Dear netaudio friend, artist and/or festival visitors,
well – posting these words on a rainy late morning, just a couple of hours ahead of the Netaudio Festival. Maybe some of you can imagine what a festival like this does to the people who are organizing it. Every kind of experience in life is pressed into one year of preparation, every mood, every feeling. It all started with the successful request to the Hauptstadtkulturfonds?
The experiences of 2007, when we did the first issue of Netaudio Berlin Festival, left no other option than do some serious fundraising in the forefield of a follow-up. Two years ago the festival worked out only because the artists abandoned the idea of any payment ? often even paying for travel costs and organizing accommodation by themselves. We squatted a devastated building on a former railway construction site in order to have enough space for three different floors ? but we did not pay enough attention on organising a diversified musical programme to justify these three floors. We simply wanted to include everyone who asked to participate. In 2007 we were deeply involved in the electronic music scene in Berlin ? and also in the field of netaudio ? as an outcome of the netlag party series at RAW.tempel. Therefore 90% of the music programme was techno, minimal and techhouse. And beside the fact, that we had to bring literally everything into the squatted premises ? from electricity, toilets, bar, equipment – to all items related to light and sound (not to forget the audience?) we soon got in to trouble. One of our soundsystems collapsed just when we wanted to start the Saturday night. We had to organize a new PA, ringing our supplier in the middle of the night ? without any idea where the extra-money would come from. Artists were disorientated about when or if they were playing and some VJs left the scene with the idea that there would be no more programme on that floor. In the end, all of us were paying more money than we could personally afford. But we also had so much excitement about all the other things which had worked: the highly recognized day programme with workshops, lectures and discussions, the internet stream with more than 1.300 request from 28 different countries, the stuffed-to-intimate Friday night with so many old and new friends, two floors full of excellent musicians on the Saturday, with invitations to radio shows and a wonderful atmosphere at the Sunday brunch ? as well as a excessive after hour with horrible pictures and mistakes last committed at the age of 17? We simply had to do it again?
So – after we celebrated the positive answer from the Hauptstadtkulturfond we experienced the past beautiful months of dreams, ideas and enthusiastic planning. New faces were showing up with fresh input and diversity of styles, with manpower and creativity. A promising spirit knocked on the door from our partnership with netaudio London ? who we are playing netaudio ping pong with (their excellent game also presented on the festival daytime programme on Saturday) and who we hand over the responsibility of organising the festival to on alternate years. We were invited to Bologna to join ?nettare? ? the first Italian Netaudio Festival ? and even to Moscow who referred to the Netaudio Berlin Festival when announcing their activities of bringing some netaudio artists on stage.
After we closed the Call for Entries in June we faced the first serious challenges: How to say ?no? to so many brilliant and beautiful projects? To netaudio enthusiasts and top-level musicians? Suddenly the clouds began to cover our sunny dreams while feeling all the disappointment, the sad and short replies or the cold silence of non-communication?
On the other side the first shapes of a programme appeared with an incredible follow-up of so many artists we have always wanted to invite. Amongst them some big names ? and also some artists who had never before been given the chance to play at such an event ? because their sound and music was not meant for the dancefloor ? or they simply live somewhere in the wilderness where once a week a fourwheeler is delivering the post… So we packed as many artists in our schedule, extended the night programme of the festival to a third day and the day programme to a second. But with this load of artists ? even more than most of the ?big? commercial festivals ? we imported a brutal task of dealing with all the needs of the artists ? and all the different ideas of how communication should be done. We saw the need to set up a temporary office ? but finding cheap office space in Berlin is like discovering Aladin?s magic lamp in your living room? When we finally got a suitable space there was the constant lottery of a stable internet connection and other difficult circumstances? Two members had to find a new flat during the summer, while one of us was delivered the joyous news of becoming a father ? with all these personal circumstances in the forefield it seemed like such a major change in life. Three of us lost their regular jobs, while one of our members spent some nights in prison. We had excesses at friend?s festivals, tears of joy, sadness and confusion. Last but not least we?ve been facing unknown dimensions of challenges to deal with in the form of German embassies abroad, in order to solve the visa issues for our non-EU artists. In fact even hours before the festival start there are still some visas missing ? and with the refusal of Dubosmium’s visa from German embassy in Morocco a sad shadow was already thrown over our effords…
Beside all this: Especially in the last weeks and days we really have had so much positive feedback and enthusiastic announcements from fans, artists and also the media. All of us are really trying to do everything necessary to prepare the festival as well as we can. So we hope you can enjoy these Netaudio days and nights, add some remarks to the discussions and take some new ideas back home. We hope you find new friends and get inspiration for whatever you are into. Within the idea of creative commons, creativity is something to share ? but also common activities and common sense are the assumption for creativity. If you feel inspired by anything ? just let the person(s) know! If you have suggestions for further development ? just bring them into discussions! If you need hints or help or external advice on any aspect related to Netaudio ? you should be aware of all the humans around you, open minded and free thinking ? maybe just waiting for someone like you? With your help and interaction we can continue doing things like this?
Live and with love.
Netaudio Berlin Crew