Thinking with Music...

Producing my first festival .. or: The never ending ‘fake-it-till-you-make-it’ tour #1

Spring Festival 15-17 august Poster

This weekend I am having my baptism by fire in festival production. It’s called Spring! Festival – not as in the season, but as in the Danish word for “jump”… right now that feels like its off a cliff.

I’m co-producing with Kristin Veel, a good friend and colleague, equally untested in the production of festival. And we are trying to pull a regular bumble bee stunt: A festival in a beautiful old villa, miles away from Copenhagen.. How are we going to get people there? And if people do turn up, the next problem might be to fit everybody in the living room….

So why are we doing this?

Because the intimacy these rooms produce at the same time offers space. Space for listening, contemplation, reflection. Because we want to create and highlight instances where music is more that just for consumption…. High minded perhaps, but idealism might be coming back in fashion.. (we hope?!)

Anyways. Ideas are all very well, but its the doing that gets you there and the learning curve on that is pretty steep. Such as:

  • Start earlier. Like a year earlier.. no, actually, make that a decade.
  • Expect to still be scrambling to put out fires and finish things in time.
  • Expect to not finish in time.
  • Ask for what you think you can’t get, because if you don’t you definitely wont (and people are amazing and generous and helpful).
  • Take time to dig the fact that you just spent hours listening to great music looking for just the right band to fit with this other band and its all part of the job.
  • Be honest about the fact that you have absolutely no clue what you are doing… This last point kind of goes against the heading of the post, but is in complete alignment with bullet point no 4

More lessons are sure to be waiting over the weekend, but right now I am actually just proud that we got this far (and absolutely terrified at the same time..).


3 thoughts on “Producing my first festival .. or: The never ending ‘fake-it-till-you-make-it’ tour #1

  1. Eva Louise

    Pøj pøj med det! Håber det bliver en stor success og bålene ikke for mange og for store!

  2. Mette Dvinge

    I er så utroligt seje du og Kristin, og jeg håber at det bliver en kæmpe succes alle 3 dage :-)
    Sender de bedste tanker og ønsker for en sublim festivaloplevelse :-)

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