Organisers of On the Mount at Wasing – Senbla managing director Ollie Rosenblatt (pictured left) and Eden Sessions promoter John Empson (right) – tell Access how the new shows will bring a unique environmental focus to the outdoor concert series market.
Sony Music-backed promoter Senbla will aim to immerse attendees in their natural surroundings when new outdoor concert series On the Mount at Wasing launches this week.
What started with an idea by Wasing Estate owner Joshua Dugdale, the 6,000-capacity concert series will host headliners Gabriels, Jack Johnson, Primal Scream, Ben Howard and Sigur Ros on one amphitheatre, taking place from 22 June – 2 July.
With production handled by the Eden Sessions team, Senbla promoter John Empson says the “experience-led” series has some similarities with its Cornwall counterpart, including the same capacity and a similar focus on the environment, but with several differences that sets it apart.
“It’ll be an experience like no other in the UK,” says Empson, who has promoted Eden Sessions for 22 years. “The two camps have come together and it’s very much been a collaboration with the estate. They are right in the heart of the well-being, mind and health industry, which is getting bigger and bigger.
“The ambition is to make people a bit more present at these shows and experience the environment around them – to maybe get them to put their phones down a bit.
“There’s not a corrugated fence around the place, it’s just natural beauty with incredible music, as well as little surprises that we’ve put in there. The attention to detail is phenomenal.
“Even down to the signage, the gates and how the bars are put together – we want to do the complete opposite of a big commercial show on a greenfield site.
“It’s a funny dichotomy of being very old school and natural, but also appearing to be completely contemporary, but it’s really going to work.”
Located just a short train or Elizabeth Line ride from London Paddington to Reading, Wasing has previously hosted the Glade dance music festival in the mid-late 2000s. It currently hosts the Medicine Festival – a not-for-profit, alcohol-free gathering that aims to inspire connection and regeneration for people and planet.
Senbla MD OIllie Rosenblatt says, “We talked through what [Wasing] wanted to achieve and we saw some artist’s impression drawings. We were with them on the journey of how they wanted to create this environment. They have created something truly magnificent.
“Everything from the woodland walk as you’ve come in right through into the arena is absolutely breathtaking. There’s little pockets of interesting things that will surprise people as they walk around the site where they will want to congregate.”
Along with the main headliners, the event will also host artists such as Olivia Dean, Rachel Chinouriri, Horace Andy & Dub Asante Band, Brian Jonestown Massacre and Bat for Lashes. On the lineup, Empson says, “We are booking acts that fit with the venue, not just to sell tickets. We’re building a clear brand and path to success, but we’re not just doing that by putting in huge headliners.
“We’re going from the hottest young acts out there like Gabriels and Olivia Dean, to a band like Sigur Ros who have chosen this venue to do their one outdoor show of the year. And then you’ve got Jack Johnson and Ben Howard who bring their own environmental ethos.”