Promoter Interview: Quintin Van Der Spek (Outsiders Festival)
How do you go about the booking process for this years festival?
Booking for Outsiders (and all other festivals in Holland) is not easy, since we are in such an overcrowded market. A lot of festivals in Holland block artists up to six weeks prior and after the event. On the other hand it keeps promotors striving for a line-up that’s authentic to the rest and that’s a good thing. We also try to play our part in this. For example, previous year Solar (No Way Back, San Francisco) and Willie Burns (L.I.E.S., New York) had their Dutch festival debut at Outsiders. This year we also made sure that we can offer something extra to what there already is.
Can we expect any special surprises at this years Outsiders Festival?
Awesome Tapes From Africa, DJ Sprinkles and A Made Up Sound are definitely names that stand out. You won’t find them in a festival line-up anywhere else in Holland soon. And the venue is quite amazing. The festival takes place in an outdoor climbing park, with a 20 meter long climbing unit on the background. It’s pretty special.
It seems that staging and effects become even more extravagant at festivals every year, is this something you like to work on or do you decide to keep it quite simplistic?
How festivals like Awakenings build their stages like castles is quite amazing, but it’s not the direction we want to go. We believe in interaction with the dj and as less hierarchy as possible. That means stage designs that allow you to dance around and behind the dj. A place where you can level with the artist. We want you to feel the music in an intimate way. I believe that this makes the experience much more intense than just looking at a dot that you only can assume it is the dj somewhere far above you.
Looking back to last years Outsiders, is there one memory that stands out above the rest?
The sets of Hunee and Tom Trago were really amazing. So much funky disco! The combination of the sun, trees and the excellent curation of both artists did their job so good. Another great moment was Carl Craig taking the microphone, thanking his Dutch fans for all the support and screaming ‘Detroit Love’ before playing Octave One with ‘Black Water’ as his last track. That was a truly magical, you could feel the energy all around.
Is there one artist that you are most excited to see play this year?
All artists that are playing at the festival are great of course, but personally I am really looking forward to the set of DJ Sprinkles in particular. Sprinkles is a true genius, I absolutely love him. His sets are so surprisingly versatile, really something else! It’s such an honor to have him as a part of our line-up, as he is not playing a lot of shows. He will make his Dutch festival debut at Outsiders too.
What is the plan for Outsiders over the next few years, can we expect to see it grow?
Growth is the ultimate gratitude of your visitors saying you are doing something right, but having said that I must also say that it is not the main goal. I think it’s much more important that the current visitors stay happy and that the vibe stays as magical as how it was previous year. I’m not sure if we could hold on to that atmosphere with 10.000 people on our festival site.
8 August | Outsiders Festival | Tickets | Alkmaar, NL