Meet Andrena & Garry from Buzzstock

Meet Andrena & Garry from Buzzstock

Meet Andrena & Garry from Buzzstock

Seeing as Buzzstock is just around the corner in our social calendars now, we thought it was about time that we got to hear a little bit more from Andrena, one half of the dynamic duo behind Buzzstock and Leighton Buzz Radio!

We first met Andrena about 5 years ago at a Bee's Knees Networking event and were in awe of the business woman behind Bee Local Magazine who was so  supportive of everyone else in the room.  In the relatively short time we have known her, not only does she continue to run Bee Local, but she has also started a local radio station AND our local music festival alongside her lovely husband Garry... all whilst maintaining her trademark positivity and enthusiasm for everything local! 

We absolutely love that you have given Leighton Buzzard its very own music festival, please can you tell us a little bit about how and why you came up with the idea?

It didn't seem right that Leighton Buzzard people were going to festivals in other towns. The planning started in lockdown so it was a big risk that people would be able to come. Mostly it seemed like it would be so much fun to put the ideas together. Where else can you play with bubbles, glitter, paint, flags and great music. Imagination (and budget) is the only limit to what can be created, that's very exciting to me.

As well as Buzzstock, you also run Bee Local and Leighton Buzz Radio, please can you tell us about your inspiration for your businesses?  

Leighton Buzzard has such a uniquely close knit community and I like being a part of that through each organisation. I like to think I'm giving something back. Selfishly you'll see everything I'm involved in gives me a great opportunity to be creative and have fun and I love what I do.

As well as the inspiration, how do you manage to have enough hours in the day to run them all?

Coffee and I have a lot of lists. Sometimes I join all the lists together into one big list. Ultimately it is not a job it is a passion and so you put the long hours in to achieve the vision.  Fortunately things go in waves and usually not all at once so I can prioritise.  I don't want to kid anyone though, on the lead up to Buzzstock the garden is a wilderness and my house is a mess, I just know it won't be forever.

What is the ethos behind Buzzstock?
Be the real deal!  I really want Buzzstock to be the real boutique festival experience. We strive year on year to improve it to make that happen. The more people who come to Buzzstock the more we can do.

What is the most enjoyable thing about Buzzstock?

Behind the scenes I really enjoy making fun things and creating ideas.  Me and my husband (Garry) bicker over choosing bands too but it is fun.  The best bit of all is watching our whole community, our family and friends having one big party.  It's the best.  It genuinely brings tears to my eyes when the crowd comes together at the end of the night, everyone is singing with their hands in the air.  It's amazing that we made it happen.

And now for the negative, what is the least enjoyable thing?
People don't realise it's just me and my reluctant husband trying to put on a full scale festival with no budget, so when complaints come in I do take them to heart.  Money worries are not much fun and very scary and I can't say I love litter picking either.  After 4 days of setting up and working on the festival the last thing you feel like doing is picking up everyone's rubbish and yes the last litter pick is just the two of us in an empty field - sad, isn't it?

Which of the acts are you most looking forward to seeing?
Our headline Foo Fighters GB on Friday.   On Saturday, I can't explain how good Furnace and the Fundamentals are and I can't wait to see the crowd's reaction when they come on.  I'm hoping to see some of the Spotlight acts this year, last year was a bit too hectic. Tiptoe Apollo were on our Spotlight Stage last year and now appearing on the Main Stage on Friday, they're a young local band so it will be great to see them up there.

We love just how hands on you are with the different elements to Buzzstock, what are your top tips for anyone wanting to start their own creative business?

Start, just start.  I had no idea how to start a magazine, radio station or a festival but if you start you find out as you go along and people are very generous with their knowledge.  Hey, what's the worst that can happen? Haha actually I could tell you some 'worsts' but you have to take a few risks to get something great. Happydashery is a great example of going for it and making something amazing happen.

How do you get yourself out of any creative slump

Time out. I watch a lot of comedy clips on my phone. My favourite thing is to annoy my husband; making a noise or staring at him until he pays me attention, I send guinea pig videos to my daughter until she gives in and asks me why haha. I suppose being playful and finding ways to laugh gives me energy. Switching off lets ideas in.

What songs feature most on your playlist for when you are working?
That's a big question! I've been playing Vampire Weekend a lot lately.  If I am feeling a bit fed up I go old school punk with Stiff Little Fingers, Fade Away. I like Green Day, 30 Seconds to Mars, Kings of Leon and anything with a funky guitar like Steve Wonder Superstition or how about Jamiroquai. Okay, I am stopping now.  I suppose I should have said anything on Leighton Buzz Radio!

What do you like doing in your downtime away from Buzzstock?
Gardening is the only place where my brain truly switches off. Annoying Garry is my most happy place!  

What is next for Buzzstock?
The dreams are big.  Firstly I want a cow like the one backstage at Glastonbury.  I've had cow envy for 3 years now.  I want to call it Daisy and cover it in daisy chains.  We would really like to expand to 3 days so we can fit in more acts and more genres. I would love to create a wellness zone, glamping and adventure activities for kids. A comedy tent and huge art installations would be cool too.  Basically I want Leighton Buzzard to have the coolest festival around, we just need the attendance to grow to fund the dream.

And finally, how would you like to sum up Buzzstock in just one sentence...

Buzzstock Music Festival 2024 -  2 days, 20 live music acts, artisan food and drink, stalls and loads of fun for kids and adults.