[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: What public is attracted by a Y2K

Matthias asked:
"So what do you say?
do these numbers mean anything?
why has almost none of these guys ever played on a festival?
some of them did appear on this mailing list..."

I can't speak for others who have put on looping festivals,  but the
simple answer is that almost all of these names cost a lot of money and 
the revenue from
the big Y2K festival doesn't come close to generating income like that.

I was able to bring Arild Andersen a couple of years back (wonderful!) 
only because an anonymous donor gave me a $5,000 unsolicited gift out of 
the clear blue
sky......an incredibly generous gesture that has not been repeated.
It cost me $3,000 to fly him here and back, to put him up and to pay what
for him, was a modest performance fee.    That's close to twice the 
revenue of the
door for the entire six day festival.

Even on the minuscule budget that we have (and thanks to all the loopers
who have generously donated even when they haven't been able to attend)  
this is an AMAZING festival!     Ask anyone who came this year.     
It's stunning that we pull it off on the scale we do, given the
lack of real solid support (part of this may also just be down to the fact
that Santa Cruz has more musical entertainment per capita than any single
city I've ever been to in all of my touring in 15 countries----it's just
not a very big place....only 50,000 people and there's a large mountain 
with a scary road
between us and the 3 million people of the SouthBay).


Now,  a quick few words in defense of this approach to Live Looping 

 The festival (or perhaps,  we should call it a live looping convention 
which might be more accurate 
if it weren't for the fact that almost everyone who attends also performs) 
is really wonderful and 
I hope everyone gets a chance to come to it next year.    

I'm taking all comers!     

It will be my last big one and then I'm going
to turn it over to the community and see if it's even a sustainable idea 
from that point onward.

Please come!     Please witness how sophisticated this community has
become in 10 years.  The overall level of artistry has really grown.  The 
technology has really
grown.   The feeling of community has really grown.   That's the single 
I've devoted so much of my life to it in the past ten years.

Even if other promoters like Sjaak Overgauww and Bernhard Wagner have 
adopted  different philosophies  
in the way they have put on their own festivals:  eschewing a more 
populist and egalitarian vibe 
in their booking practices in favor of a more exclusive roster (which I"m 
entirely 'down' with and supportive of),   
it has to be noted, historically, that they were initially  
influenced and inspired by the spirit of these festivals and the ones that 
they attended. 
It's all good and the plethora of live looping festivals and mini  
festivals that have arisen out of this 
particular one are really wonderful in that each promoter has a different 
take on the whole thing.
Sjaak,  Bernhard,  Andy,  Fabio, Massimo,  Per,  Mir-0,  Luca,  Os,  
Gareth, Paul,  Hans and all the many other people 
who have put on looping festivals have all made really fantastic 
contributions to our whole community.   Each festival 
has been unique and all have been fantastic (at least all the ones I've 
had the pleasure of attending).

In this particular festival, the newbies and less experienced artists tend 
to play earlier in the day and the more experienced and accomplished ones 
tend to play later in the day and evening, so one can adapt a more 
refined and picky approach to the professionalism and artistry they want 
to watch or they see or embrace a more supportive, encouraging and 
egalitarian vibe and come early.    There are so many acts that anyone can 
pick and choose who they want to see.    I'm particularly gratified that 
most of the top acts who attend these festivals are there at noon on 
Saturday to be supportive of the newbies who play.    This support has 
really meant a great deal 
to those young or experientially young artists who play and I think many 
would agree that some of the true delights of the 
last several festivals have come from adapting such an atypical supportive 
approach to booking. 

The highest quality of performances also represent artistry that is as 
good as any looping artists on the planet (even if they are not 'big 
bucks' commercially successful artists).
Ask anyone who's been recently and they'll tell you this.

So, don't let youtube samplers determine your judgment about all of this:  
  Come see it for yourself.
Better yet,   come play it and see it.   You'll be glad you did.

yours,  Rick Walker

ps   just as a side note to Rainer's comments about the festival's 
audiences not growing:  the size of the festival's audiences has slightly 
risen in the past four years (and I've added dates which increases a bit 
as well),  but it should be noted that the number of people who've 
listened to this festival in real time from around the world increased 
this year.     We had over 700 people who watched the videos and 
immediately archived videos from Saturday night 
as a result.   Previously, we'd had a few dozen people at the very most 
listening in.   This is not enormous, but it certainly at least adds to 
the number of people who want to be play the festival each year.

 I'm curious how those numbers stack up to the recent NinJams that you've 
organized.    Are you experiencing increases in listenership with each 
successive one you do?      Whether or not,  do such numbers ever diminish 
your desire to put these events on?    I certainly hope not.   Relative 
small audience numbers haven't diminished how much I look forward to the 
festival each year, myself because the entire event is so much more than 
just the sum of it's parts.