Friday, December 1, 2023

one promoter’s perspective – Katch Holmes |

Dwell Music Change Weblog


This week’s weblog submit 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 competition 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 convey individuals collectively in actual time while observing bodily distancing. Movies projected onto tenement partitions, avenue performances, drive-ins, all and extra whizzed by way of my thoughts.

But, because the scheduled dates for Knockengorroch competition drew nearer I felt strongly it was necessary to mark the occasion one way or the other. 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 a web-based occasion. All have been very prepared, although unclear as to how it could work.

Most stay streams I had seen have 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 may 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 total scale of prospects, 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 thought of multi venues and ‘break-out’ free shifting areas on anyone evening, I programmed three separate days of stay music and DJs, mirroring the precise competition, that includes artists from the unique line-up. A stay viewers may enter the Zoom ‘gig’ with lots of extra in a position to watch by way of a simultaneous stay stream on fb, youtube and twitch. Audiences have 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 keep up our inherently participatory nature – a ‘people’ ethos signifies that it has lengthy included alternatives for festival-goers to become involved in jamming, people periods and open-mic slots, and billed musicians will usually take part with these. Just about Knockengorroch sustained this – competition company have been invited to decorate up alongside this 12 months’s theme of ‘celestial beings’, workshops wanted lively attendees, company may 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 stay 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 web and wellies. Individuals attended from everywhere in the world and people who haven’t been to Knockengorroch for years have been in a position to examine in. We have been additionally happy to have attracted new audiences who might not have been ‘tenting sorts’, however have been blissful to examine in from the security 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 that they had linked and that one way or the other there was one thing ‘actual’ concerning the expertise.   Contributors mentioned they have been shocked at how one thing digital may mimic the sentiments of a competition so effectively.

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 may ever be!”

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

Regardless of the occasion solely hitting two elements (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 collaborating 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 Just about Knockengorroch for his or her observe ‘Black Canine’. James Waterproof coat mentioned:

We have been delighted to have the ability to be a part of the Just about Knockengorroch Competition….Katch gave me a welcome crash course on getting the very best sound out of Zoom and watching a number of performances on the Friday impressed me to take slightly little bit of time to get the very best framing of the shot, and the very best audio to share too … Congratulations to Katch and the Knockengorroch workforce 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 taking part in his grandfather’s ancestral balafon and singing stay and direct illuminated by his automotive 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 superb 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 stay 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 fantastic to listen to a stay 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 artistic impetus it supplied, bringing bands collectively to give you a approach to convey their music to the occasion. I imagine it has nudged performers and contributors ahead into discovering new methods to current music and promoted the training of latest abilities which will likely be so important this season.

The occasion was, by all accounts, a terrific success. We raised sufficient by way of donations to reimburse all artists. Many attendees, together with different competition organisers, have now seen the potential in a web-based, 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 can have been tried; new and higher platforms could be out there, digital occasions will undoubtedly be smoother.

I’m delighted it went effectively, that we supplied artists work, that individuals linked. 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 effectively turn into ‘regular’, sought out even, by some. Nevertheless for me, this manner of festivalling will all the time solely ever be an add on – the (non-obligatory) icing on the cake to the total expertise. The total poetry of human contact will all the time be my precedence, bringing individuals and music collectively in situ – respiration a shared place that binds us collectively by way of 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.

Just about Knockengorroch happened from 21 to 24 Could 2020 rather than the ‘actual’ postponed Knockengorroch competition.

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

The total Just about 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 look at on the Knockengorroch web site

The hyperlink to donate is right here:

Knockengorroch 2018 - Recompose-416

Knockengorroch 2018


Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles