totally unique. I’ve been a part of Bestival since the early beginnings when there were 4,000 people and the crowd there have always been really good to the Dub Pistols. I love Glade because it’s an electronic festival that’s a little bit out there.

The best show I ever played at a festival was Bestival two years ago when we had a beer fight with the crowd. The first ever Dub Pistols song was ‘There’s Gonna Be A Riot’, and I just stood there and said: “This is the first song we ever wrote and it’s the last song we’re going to play tonight – it’s called ‘There’s Gonna Be A Riot’. I want everybody out there to throw everything they possibly can at us.” They literally did, it looked like some sort of Western. If you just watch it, it goes on for ten minutes of people just chucking things at us. You can see glasses bouncing off my head. Everyone’s smiling, but the energy from that show was amazing. The stage was trashed. We caused trouble that year, but there were no dark undertones – it was pure fun. 

Also I loved Guilfest 2007 when we played with Lynval Golding. It was pretty amazing. As far as you could see, the whole place was properly going insane, so that was pretty special.

My worst-ever festival experience was last year at Bestival when it all went horribly wrong. We went there as one of the favourite bands of the festival, full of confidence, and flew everybody over. Rob da Bank had given us the best set he could possibly give us which was to close the festival after The Prodigy and we came out and it just went horribly wrong. I didn’t come out of my house for two weeks, I was that upset. A lot of people didn’t even notice, but it really fucking upset me big time.

Festivals are the only place I can get away with everything. Everything I want to.

My advice to a festival first-timer would be to take a crash helmet. Take stabilisers and a crash helmet and really let yourself go.

My dream festival line-up would include The Specials, The Jam, The Clash, Gregory Isaacs and Beastie Boys. I’m trying to think of diversity. It would also include Carl Cox and Leftfield as they were back in the day along with Orbital. I’d headline and do a Jools Holland with all of those people.

Dub Pistols are set to play Glade Festival 2011alongside Trentemoller, Adam Beyer, Slam, Skrillex and many more with the event set to take place at Old Warden Park, Biggleswade from 10-12 June.

Weekend festival tickets are on sale now priced at £135.

Click here to buy Glade Festival tickets.

The group’s fifth album ‘Music Is My M16’ is due to be released later this year.

Dub Pistols DJ show in Athens May 6th 2011

Dub pistols Barry Ashworth will play a one off DJ show @ Bois in Athens on Friday May 6th 2011

The Full band will do a 3 date tour of Greece later in the year.

29th September,  Akti Dimeon, Patra

30th September, Gagarin 205, Athens

  1st  October, Block 33, Thessalonika

DUB PISTOLS Live @ Boomtown London Ball May 13th

!!!!!!!!!TICKETS NOW ON SALE!!!!!!!!!
£15.00 plus booking fee from:
Very limited numbers avaliable…THESE WILL SELL LIKE HOTCAKES so grab ’em while theyre toasty!!!! 

Hot on the heels of our Bristol bank holiday blow-out, the Boomtown travelling show rolls into the capital city at full speed on Friday May 13th for another dose of decadent and debauched indoor festival action. We’re taking over the epic confines of the Bussey Building in Peckham, where you can expect a ripsnorting, rib-rattling, rim-tickling romp through all the fun of the Fair. Skank out to the best in live ska in the Town Centre, wind up your waistline in the Bassline Circus, let the Uprizing Crew move your mind and body with the deepest dub and reggae, and get four to the floor in The Bodyshop. If that wasn’t enough you can expect a high-octane concoction of village games, fancy dress, performance artists, mindblowing decor and the full-pelt Boomtown festival vibes that you’ve come to know and love. You ready? Let’s go! 

♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ The Lineup ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ 

• The Town centre •
♪A town centre like no other, this is the hedonistic hub of the Boomtown Fair. A non-stop musical mecca where games are played, dreams are made and memories engraved. Come down and shake a leg to the finest live ska, dub and funk, and get intimate with the rest of the Boomtown inhabitants.♪

► Dub Pistols
Big Beat aristocracy bring their genre-smashing live steez to the Town Centre. This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this definitely ain’t no foolin’ around
► Babyhead
The block-rockin’ Boomtown resident 8-headed monster skanks its way up the M4 to cause a riot inna Boomtown. Live Ska, Hip Hop and Dub styles like no other. ‘Mazers!
► Los Albertos
Brighton 6 piece ska-funkers who eat festivals for breakfast. It’s dance music Jim, but not as we know it…
► The JB Conspiracy
Straight outta Guildford. Ska music that’s live, large and definitely in charge. Boomtown you ain’t ready. 

Plus Boomtown resident DJ’s till 5am tearing up the dancefloor with beats, bumps and bedalm….gonna be large mate.


Bussey Building – Peckham – London
133 Rye Lane,



The Dub Pistols frontman Barry Ashworth, Hits the RTR Studio for a special Dub Pistols DJ Set.


vvvvv HERE vvvvv

WEDNESDAY 8TH june 2011

at this time

20:00-22:00 GMT (8pm-10pm)

(Click the link below for show times in your part of the world!)

Massive Line up for Big Beat Reunion in Bristol Sat 30th April

Dub Pistols Barry Ashworth will join the massive line up for next weeks Big Beat Reunion @ Motion in Bristol next saturday 30th April

Rocstar Events in association with The Drop are very proud to announce-


The Big Beat Reunion Tour is coming to Bristol for the first time and is bringing one of the most substantial line ups to ever hit the city.

With 5 areas of music, fairground rides, fire Jugglers and massive prize giveaways this is guaranteed to be one of the biggest nights Bristol has seen in a long time.

All the proceeds of this event will be going to the War Child charity.

Big Beat Reunion Room: 

Bentley Rhythm Ace Live                      
Resonant Evil 
Jon Carter 
Cut La Roc 
Dubpistols (Barry Ashworth DJ Set) 
Deadly Avenger 
VJ Air (VJ) 

Host: Darrison 

Rocstar Events Present: 

Elite Force 
The Freestylers 
Atomic Hooligan 
Afghan Headspin 
The Freerange DJ’s 
Ben & Lex 
Reject Beats 
Psycho Monkey (VJ) 

Rooda Beats And Bass: 

Mr No Hands 
DJ Chamber 
Drum Monkeys 
Massive Dynamic 

Dubs.Tek Presents: 

DJ Fu & Jungle Drummer Live 
Pixel Fist Featuring Stapleton MC 
Boogie Dave 

Dirty Old Town
‘freestyle music & art’

Rackabeat & Bar-Low 
The Johnson Brothers 
Paddy Jinnah 


Lee Summers 
Iain Sellar 
Tim Miness 



£10 early bird tickets (Very limited and already selling out)
£15 standard tickets / M.O.T.D

EARLY BIRDS available from 
Bristol Ticket Shop (
Motion (

STANDARD TICKETS available from
Bristol Ticket Shop (