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one promoter’s perspective – Katch Holmes |


Dwell Music Change Weblog


This week’s weblog submit sees Katch Holmes – organiser of the Knockengorroch Pageant – replicate on the method of taking it on-line within the face of the Covid-19 lockdown.

‘I‘m not into on-line occasions’, I stated. When the lockdown began and we had been compelled to postpone our Knockengorroch music competition I professed each to myself, and anybody who would hear, that digital occasions didn’t curiosity me. I racked my brains as to methods I might deliver individuals collectively in actual time while observing bodily distancing. Movies projected onto tenement partitions, avenue performances, drive-ins, all and extra whizzed by my thoughts.

But, because the scheduled dates for Knockengorroch competition drew nearer I felt strongly it was necessary 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 competition crew to assist and approached artists to participate in an internet occasion. All had been very prepared, although unclear as to how it will work.

Most reside streams I had seen had been done ‘presentationally’, with artists taking part in to an viewers they’ll neither see nor hear. From the start, I knew that wasn’t how a digital Knockengorroch might exist. Knockengorroch competition is massively about participation. The those that come are each bit as necessary to its success because the artists. I knew that any competition we created needed to be concerning the individuals as a lot because the music.

Knockengorroch’s looming dates minimised time to analysis the complete scale of potentialities, however after fast analysis, I realised that the platform to ship the occasion precisely how I needed 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 anyone evening, I programmed three separate days of reside music and DJs, mirroring the precise competition, that includes artists from the unique line-up. A reside viewers might enter the Zoom ‘gig’ with lots of extra capable of watch by a simultaneous reside stream on fb, youtube and twitch. Audiences had been inspired to donate to a Justgiving fundraiser to lift funds to reimburse the artists that took half.

Over the 22 years it has existed, Knockengorroch has nurtured a loyal viewers. We attempt to take care of our inherently participatory nature – a ‘folks’ ethos signifies that it has lengthy included alternatives for festival-goers to become involved in jamming, folks periods and open-mic slots, and billed musicians will typically take part with these. Nearly Knockengorroch sustained this – competition friends had been invited to decorate up alongside this yr’s theme of ‘celestial beings’, workshops wanted energetic attendees, friends might create their very own campsite breakout rooms in the event that they needed to speak between and after music units, dancing was 100% inspired. As in any reside music occasion, viewers engagement and participation, contributed to the environment, 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 web and wellies. Folks attended from all around the world and those that haven’t been to Knockengorroch for years had been capable of verify in. We had been additionally happy to have attracted new audiences who might not have been ‘tenting varieties’, however had been comfortable to verify in from the protection of their kitchens.

Crew spoke of going to mattress with the identical weary, but blissed out, feeling that the true competition engenders. Everybody felt that they’d related and that in some way there was one thing ‘actual’ concerning the expertise.   Contributors stated they had been shocked at how one thing digital might mimic the emotions of a competition so nicely.

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

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

 “Effectively done! Sensible. Would have thought it unattainable 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 true competition does, our human want for contact allowed us to fill within the blanks as we stared into our screens, and provided 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 monitor ‘Black Canine’. James Waterproof coat stated:

We had been delighted to have the ability to be part of the Nearly Knockengorroch Pageant….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 just a little 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 on top of things. 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 stated:

It was a tremendous expertise. We had band founder N’Faly Kouyate locked down in his village in Siguiri, Guinea Conakry taking part in 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 not too long ago departed mentor Mory Kante was extremely shifting. In fact, there have been technical glitches, at occasions it was wonderful chaos, at others there have been moments of actual intimacy… The entire thing had the intimacy and interactive high quality completely missing in larger company festivals. If that is a part of the way forward for reside leisure in a submit Covid 19 world rely us in.


N’Faly Kouyate

N’Faly Kouyate taking part in through Zoom

Digital or not, the competition 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 had 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 offered, bringing bands collectively to provide you with a method to deliver their music to the occasion. I imagine it has nudged performers and individuals ahead into discovering new methods to current music and promoted the training of latest abilities which can be so important this season.

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

I’m delighted it went nicely, that we offered 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 absolutely imagine that this medium might nicely turn into ‘regular’, sought out even, by some. Nonetheless for me, this manner of festivalling will all the time solely ever be an add on – the (non-compulsory) icing on the cake to the complete expertise. The total poetry of human contact will all the time be my precedence, bringing individuals and music collectively in situ – respiratory a shared place that binds us collectively by the land’s geography, historical past and recollections.

Katch Holmes, June 2020

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

Nearly Knockengorroch came about from 21 to 24 Could 2020 instead of the ‘actual’ postponed Knockengorroch competition.

The Afro Celt Sound System video ‘The Lockdown Gorroch Reel’ may 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, Simple 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 periods can be found to observe on the Knockengorroch web site

The hyperlink to donate is right here:

Knockengorroch 2018 - Recompose-416

Knockengorroch 2018





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