The following may strike you as a somewhat strange addition to the content archive here on FatKidOnFire. But having discovered Pig&Rig during a (somewhat offtrack) planning session for my wedding next year*, their story of good food, sound system culture and a healthy dose of entrepreneurism struck a chord.
So I got in touch to find out with co-founder Jacob Read to find out more…
Hello Jacob! Hows it going? Hi Wil, nice to meet you! I’m doing great, very busy but the sun is shining so there is nothing to complain about!
It’s a bit of a unique concept; so for those who haven’t come across Pig&Rig before can you explain what you guys do? Basically, Pig&Rig is a catering and music service combined. We provide a Cuban-style hog roast alongside a 5000watt custom-built sound system. We offer these services separately but to get the full experience we recommend you use both. At a typical event, we roast a 70kg free range pig and run the sound system with a selection of DJs throughout the day and evening to create a buzzing atmosphere.
Who’s involved? What are your backgrounds? Will Walker, a good friend of mine, and I came up with the idea for the business around 6 months ago and both run the company together. We distribute responsibility evenly but Will is predominantly in charge of the catering side of the project and I am in charge of the music side. We both come from an art college background; Will graduated in photography and I graduated in graphic design. After graduating and having our first creative jobs, we decided to develop our initial concept into a business.
For lack of a better way of describing it; the ‘indie food scene’ seems to be doing pretty well in the UK these days. What does Pig&Rig offer that no one else does? You’re right, the indie food scene is massive at the moment, especially in London with all the street food festivals and markets popping up. It’s great because there is a massive opportunity for people like us to start up a small catering business with not a great deal of finance. Pig&Rig offers a completely unique service, we pride ourselves in the fact that great tasting food and good quality music is the perfect combination that brings people together and creates a unique atmosphere.
On the CoolHunting article where I discovered you, I read that your background is with London’s Breakfast Club. How did you go from working with the team there to running your own (mobile catering) business? I started working for The Breakfast Club straight out of university. I saw an advert on my university’s website looking for staff to work on The Breakfast Club festival tour and got the job. After slogging my socks off as a KP I managed to get in the kitchen and start cooking. As it was a mobile catering van, I got to understand the ins and outs of street food trading (especially festivals) and decided it could be done myself – providing a unique idea was conceived! Will also worked at The Breakfast Club with me in the kitchen for one the festivals which gave us both valuable experience to start off our idea. Although we both went off down the creative route after finishing with The Breakfast Club, we still developed our idea behind closed doors until we believed it could work.
What’s special about the Pig&Rig hog experience? How many people can you cater for with a typical pig? We can cater for up to 300 people give or take (depending on the size of the pigs we source), tending to do a minimum of 90 guests. First of all, we make sure we purchase the best quality free range meat from our butcher at Smithfield Market. Before we start to cook, we marinade the pig using our tried and testing secret recipe. We then slowly roast the pig for an average of 7 hours to get the perfect cook. During this time, we employ several techniques that we use to create the perfect crackling. The combination of a freshly baked ciabatta, home-made apple sauce, sage and onion stuffing and sweet chilli gives the perfectly unique tasting hog roast.
Moving on from the porcine part of what you do, what can you tell us about the rig? Did you design and build the whole thing yourselves? After a lot of research, we found a chap called Martin Colt through various sound system forums and recommendations. He runs a company up in Nottingham called Audiocabs that specialises in custom built systems and he seriously knows his stuff. We had a fairly specific design that we wanted built, predominantly bass heavy with certain elements of the traditional reggae sound system.
We went to him with our ideas and he helped us develop them into something better by recommending specific styles of cab and quality drivers, and after about a month of discussion and throwing ideas back and forth we came up with a design. He built it for us in his workshop and we couldn’t be happier.
What goes into designing and building a custom sound system? What are the most important things to consider when doing so? There is a large list of things that need to be considered when designing a sound system on a large scale, and as art college graduates this was initially a struggle for us. Audio technology isn’t really our field of specialism! Our good friends at Wizard Sleeve Collective (who also run their own sound) gave us a load of advice on what to look at and what to avoid. Research was key, and our passion is rooted in reggae sound system culture so that’s where we began.
We looked at other reputable systems such as Channel One, Jah Shaka and the more recent Mungo’s Hifi. We also went to a lot of their events to see the systems in action. We instantly knew that we wanted a bass heavy sound system which is why we went for the USB design of bass cab – holding two 1000watt Fane Collosus drivers in each side of the cab. We looked at the commonly used 18” Hog Scoop style cab but decided against it purely because we could fit more power into one USB. As for the tops, we use 2 ported speakers that hold a 12” driver and horn into one cab. We contemplated splitting the horns and drivers like a lot of systems do but we decided to keep it simple and have them both in one cab.
What sort of music can people expect at a Pig&Rig event? Are you affiliated with any DJs or record labels? At a standard Pig&Rig event you can expect a wide range of music genres. However we specialise in reggae, ska, funk and afrobeat. This always pleases the crowd whatever background they are from! For example, the events we throw at the Southbank Centre draw a mixed crowd of regulars and tourists, which creates a buzzing atmosphere where everyone enjoys the vibe.
We tend to stay away from electronic music and religiously stick to vinyl. We are closely linked with Wizard Sleeve, who have a wide selection of artists that regularly DJ at our events.
Where are you guys based? How do you transport Pig&Rig around? We are based in London and Norfolk, however London is predominantly where our recent events have been. We transport everything around in Tranny – our beloved white Ford Transit which gets us from A to B in one piece.
What’s next? How do you scale the Pig&Rig experience? From the start its always been our dream to take Pig&Rig onto the UK festival circuit – which we plan to do next summer. We have been working closely with a number of companies to combine and create a unique experience that is new to festivals. We want to continue to maintain our strong visual presence throughout our artwork and will be producing merchandise (which will be available soon). There are plenty of new events and experiences in the pipeline for Pig&Rig and we plan to take them on and give it all we’ve got!
Any final words or shoutouts? Get this banger down ya gullet!
*Jacob and the team are unfortunately not supplying the sound system or hog roast for my wedding, but will hopefully be collaborating with FKOF for another TBA event…
Pig&Rig are providing food and music for the upcoming Deptford Stories event (kicks off 31st October)
If you’re interested in booking P&R for your event, you can start the conversation by firing Jacob an email