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one promoter’s perspective – Katch Holmes |


Dwell Music Trade Weblog

This week’s weblog put up sees Katch Holmes – organiser of the Knockengorroch Competition – mirror on the method of taking it on-line within the face of the Covid-19 lockdown.

‘I‘m not into on-line occasions’, I mentioned. When the lockdown began and we have been compelled to postpone our Knockengorroch music pageant I professed each to myself, and anybody who would pay attention, that digital occasions didn't curiosity me. I racked my brains as to methods I may deliver folks collectively in actual time while observing bodily distancing. Movies projected onto tenement partitions, road performances, drive-ins, all and extra whizzed via my thoughts.

But, because the scheduled dates for Knockengorroch pageant drew nearer I felt strongly it was essential to mark the occasion in some way. And so, with out an excessive amount of thought into the hows, I considered a reputation, recruited some pageant crew to assist and approached artists to participate in an internet occasion. All have been very keen, although unclear as to how it could work.

Most reside streams I had seen have been done ‘presentationally’, with artists enjoying to an viewers they'll neither see nor hear. From the start, I knew that wasn’t how a digital Knockengorroch may exist. Knockengorroch pageant is massively about participation. The those who come are each bit as essential to its success because the artists. I knew that any pageant we created needed to be concerning the folks as a lot because the music.

Knockengorroch’s looming dates minimised time to analysis the total scale of potentialities, however after fast analysis, I realised that the platform to ship the occasion precisely how I wished didn't but exist, or was prohibitively costly. I had taken half in Zoom events that includes DJs in addition to Mairi Campbell’s worldwide ceilidh with acoustic performances and so, with little time to go, I settled on Zoom because the closest platform able to internet hosting the imaginative and prescient. Ditching the unique concept of multi venues and ‘break-out’ free shifting areas on anybody evening, I programmed three separate days of reside music and DJs, mirroring the precise pageant, that includes artists from the unique line-up. A reside viewers may enter the Zoom ‘gig’ with tons of extra capable of watch via a simultaneous reside stream on fb, youtube and twitch. Audiences have been inspired to donate to a Justgiving fundraiser to boost funds to reimburse the artists that took half.

Over the 22 years it has existed, Knockengorroch has nurtured a loyal viewers. We attempt to keep up our inherently participatory nature – a ‘people’ ethos implies that it has lengthy included alternatives for festival-goers to become involved in jamming, people classes and open-mic slots, and billed musicians will typically take part with these. Nearly Knockengorroch sustained this – pageant visitors have been invited to decorate up alongside this 12 months’s theme of ‘celestial beings’, workshops wanted lively attendees, visitors may create their very own campsite breakout rooms in the event that they wished to talk between and after music units, dancing was 100% inspired. As in any reside music occasion, viewers engagement and participation, contributed to the ambiance, vibe and collective sense of enjoyable. Knockengorroch’s viewers enthusiastically responded with tents pitched in gardens, campfires, dramatic costumes, elaborate front room decorations and even the odd look of a midge internet and wellies. Individuals attended from all around the world and people who haven’t been to Knockengorroch for years have been capable of verify in. We have been additionally happy to have attracted new audiences who could not have been ‘tenting sorts’, however have been completely happy to verify in from the security of their kitchens.

Crew spoke of going to mattress with the identical weary, but blissed out, feeling that the actual pageant engenders. Everybody felt that they'd related and that in some way there was one thing ‘actual’ concerning the expertise.   Members mentioned they have been stunned at how one thing digital may mimic the emotions of a pageant so properly.

Enthusiastic viewers members remarked, with some shock, on the extent to which it mimicked the expertise of attending in particular person:

“It was far more magical than I assumed Zoom may ever be!”

 “Nicely done! Sensible. Would have thought it inconceivable to seize Knockengorroch’s magic nearly, however you probably did it!”

Regardless of the occasion solely hitting two features (sight and sound) of the multi-sensory expertise that the actual pageant does, our human want for contact allowed us to fill within the blanks as we stared into our screens, and supplied us all some connection and luxury.

The taking part artists additionally rose to those new challenges, some performing on-line for the primary time. Legendary Scottish ‘acid croft’ band Shooglenifty debuted a model new video created in lockdown for Nearly Knockengorroch for his or her observe ‘Black Canine’. James Waterproof coat mentioned:

We have been delighted to have the ability to be part of the Nearly Knockengorroch Competition….Katch gave me a welcome crash course on getting the most effective sound out of Zoom and watching a couple of performances on the Friday impressed me to take a little bit little bit of time to get the most effective framing of the shot, and the most effective audio to share too … Congratulations to Katch and the Knockengorroch group on lifting the spirits of so many in lockdown.

Kaela & James (Shooglenifty)

Kaela and James from Sooglenifty play through Zoom

Afro Celt Sound System additionally stepped up to speed. They wrote ‘The Lock Down Gorroch Reel’ particularly for Knockengorroch and have since created a video, containing footage of and in homage to the occasion. Simon Emmerson mentioned:

It was a tremendous expertise. We had band founder N’Faly Kouyate locked down in his village in Siguiri, Guinea Conakry enjoying his grandfather’s ancestral balafon and singing reside and direct illuminated by his automobile headlights as his village has no street-lights. His tribute to his lately departed mentor Mory Kante was extremely shifting. In fact, there have been technical glitches, at occasions it was superb chaos, at others there have been moments of actual intimacy… The entire thing had the intimacy and interactive high quality completely missing in greater company festivals. If that is a part of the way forward for reside leisure in a put up Covid 19 world rely us in.


N’Faly Kouyate

N’Faly Kouyate enjoying through Zoom

Digital or not, the pageant was additionally in some methods transformative for artists concerned – one poignant remark was that it was great to listen to a reside spherical of applause. Some artists approached have been initially sceptical however got here away invigorated by the appreciation they skilled – an integral a part of any artist’s efficiency. Others spoke concerning the inventive impetus it supplied, bringing bands collectively to give you a technique to deliver their music to the occasion. I consider it has nudged performers and members ahead into discovering new methods to current music and promoted the training of latest abilities which might be so important this season.

The occasion was, by all accounts, an amazing success. We raised sufficient via donations to reimburse all artists. Many attendees, together with different pageant organisers, have now seen the potential in an internet, participatory pageant like this, many at the moment are self-confessed converts to ‘Zoom’ and I've been approached by different festivals for recommendation. That is the start of a journey. By the tip of the summer time different issues may have been tried; new and higher platforms could be accessible, digital occasions will undoubtedly be smoother.

I'm delighted it went properly, that we supplied artists work, that individuals related. I'll go to a different occasion like this. I could even organise one other one… however I can’t assist questioning the place this on-line journey goes. After this weekend’s success I totally consider that this medium could properly change into ‘regular’, sought out even, by some. Nevertheless for me, this fashion of festivalling will at all times solely ever be an add on – the (optionally available) icing on the cake to the total expertise. The total poetry of human contact will at all times be my precedence, bringing folks and music collectively in situ – respiratory a shared place that binds us collectively via the land’s geography, historical past and reminiscences.

Katch Holmes, June 2020

Katch Holmes is a co-producer of Knockengorroch pageant. She grew up at Knockengorroch small holding.

Nearly Knockengorroch occurred from 21 to 24 Might 2020 rather than the ‘actual’ postponed Knockengorroch pageant.

The Afro Celt Sound System video ‘The Lockdown Gorroch Reel’ might be discovered right here

The total Nearly Knockengorroch line-up: Afro Celt Sound System, Mungos Hello Fi Sound System and Vixen Sound, Shooglenifty, Greg and Pete (Moishe’s Bagel), John Fairhurst, Macmaster/Hay, DJ Dolphin Boy, Twelfth Day, Zoe Bestel, Ceitidh Mac, Awry, Samson Sounds, Tom Spirals, Samedia Shebeen, Cera Impala, Cenote Sounds, Straightforward Skankin’ Crew, Theo Bard, Ceitidh Mac, Sam Gillespie and Siannie Moodie, Toby Mottershead, Luisa Brown and John Anderson, Morag Brown and Lewis Powell, Daniel Allison, Freya Rae, Martin Fell, Chandra Mather, Cammy Sinclair

All classes can be found to look at on the Knockengorroch web site

The hyperlink to donate is right here:

Knockengorroch 2018 - Recompose-416

Knockengorroch 2018




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