Interview: Frightened Rabbit chat The First Incident

We talk to Frightened Rabbit's Scott Hutchison about curating their very own festival.

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UPDATE: 11 May 2018

Ticketmaster are deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Frightened Rabbit founder Scott Hutchinson. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends, bandmates and fans, and all who were touched by his music during his acclaimed career. Scott was a shining light in the Scottish music scene and will be greatly missed by all.

Those affected by Scott’s passing can reach out to Samaritans by calling 116 123 twenty-four hours a day. Help Musicians UK also work closely with artists to support them through difficult times, and can be contacted on 0808 802 8008.

Fans with tickets to any Frightened Rabbit show or The First Incident Festival will be contacted by in due course.

Scottish indie rockers Frightened Rabbit are curating their own festival, The First Incident, to be held at SWG3 Galvanizers Yard in Glasgow on 1 June. The event promises a headline slot from the five Scots as well as performances by Hookworms, Dama Scout, Be Charlotte and more. This event will mark the first of a regular summer series and will feature delicious street food and craft beer alongside a great line-up.

And when the night draws to a close, Frightened Rabbit are headed to the decks for a DJ set alongside The Twilight Sad’s James Graham and We Were Promised Jet Packs’ Mike Palmer.

Having currently celebrated the tenth anniversary of their album The Midnight Organ Fight, Frightened Rabbit are gearing up for festival season, and what better way to make it an epic one than by curating your own festival. We’ve talked to Scott Hutchison about the festival and all it’s best parts.

Frightened Rabbit - Head Rolls Off


You’ve just finished playing your anniversary shows for The Midnight Organ Fight album – what was it like playing all those songs live again?

It was really interesting actually. I hadn’t listened to the album in quite a long time, and it was interesting to go back. They were really joyful occasions. People talking to me about it have attached it to really eventful periods in their lives and I think that was brought back to the room whenever we’re playing those songs in order. It was a really celebratory atmosphere even though it’s quite a sad album. It is weird for it to feel that kind of joyful. But we loved doing that tour, it was a really great thing to mark that album that set us on the path that we’re still on today. It was amazing!

The First Incident is your very own festival – how did that idea come about?

Well, we’d been looking at that space in Glasgow for a while, SWG3. It’s got multiple rooms and a really amazing space outside, oo we thought it would be good for us to start something. This is called The First Incident, and hopefully the first of quite a few where we can curate a day of music; in future not even necessarily us playing at it but we wanted to be at the first one.

We wanted to do something that would reflect what we would like to see in a festival anywhere, but certainly in Glasgow. It’s important that we do these kind of things in the city that gave us what we have today. It’s really just something to keep our lives interesting as well, you know. You can get so caught up in the regularity of doing an album and then touring and then doing it again at the same venue. So we tried something a little bit different that we could ggt our teeth into as well and present not just the music, but the whole event experience that was based on what we would like to see.

We’re using local vendors that are selling products that are made in Glasgow. It’s all about keeping it local and free of sponsorship. That’s the kind of festival we would like to see.

What else can fans expect from the festival?

Well, we’re still trying to work out some of that, so we don’t want to put any names out in case they don’t come through. There’s going to be a selection of our favourite food from Glasgow. The food aspect is an important thing for any band. And we’ve asked a couple of friends to curate a couple of stages. And again, we’re still working on the details but hopefully what we’re looking at is to have a full day, not just of music, but a little bit of spoken word, even a little bit of comedy in here. It should be a fun day, just somewhere you’d want to hang out.

You mentioned you are planning to make this an annual event. Do you have any plans yet for the future?

Certainly it would be nice to have an annual event in that space but actually what we’re looking at, maybe a couple more times this year, is to take over maybe a smaller stage. It doesn’t have to be in that one place, it doesn’t even have to always be in Glasgow. If we can try and get a name for it, this being the inaugural event and if it goes well, hopefully then we can take the name forward and maybe take over interesting places that you wouldn’t normally guess. Again just try to curate it to our taste. The best thing we can do I think, is to make events that we ourselves would want to go to. So we’ve not got anything planned just yet, we want to make sure this one goes OK first.

Frightened Rabbit - Roadless (Official Video)


You’re playing quite a few festivals this summer – how are your festival sets different to headline shows?

You have to grab people’s attention a little bit quicker. There’s a lot of people in that field or tent that maybe just wandered in from nowhere, having heard the band name but not knowing much about you. So I think there’s that added  bonus to engage very quickly. To me that’s the challenge of a festival; to get people there and keep them there because they have, depending on the festival, two or three other things they could be going to see at that point in time. So it’s about not losing them, keeping people. The atmosphere at a festival is alway a bit heightened. It’s a different feeling. We just try to play to that and do the big moves. Maybe take tips from Freddie Mercury. Interaction is very important at festivals.

What do you enjoy most about festival season?

I think it’s that opportunity for me to play to lot of people that haven’t really heard your band before. When you’re playing tour after tour there’s people who are obviously very aware of your music, and that’s wonderful, but at the same time there’s nothing more satisfying than somebody that came along saying: “Well, I didn’t really know who you were and now you’re my favourite band.” Using that forty five minutes to an hour to turn people’s heads, I love that about festivals. It’s a challenge to me, and in general people are happy. It’s just a very different atmosphere to a headline show. I love that celebration, people getting together for one good reason, and that’s to listen to music.

What else do you have planned for 2018?

At the moment, two of us in the band are touring with a side project called Master System. We’ve got a few UK shows for that. It’s kind of a heavier, grungier project than Frightened Rabbit. And after that we’ve taking a little bit of time out in the studio actually and just make another album. The main focus is that by the end of the year we’ll have that finished so that we can release it next year and get back out on the road.

Frightened Rabbit curate and play The First Incident on Friday 1 June 2018 at Glasgow’s SWG3. Tickets are available now through