Get To Know Some of The Key People of Tall Tree: Mike Hann and Adam Duron

First off, I could write a million posts on all of the wonderful work that every individual team member does for Tall Tree. The collaboration and community that are intertwined with this festival makes it like none-other on the planet. For those of you that grasp the inner workings of this festival and have lent a hand; THANK YOU. Thank you to all of the staff, volunteers, sponsors, families, musicians, the community of Port Renfrew and everyone else in between. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. Also, a MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone attending this year!!!! It is going to be an amazing festival and we can’t wait for Friday when this all gets started!

I got the chance to speak to some of the key Tall Tree Staff about their roles and ask them a series of questions. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Mike Hann, how did you get involved with Tall Tree originally and how did you get the position as Director?

Mike – It all started when my buddy Rob Stewart asked my band, Quoia, to come out to Port Renfrew and play. Long story short, we ended up forming a great friendship which led to an opportunity presenting itself to use a local property (the current location of the Wild Coast Cottages) to put together a music festival. We obviously went for it. I went to the registrars office, incorporated the Tall Tree Festival Society, and as they say, the rest is history. Now I am just one cog in the big wheel that makes this thing happen. Its amazing to see.

What is the greatest challenge in running a festival?
Mike– I can’t think of one great challenge – its a collection of little ones. With our location, the logistics involved make it quite the undertaking. Having said that we have such an amazing group of people working on the event that it happens smoother each year! Its amazing.
What came first. The chicken or the egg?
Mike – I’m a believer in the Chegg. Half chicken, half egg. A weird looking creature that’s for sure. Only a few fossils have been found. In the Himalayas I believe.
What aspects of the festival are you most looking forward to this year?
Mike – Seeing peoples reaction to the improvements we’ve made this year, and then seeing their mullets blown back by the incredible talent we have on the bill. Its going to be a bad year for mullets.
If you saw Big Foot at Tall Tree, what kind of beer would you offer him?
Mike – I think I’d offer him a Sommersby Cider. They’re fruity and refreshing. Perfect for a creature with big feet.
Could you offer some advice to festival goers this year?
Mike – Pack light – and pack for all conditions. Remember to stay hydrated, and to eat well. Remember to hand out as many high fives as you can. Look out for your fellow Tall Tree’rs. Make your Mom proud and behave like a beauty – not a bonehead.
What was your happiest moment during TT last year?
Mike – Its no secret that we battled the weather last year. Mother nature initiated us! It was awesome. I loved how most people absolutely embraced it and kept on having the time of their lives. When the sun came out again, it added such a powerful energy to the event. Those were my favorite moments.
If you were a tree, what kind would you be and why?
Mike – I’d be the gnarly tree from Avatar Grove that you always see pictures of. It exudes gnar and is very knotty;)
Adam Duron (Talent Director), how did you get involved in the music scene? Was there a moment when you knew this was the direction you wanted to head, or was it a slow progression?

Adam – I thought I wanted to be a teacher. I went to school and majored in History, but stopped there. I always had tons of friends who were musicians and I always gravitated to that.

During my last year of University, my dad let me throw this giant raging party on their farm in 2005. I took him up on it. I planned the entire party from Victoria, but it was Ontario. Finding talent was challenging but we did it! My (now) Fiancé and good friend Mike Gorman and myself went back to Ontario, rented all this gear, got flats on beer, set up a plywood stage and threw a major party.

We wound up pulling it off. It was epic. From there we decided this is what we wanted to do.

I became really good friends with Vince Vaccaro back in Victoria. I told him that I really wanted to get involved with music production and needed help. He pointed me in the direction of Rifflandia, which was in it’s second year. I was directed to Kate who was the volunteer coordinator at the time. I knew that this is how it happens… you need to put time in volunteering at events. I went and spoke with Kate and she gave me some substantial roles aka the lead volunteer for the Metro.

Kate put in a good word for me, and I became the production manager for Phillips Brewery. In between it was crazy…I had seven jobs. It was a juggling act, but that prepared me for this career. It’s all a balancing act. I’d like to also give a major shout out to Nick Blasko and Dimitri Demers for all of their support too!!

What are your top 5 favorite concerts?

Adam:

  1. The Gorillas – that was an insane show. Such unbelievable imagery, production value, music. At one point there were 15 or 16 people on stage…seriously insane!
  2. Pearl Jam – I love them. They are one of my favorite bands ever. I’ve seen them 3-4 times now.
  3. USS at Phillips last year. They are so much fun!
  4. Chali 2na – Amazing!
  5. Vampire Weekend

With Tall Tree just around the corner, what aspects of the festival are you looking forward to?

Adam – The one thing that I really enjoy is the artist area. It’s a collaborative environment where random jam circles will start up. Everyone becomes really good friends in a short amount of time. It’s the community that develops. Tall Tree has a reputation for generating a community. It’s such a different type of festival. You meet everyone at least once. Tall Tree is a great arena to meet awesome people. It’s a great collaborative!

Top 5 tips for festival goers this year?

Adam

1. Be prepared for any type of condition.

2. Always take the opportunity tomeet someone. Never ever be in your own little world. It is the place to meet people. That is the point of it. Collaborative.

3. Party. But know your limit. Be very careful and cautious.

4. Get there early.

5. Keep your cool. Don’t get frustrated if things don’t happen immediately. Take your time in the camp ground, we are working hard for you, but expect to wait.

If you were a tree what kind would you be and why?

Adam – I think I would be a Pine Tree. I like all types of weather, I’m sturdy and firm.

Describe yourself using ten adjectives

Adam – Multi-tasker, fun, unobtrusive, supportive, caring, dedicated, good looking, happy, satisfied with life, relaxed.

What have been some of the most memorable moments during a festival you worked at? What about some crazy stories?

Adam – Up there would be proposing to my Fiancé. That was the biggest moment ever.

Emmalee Brunt is a freelance music writer living in Victoria B.C. She is the co-founder and writer for Betty and Kora and is the official Tall Tree Festival correspondent, writer and content creator for www.talltreemusic.com .

You can read Emmalee’s posts here on Tall Tree Music and on Betty and Kora at http://www.bettyandkora.com

Happy Festing!