(Writer: Cecilie Thorup)
Iconic. Different. Outstanding. Nikolaj Thorenfeldt, head of booking and co-founder of the Pop Revo Festival, tries to describe the criteria from which he has booked the bands for this year’s festival.
“We have tried to collect a program with as high a level of diversity as possible. We like a program that contains elements from all corners of musical genres,” he says.
And diverse it is indeed with as different bands as the noisy rock band Tremoro Tarantura (NO), experimental pop from Nobody (DK) and the scoop of the year, Future Islands (US).
“We like to work with iconic bands. Bands, who in some weird way stand out from the giant turmoil of new music that we see today,” Nikolaj says.
People shouldn’t know what to expect
When asked upon his own favourites from this year’s program, he names EMA and Tremoro Tarantura.
“EMA is seriously badass. Her records are ridiculously awesome and she really stands out with a clear message,” says Nikolaj and explains that a booking like EMA is exactly in the spirit of Pop Revo.
The bands should also be capable of providing an outstanding live performance that pushes the boundaries for how we normally understand a concert. Tremoro Tarantura is an example of that.
“I have seen them live before and it is completely insane. It needs to be experienced. They will tear the place down,” Nikolaj says and continues: “And that is what we want to do. We want to fuck with people’s minds. We like to book bands who no one has a clue about and challenge them in that way.”
Right before they break
Nikolaj Thorenfeldt furthermore tries to handpick the bands he thinks are right on the verge of breaking through and make it big.
He has previously succeeded doing so with bands as Grimes, Whitest Boy Alive and the Rumour Said Fire who exploded shortly after performing on Pop Revo. The booking Future Islands had their break-through before actually playing at the festival.
“We booked Future Islands back in December. We had no idea how big they would get. It was just a band that we liked listening to,” he says but is very pleased with scoop.
“Even though we are municipally supported we are still very dependent on the ticket sale, and a band like Future Islands is important to us,” Nikolaj says.
Rethinking the festival
This year will be the 11th round of Pop Revo. But the festival was close to shut down last year.
“We had been doing this for 10 years. We seriously considered to quit while being ahead,” he says.
But they realised that the festival has evolved to be so much more that they thought it would be, and that they were not capable to put their dear to the heart to the grave.
Instead they have decided to rethink the festival and expand it with day parties and day concerts. They want to include all aspects of Aarhus and help create a platform for international music in the city.
And that has proven to be a good choice. Now they are sold out for the first time, and never before has the festival experienced so much buzz and excitement. We definitely can’t wait for the 2 day festival to begin!