Event Spotlight: Resistanz Festival

In preparation for the forthcoming 2014 instalment of Resistanz Festival, we chat to Corporation staff and festival founders Leighton James-Thompson and Phyll Pearman about their inspirations for bringing it back each year.

Resistanz

S] How has The Corp’s goals changed with regards to Resistanz over the years?

L] “I think myself and Phyll’s goals have changed very little over the years. From the beginning we had a plan and we knew exactly what we wanted to do. We set out some guidelines that we still implement today to ensure that Resistanz is a unique experience.”

P] “Over the years we have been putting Resistanz Festival on, the goals have definitely changed, as Leighton has said we had a plan and guidelines we have stuck to but like any good promoters those plans have the ability to be very fluid not unlike the music scene. We think being able to move and change with the scene and people’s musical tastes is one of our greatest assets and strengths to make Resistanz Festival a very unique experience and people come back for more every year.”

S] Are there any bands that you’re all really excited to see this year?

L] “Personally, I’m really looking forward to hopefully catching most of the acts this year – working the festival means there is not always time to check out everyone. I’m especially looking forward to artists I’ve never seen perform live before such as This Morn ‘Omina, Belzebass, Cyberpunkers and Chrom. One not to miss is surely Straftanz, they always deliver whenever they play Sheffield and with this being their last ever live show it’s sure to be very special.”

P] “This is a tough question to answer and one of the most simplest that gets asked a lot, but since we have so many different musical genres hitting the Resistanz stage and after parties, it’s hard to choose favourites as I would like to see them all but if I had to pick it would be Organ Donors, Cyberpunkers, Iszoloscope and Modulate as I can’t wait to hear new material live.”

S] What new things have been done for Resistanz this year, after last year’s events – what did you learn?

L] “For the first time this year’s Resistanz Festival will be a full 3 days. We have more live acts, more DJs, more after parties. We’ve also continued to listen to many of our attendees in terms of what they want and expect from the festival. Often these are very simple things such as fabric wristbands, and an android phone app but all these things add up to the whole Resistanz experience and we really do want everyone that attends Resistanz to have the time of their lives.”

P] “Apart from reiterating everything Leighton has said and the feedback we listen to from the festival goers, the answer is simply more. More bands, more DJs, more after parties, more different styles of music and more people from all corners of the globe, as this year we have got an artist from Russia and a DJ coming all the way from Japan to play at the festival along with all the European, Canadian and American acts. Not many festivals can boast that sort line-up in the UK.”

S] What are the biggest challenges of putting together a festival of this magnitude?

L] “The main one would be time. Even though we spend a full year working on each event there never seems enough hours in the day. That being said, every year, come doors everything is in place. Another challenge is finding the right line-up. With an increase in events that delve into the industrial/electro scene in the UK it is becoming a little more challenging to find and book acts that other events have not. One of the most important aspects for Resistanz Festival is that we give our crowd something different from other events, we are not interested in putting on the same bands as other events, there is really little point in doing that. That’s why you’ll see at every Resistanz event, a large number of UK firsts and exclusives.”

S] What are the team’s favourite festival moments from past years?

L] “Celldweller last year has to be right up there. Nobody has ever got him to come to the UK before so that was a pretty special booking for us. A real hit with the crowd too. Also last year we brought iVardensphere over to the UK for the first time, we know they would kick ass and they certainly did, for many of our attendees they were the highlight of Resistanz 2013. My personal highlights really are too many to mention, but if I really have to pick one then it would be Ultraviolence, absent from the live scene for many years yet delivered arguably their best performance ever.”

S] What are the biggest challenges of putting together a festival of this magnitude?

L] “The main one would be time. Even though we spend a full year working on each event there never seems enough hours in the day. That being said, every year, come doors everything is in place. Another challenge is finding the right line up. With an increase in events that delve into the industrial-electro scene in the UK it is becoming a little more challenging to find and book acts that other events have not. One of the most important aspects for Resistanz Festival is that we give our crowd something different from other events, we are not interested in putting on the same bands as other events, there is really little point in doing that. That’s why you’ll see at every Resistanz event, a large number of UK firsts and exclusives.”

P] “I have to agree with Leighton on the time issue as it seems we were only wrapping up Resistanz Festival 2013 last week and we are now Resistanz Festival 2014 is nearly upon us. Apart from the time issue, the main challenge for me is the logistics side of things. Having to organise 21 bands, 21 DJs, assorted agents and other staff which is approximately 100 people traveling from all over the globe it is one major headache in itself but when you consider all the flights, inland transportation, hotel bookings, backline requirements it is enough to make your head spin and that does not include organising all the staff at the venue. It amazes me when we open the doors and we are ready to roll but it is all helped by a great set of staff, tech people and crew from Corporation who make the event run so smoothly. Finding the right line up is the other great challenge as having a good balance from the different styles within scene, coming up with something new each year, showcasing UK talent plus putting in exclusives is a tough one but I think Leighton and myself manage it.”

S] What are the team’s favourite festival moments from past years?

L] “Celldweller last year has to be right up there. Nobody has ever got him to come to the UK before so that was a pretty special booking for us. A real hit with the crowd too. Also last year we bought iVardensphere over to the UK for the first time, we know they would kick ass and they certainly did, for many of our attendees they were the highlight of Resistanz 2013. My personal highlights really are too many to mention, but if i really have to pick one then it would be Ultraviolence, absent from the live scene for many years yet delivered arguably their best performance ever.”

P] “The Celldweller and iVardensphere performances from last year  were just mind blowing. Bringing a band back together such as Neuroticfish and actually getting And One to play in Sheffield in were all massive highlights but I think my personal favourite highlights is all the camaraderie backstage between all the artists and the onstage collaborations for the audience goers.”

S] How can people get involved and support the Resistanz cause?

L] “Ultimately by buying a ticket and coming along to the festival. The more tickets we sell the more the future of the festival is secured. We also really appreciate everyone who supports the festival by spreading the word about Resistanz via social media, word of mouth, handing out flyers, putting on warm up parties. We really love our crowd and these people for helping make Resistanz a name that in such a short space of time has become known around the world.”

P] “There is nothing more to say apart from buy a ticket, support the cause and spread the word. I think that goes for every show or festival within the scene because without this happening there wouldn’t be such a great festival as Resistanz happening in the UK. If you think you have something that would support the Resistanz cause get in touch.”

S] What do you think Resistanz does for the UK, and European industrial scene?

L] “As for the UK scene, i think we have given many fans the chance to watch and discover many new acts that maybe they would have not had the chance to do unless they had travelled overseas. We’ve always been big supporters of the UK scene and one of the ways we reflect this is to give the UK acts that play at Resistanz decent billing. These guys deserve to play infront of good size crowds and we respect that when working out the schedules. For the European scene, we’ve given many acts the chance to come over and play over here infront of a UK crowd. I think we have also shown some places in Europe that when it comes to festivals you don’t have to have the same old bands on every other year. We also give European fans the chance to come to an event where they can see a load of acts they may have never seen before and show what a great scene the UK has right now.”

P] “I think Resistanz Festival has shaken the UK scene up a little and given people more choice, especially if you were a regular traveller to the European festivals. We have given some American artists the chance to make an audience in the UK and because of us giving them a chance they have been booked into the European festivals. I think our off kilter line ups have shown the European festivals that you can venture into something a little different and still appeal to a lot of people in the scene without alienating everyone.”

S] What keeps you motivated to keep battling on, despite the dreaded Resistanz curse?

L] “Ugh! The Resistanz curse! For anybody that does not know, every year since the very first Resistanz Festival we loose one band off the line-up quite late on. Through no fault of our own mind you. It’s just one of those things and you have to get on with it.”

P] “The dreaded Resistanz curse, we were hoping to finally break free from it this year but alas it has befallen us again. What keeps us battling against this unseen foe? Well that will be the satisfaction that one year we will finally beat it!”

S] What are your hopes for Resistanz in the future?

L] “Hopes for the future are that we continue to get the excellent support from our fans and that the festival can continue to grow and evolve as we believe it should do. There are still a lot of acts that we really want to bring to Resistanz and we hope we continue to get the opportunity to do so.”

P] “Our hopes is that festival continues with the same goals we started out and with the help of everyone in the ‘Resistanz Army’ we can carry on putting on amazing line ups with artists from all over the globe for the UK and European audiences to see. As Leighton has said there are a lot of artists and DJ’s we have yet to get on at Resistanz Festival so you better enjoy the ride cos we have got some great things planned in the next few years. I think both Leighton and myself’s greatest hopes is that you all enjoy what we do.”

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About Dom Smith

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