I recently had a chance to catch up with Lindsey Bowden, Founder and Producer of the Twin Peaks UK Festival which is happening over the weekend of 29th & 30th September. With only a few weeks to go until the event takes place I wanted to find out just what is in store for ticket holders and what inspired Lindsey to start the Festival which is now into its ninth year.
There are limited tickets remaining so if you want to meet the stars of Twin Peaks and immerse yourself in a Lynchian experience in London visit www.twinpeaksukfest.com to book yours.
LS: Hey Lindsey, how are you? Thank you for talking to us here at 25YL. I bet everything is crazy for you at the moment as you get ready for the Festival?
LB: Yes it is very mental at the moment, because this is not the only event that I am working on. There’s lots to do with the Fest but I think we are heading in the right direction.
LS: So we know that there is an incredible line up for the Fest with John Pirrucello, Rebekah Del Rio, Kimmy Robertson, Dana Ashbrook and Chrysta Bell that fans will get a chance to meet but what else can we expect to happen during the Festival weekend?
LB: So the weekend is going to be jam packed full of activities. There will be screenings, performances from the Lynchian Burlesque Club — the Double R Cabaret Club, there’s going to be our Virtual Reality Train Car, and there’s going to be the art classes — Mr C’s Tulpa Creatives, there’s going to be the Mullholland Drive Jitterbug Class, there’s going to be doughnuts, cherry pie, there’s going to be Rebekah Del Rio singing live! It really is a jam-packed weekend.
LS: Absolutely! As you know I went to the Fest for the first time last year and I’ve never had such a good weekend, I honestly can’t remember having that much fun in years.
LB: It was a really good year last year, and because we introduced the live music at the Roadhouse as well it just added an extra element to it which went down like a storm.
LS: Is that happening again this year?
LB: Yes it will be happening again, we will be having live bands again in The Roadhouse.
LS: I loved that, and having Twingo [Twin Peaks Bingo] and The Quiz there too
LB: I can give you an exclusive that we have just had confirmed today that DJ Yoda is going to come back to spin those decks on the Sunday.
LS: He was amazing last year, I have been a fan for a long time so that was a real treat for me
LB: Yeah, he really brought the house down.
LS: It has changed venue this year to the London Irish Centre and Camden Square Gardens as well. Does that mean there will be more outdoors activities this year?
LB: Yes the gardens is where the virtual reality train car will be. It should be sort of chilled and yet going into a slightly more creepy atmosphere towards the night time. The gardens will be open until about 8pm and then the focus switches to activities inside the London Irish Centre.
LS: The Fest has a charity auction every year as well, can you tell us more about that?
LB: I can, the charity auction is actually quite big this year. We’ve got three Lots and we are also doing little charity bits for Cabaret vs Cancer because they are now our official partners. But for the charity auction, Rebekah Del Rio is auctioning both the dresses that she wore in Mullholland Drive and Twin Peaks, and with each of those dresses there is also going to be a vinyl Roadhouse Soundtrack that was signed by all the Twin Peaks actors that were at Comic Con in San Diego, which she got signed especially, and why that’s really important is that money is not going to any of our charities, it’s going to the David Lynch Foundation and to the Phillip C. DeMars Foundation which is the Foundation for Rebekah’s son who sadly passed away from cancer, so this is Rebekah’s thing, this is what she wanted to do and we’re just helping her do it. And the third Lot is the David Lynch ‘Nudes’ book which David signed especially for us, we asked him to do it and he said yes, and that money is going to go towards Macmillan Nurses and The David Lynch Foundation. So there’s lots of charity stuff this year. The Charity Auction is in my Mother’s name and I wanted to continue in my Mother’s name as that’s how we started doing it originally in 2010.
LS: I guess for you the Fest is a very different experience than it is for us guests. Leading up to it you must be extremely busy, then what is it like during the actual event?
LB: I am running around ragged. I don’t know if you saw me last year running around ragged or if you didn’t see me because I was running around ragged, but I literally don’t stop and I’ve been known for quite a few years to wake up on Friday morning and go to bed on Monday afternoon, I work straight through the whole weekend. With it being a weekend event you have to make sure it is fresh because we have a whole new set of people coming on Sunday who have bought day tickets so they’ve got to have that wow factor that everyone else has had on Saturday. But you are so buzzing with adrenaline anyway that you really don’t mind. I’ve got an amazing Team and they put their hearts and souls into it so we are all completely shattered by the Monday. The run-up to it is very busy, I am so busy now it is quite crazy but its good crazy and at the end of the day I do this Fest for you, it’s the fans festival really not mine so I want to make sure it’s right for you so I’ll put that work in.
LS: And it really shows, as I said it was my first Fest last year and I didn’t really know anyone but I felt so welcomed the second I walked in and not only by the other guests but by the whole team, everyone involved made it very special.
LB: Thank you, I am glad to hear that.
LS: It was 2010 that you started the Fest?
LB: Yes 2010 I started it, it was meant to be a one off for the 20th Anniversary but then we had loads of demands from people who had been and people who hadn’t been who wanted to see it come back so we decided to do another one. That went ok and then another one that just went crazy, but it was actually when we moved venue in 2014 because Riverside Studios closed for refurbishment that we had to move venues and we basically doubled in size and that’s when it really started to take off. Then we became licenced by CBS and Twin Peaks Productions and it took on a world of its own and now it’s taken over my life [laughs] but you know what it’s very well known that I don’t earn money from the Festival, I don’t pay myself, I pay my staff and have a couple of volunteers but I don’t pay myself. But it pays me in other ways, like I’ll have my book [Damn Fine Cherry Pie] published, and I have made some wonderful friends, and get to go to L.A. and see everybody there, so to me that’s my payment.
LS: I totally understand, 25YL is a passion project for us so I totally get how you feel about it. So you have said how the Fest has changed over the years and you kept it going for years before Series 3 was announced, so how did you feel when the news was released that it was coming back?
LB: You know what I was one of the people that was convinced that it wouldn’t come back, I honestly thought that it probably shouldn’t have come back I’ve always been quite vocal about that because I didn’t understand really how you were going to recreate that magic when TV had moved on so much and become almost cinematic. And Twin Peaks inspired so many TV shows, writers were inspired to break boundaries more because of Twin Peaks and I’m thinking how do you do that again? But they did! I remember exactly where I was when I heard it was coming back, I was sat in my car and I’d just pulled up to my apartment and someone text me ‘Oh my god have you seen this?’ and I just put my head on my steering wheel…
LS: [Laughs] Yes that’s it now I am never going to be able to retire…
LB: I actually took a moment to go, ‘Did I really just hear that right?’ I knew it was going to blow up and go crazy, I knew that.
LS: It opened the doors to so many new guests.
LB: Well yes it has opened the doors to so many new things, I personally never stopped taking inspiration from Twin Peaks but when the new Season hit you suddenly had all these new actors we could chat to, we had all these new sets, we had all these new little props, like immediately I was like, ‘I have to have the glass box’ and you know I didn’t really know what to do with it originally, we were even talking about at one point about putting a projection show in there like there were people floating in there, then we realised that actually this would make an amazing Instagram point, why don’t we just put the hashtag on it!
LS: It worked so well! How much fun did people have going in that box? It was inspired.
LB: People had incredible fun in the glass box, it was a real highlight. There were people in and out of it all day, the celebrity guests were in it at one point and even about 15 of the Peakies! It was a huge hit!
LS: The costume competition is back, and that is always so much fun.
LB: It is wonderful, I love it, one of my favourite things.
LS: Are there any rules? Or is it pretty much a free-for-all?
LB: It is pretty much a free for all, I mean we’ve had so many wonderful costumes from people wrapped in plastic, Laura Palmers and Audrey Hornes, and Christina Crosby is a legend. She’s been Josie in the drawer knob, her and Mel her daughter, (who is joining the team this year), they were the Mares Eat Oats and Does Eat Oats, and last year we actually presented her with a special prize for her costumes throughout the years because she’s just been incredible, she was a ceiling fan for God’s sake [laughs] then last year she came as Nadine’s ‘Run Silent, Run Drapes’ shop and I just love her and I was like we have to honour Christina this year. And you know people make such an effort, like Adriano with his makeup and the way that he goes the extra mile, he’s a professional makeup artist, that’s his thing. Again last year Ishbel, Brigid and Fluffy came as Candie, Mandie and Sandie it’s just the effort that everybody puts into it. One of the girls came as the golden orb, one of the seeds that the tulpa’s turned into — I just love that this show inspires everybody that way. What an incredible dedicated group of people, that’s why I do the Festival.
Adriano Winning the Costume Competition as Julee Cruise & Sabrina Sutherland with the legend that is Christina Crosby – at the 2017 Twin Peaks UK Festival
LS: And it really is just so much fun, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, despite the show being fairly serious in places and there is so much inspiration to take from it.
LB: That’s kind of the ethos of the Festival as well, to immerse you in the world of Twin Peaks and to let you have fun and forget everything for the weekend, you can just be in that world and enjoy yourself. That’s the whole point of it you know.
LS: I have said many times before, it does feel like you’re walking into a family.
LB: Completely and I get messages all the time through email, through the Facebook page saying, ‘Listen, I’m coming on my own because my friends don’t know Twin Peaks.’ Immediately I say, ‘Educate them’ and they’re like, ‘Will I be ok on my own?’ I am literally like don’t worry about it, loads of people come on their own every year and they come back with all their friends the next year because they have made so many friends at the Festival. We try to be really friendly. It’s your Festival, everyone is welcome and I just want everyone to have a good time. I want them to go away wanting more and knowing they’ve had a wonderful experience, one to remember.
LS: Now this is going to be a really tough question I’m sure, but do you have a favourite memory from Fests gone by?
LB: Oh gosh, I have got a few, I think the first one was incredibly special because it was the first time we did it and one of my favourite memories from that would be starting a friendship with Catherine Coulson, the Log Lady, because that friendship went on for a long time until she sadly passed in 2015. She was so supportive of us. It was her that introduced me to Sheryl Lee by email. She really wanted to support the Festival and me as well. She was always asking what I was up to and we chatted by email quite a lot. I really miss her, I really miss that, so I think starting that relationship with Catherine was a definite high point. I loved the 2013 Festival which was at Riverside Studios, that was the year we had Madchen Amick, Charlotte Stewart and Ian Buchanan, and again I struck up a lovely friendship with all of those guys. Charlotte had been before in the very first year. I think the owls from last year was a real highlight, it was incredible to have real owls there, and I also think having Sabrina there last year, and Debbie Zoller [Head of Makeup] as throughout the years we have always had the actors, it was nice to have some production people there as well giving another slant on it. There’s just so many highlights. Doughnuts, last years doughnuts, that was a highlight.
LS: They were very delicious! And the Lynch-inspired short film competition is back again this year, it was so amazing last year.
LB: Yeah it’s gone crazy this year! We’ve had nearly 50 submissions and we can only pick six or seven so it’s been really, really difficult. Submissions are still open until the 2nd [of] September. We’ve already picked a few out but we are leaving some space should more entries come in. The standard has been so high, so so high, it was so difficult to choose and we don’t want to let anyone down but we’ve chosen some really amazing ones, with a good mix of animation in there as well which I love.
LS: Thor Amli’s winning film last year [The Summer House at Pearl Lakes] was incredible.
LB: Oh yeah it was, and again it’s about celebrating the fans, celebrating the inspiration, that’s what it’s all about.
LS: Absolutely. Ok I should let you go, I know you are incredibly busy, but before you do, is there anything you’d like to say to anyone debating whether or not to buy a ticket to the Fest?
LB: I’d just say do it. I know people say ‘Blimey it’s expensive,’ but actually if you go to the ticket page you’ll see probably just half of what you’ll get for your money. We absolutely try to give you your money’s worth. Every single penny from the ticket sales goes towards the Fest, it really, really does and we put it back into it to make it the best Festival we possibly can. It’s a real experience and a lovely family atmosphere, everyone’s welcome. And it’s so Lynchian, its like David Lynch just walked in and vomited everywhere [laughs], you experience it everywhere. The celebrities are fantastic, but it’s not just about the celebrities, or the cabaret, or the doughnuts or the immersive element, it’s about everything. The Art Gallery submissions have been coming in thick and fast, we’ve got some amazing artwork going on as well. We’ve got the Mullholland Drive Jitterbug class, Mr C’s Tulpa Creatives art class, there is so much to do!
I have another exclusive for you. The guys behind ‘I Know Catherine, The Log Lady’ the documentary that fans raised money for, Richard Green is coming to the Festival — of course he was also the Magician in Mullholland Drive who introduced Rebekah Del Rio — he is coming and he is going to talk to the audience about the documentary and also about Mullholland Drive. And really excitedly, he’s not the only one coming. Pieter Dom from Welcome to Twin Peaks is too and we’re really excited about that as we’ve known Pieter for a few years and he’s always been a real support to us. He’s going to come along and chat about his website and also with Richard about working on the ‘I Know Catherine’ documentary and they’re going to film some footage at the Festival as well.
LS: This is all so exciting! A few of us from 25YL will be there, tweeting and posting our experiences at the Fest, so we will see you in a few weeks. Thank you so much for your time Lindsey and good luck with the rest of the planning.
Many thanks to Lindsey for chatting with us about the Festival. Check out all the activities happening at the Festival in more detail here: Twin Peaks UK Fest News
– Special thanks to Emilie Declerck and Soulstealer for the pictures used in this article