Thursday, Aarhus Psych Fest announced the first artists:Spindrift (US) and Distortion Girls.
Read more: http://soundofaarhus.com/first-artists-…sych-fest-2014
The two-day festival, which refers to itself as a boutique psych fest, will feature a curated line-up of Danish and International artists within the realm of the ‘psych’ world.
The festival will take place at Radar and Godsbanen, as it did last year. This means we’ll see the return of the Lunar Suite, in Den Rå Hal, Godsbanen, which the festival management promises to sport even greater artistic endeavours and cozy lounge retreats.
We had a chat with the festival director about the festival this year.
SOA: What is the set-up for Aarhus Psych Fest 2014?
SK: We have chosen to work with Radar again this year because it gives us the opportunity to showcase the artists at the festival in a professional setting where we don’t have to compromise on the sound and the overall experience for our artists and – of course – the small yet very dedicated audience who really play a huge role in creating the perfect festival experience.
By choosing not to expand our capacity, we can focus on improving the festival experience. This is where The Lunar Suite (in Den Rå Hal) plays a huge role: We are letting artists and creative minds loose in this space to, a; solve some of the practical challenges this space gives us, and b; to go all psychedelic on the space which is very ‘bare’ before we move in and work our magic.
This year, we will endeavour to do more concerts in this particular space and keep some of them free for the public so anyone can peek inside to see what this psych thing is all about.
SOA: The festival, which was the first of it’s kind announced in Scandinavia last year, now has a sibling at Copenhagen and there are more popping up all around Europe, how is your festival any different from the many other Psych Fests
SK: To claim we are totally different would be a lie, but just as the term “psych” is used to classify music that can’t or won’t be classified, we are, as festivals, all as different and kaleidoscopic as the bands.
Our make-up of genres will overlap and also take very different directions. However, at the end of the day, we are all trying to achieve the same thing, I believe:
To create festivals that represent and attract people from environments where one’s artistic merits aren’t justified by how much add space you are able to buy, how good your PR team is or how many Facebook likes you have. I believe the psych-movement is very much about that – but so, so much more. No-one is denouncing modern technology, ways of living and such but we are just into exploring alternatives and curios towards each other and different styles of music that don’t fall into one single box. The place we look for and find these ‘alternatives’ is predominantly growing within the genre of ‘rock music’ and its surrounding environment. This is our core genre-area and musical culture basis. But electronic and world music artists, for instance, are just as progressive and interesting to us. So there are really few genre constrictions.
At the end of the day; it’s about each individual artists and what they are trying to achieve and how they do it that attracts our attention – not how they fit into a pidgeon hole, but rather their ability to move beyond it. Keep in mind though – neither experimental music nor DIY culture are exclusive to the world of “Psych”, which is why the attempts to pin down “Psych” as a genre, is really a lost cause.
SOA: So… what exactly can we expect to see at Aarhus Psych Fest?
SK: There is a certain degree of authenticity to what the bands we book do. Even the high-profile acts are still living the DIY-life and are very much involved in their own booking and management. I’d like to think this is somehow reflected in their approach to making music and performing. There is a desire to connect with the audience on an entirely different level- It’s not about shouting “how are you all doing out there!” and thrusting your pelvis towards the audience at each solo. It’s not about mosh-pits and collectively venting your aggressions. It’s about creating an atmosphere with a space for personal reflection and togetherness via certain means of expression both in and around the core that is music.
Music with psychedelic qualities has always been there, but how and where we engage with it depends on cultural discourse. During the past 10 years, people have started to come together as a so-called ‘Psych-community’, simply because of the dire lack of venues and festivals in their local community or country who feel the same way about music, as they do.
We book for both the audience and the artists, giving both parties a fair chance to meet up at a non-profit platform. We love strange, odd stuff and we know from experience that our festival audience are really good at listening to it with an open mind – and actually stay for the entire duration of a concert! Most of our artists were blown away by this last year, and to be honest: so were we. Having worked at venues and small festivals for the past 5 years, I’ve never seen anything like it: the audience sticking it out for 6-7 hours straight, giving each band so much love and attention even though they probably never heard of them before. As organizers that’s what makes it worth putting in all our own time, money, sweat and tears.
Genre-wise, there is no-doubt that we will try to expand our search-field even more this year with more electronic artists and world music. This has been something we wanted to do from day one, but going into our second year, we are more confident that the ticket sales will justify spending a little bit extra on booking artists you may not identify as “Psych Fest material”, at first glance. So, apart from bringing a legendary, high-profile act like Spindrift to Aarhus, we look forward to present even more elements of surprise and shake up those who would like to think that “Psych” only equals psychedelic rock from an era gone by, long hair, peace signs, comfortable shoes, LSD, floating in space and lava-lamps.
Aarhus Psych Fest takes place from October 3-4 and will feature approximately 14 acts on two stages situated at Radar and The Lunar Suite. Acts will be revealed on a regular basis until August.
A limited amount of Early Bird Discount Tickets will be available from May 15- June 15 from billetto.