Tuesday, November 19, 2019

How to curate something if you do not see anything?

When I'm invited to a festival as the booker of my festival I feel obligated to see as much as possible of the lineup that is presented. They actually make my job as a curator of my lineup easier. Suddenly I get a lot of artists straight in front of me. I get to see the live show and easier can judge if they would fit my new lineup. What I can't really get is the people who don't go on the shows? They just show up for their panel the rest of the time they just do tourist stuff. 

You see me often write that I need the doer. I want the decision-maker. I don't need the CEO of a festival if that person does not book any artists. Even if they can affect the process,  if they need to go to someone else for permission, well then its that person that gives the permission I need to invite. So my other observation is why does a festival just invite people that okay have some political power but really just reports back what is happening in the industry, not leading it.

The third mistake is that they take on decision makes that are just buyers. The reason why the bigger festivals right now have very bad lineups is because of this. You can see how most of these festivals have paid entrances not curated. A lot built up with hype number then no sense of discovering new things. Getting a festival just because they are big, but not book anything without your export office paying a large fee is just contra-productive.

Just because a festival is big doesn't automatically make it important. Same with people. Too many have the perception that just uses they get the owner of the country's biggest festival you have achieved something. Sorry, too many times I find these persons just jaded to see new artists. They just treat it as a free holiday. More interested to find a good restaurant to have a nice dinner then see new music. 

Yes, it not easy finding the new good stuff. Sometimes I just wish everything was just over. I rather would have been down at the local pub with a beer. Then the band that is special just appar and you are excited again. When you don't have the strength to stay until the interest comes up you can just stop working with it. 

Also, a reason I like shorter showcases like 20 minutes. If it sucks a new artist comes along pretty fast. Also that the showcase end before midnight. Trying to see a band 3 in the morning when your panel is 10 a clock is just bad.

No, it's really not easy to create a good showcase festival. It's not just to bring people and set up good bands. There are things you need to think of both once and twice. A big problem is also how to get things done and also discover how is important and who is not. At the same time showcases now seem to be a standard and a phenomenon that is on the big rise.










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