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As key-player of Indian Askin, Bart van der Elst has seen quite a lot. This summer, the Dutch band are playing at Pinkpop, where they will do the Festileaks festival take-over. In his Festival CV, we talk about his experiences and the highlights of his festival life. Where would he like to perform again? What is his most beloved festival memory?
“My very first festival was Rock Werchter. It also was the only time I went there. I remember I was very excited, because it is such a big festival. It was 2013 I think, I was 16. After years I checked the line-up again, and I really blame myself for missing out on so many bands! I did not know a lot of good music back then. For example, I missed BLUR, I still feel bad about that. I also missed Frank Ocean and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. Most likely I was just chilling instead, I do not know. Back then I just did not know their music. What I do remember is that Youth Gagoon just released their second album – a very special dreamy album. I also attended Tame Impala’s gig and Rammstein, which I found horrible, but I did see them. They were performing with a huge pink dildo on stage.”
“As a visitor I think I have never been on a festival outside the Benelux. We played a gig at a festival in Lithuania, I think that was the longest distance I have ever traveled for a festival. It was at Devil Stone, at a beautiful site in a forest. The whole country is gorgeous. We also played in Budapest once, but that was not at a festival.”
“We already played at Lowlands once, but the Alpha is still on the bucket list. Alpha is kind of the main stage of Lowlands. When we talk about alternative festivals in the Netherlands, this would be the ultimate goal.”
“I think in the future festivals abroad would be a great opportunity, but it will come how it comes. We just go with the flow. At the moment this means a Dutch clubtour.”
Beer or wine?
“Beer, because at festivals they often sell bad red wine, and I get a headache from it. On a festival day I drink a lot of beer and even more when the sun is shining. As a band we choose our moments, because if you perform a lot it is not possible to keep partying. We do have our parties, but only after the gig!”
Club or festival show?
“Indoor is more intimate in my opinion. The ultimate goal is a sold out club tour or an amazing club show, because people buy a ticket just to see you. There are also a lot of people who don’t, but they come to see you at a festival. That way, you play for tons of people who would never see you somewhere else. We just had a tour and now I am really looking forward to the festivals.”
Afternoon or evening concert?
“Playing on the main stage in the afternoon and be the headliner on a small stage are both really satisfying. I am really looking forward to playing at BKS’s main, but I also really like playing at 11 pm at other festivals. It is a golden combination to do both.”
“I think you can expect a lot of craziness, a lot of random stuff. We do not want to show the dull moments only. When we go to a festival, we go with a giant crew. There is a sound check and everything needs to be prepared. It takes a lot of time, so we got to make the best of it together. I think you will see that in the take-over. Maybe we will do something special for you guys as well!”
“We play more shows, but I am not sure which ones are officially announced. One I am really looking forward to is Loose Ends at the NDSM site in Amsterdam. It is a one-day festival with an amazing combination of cool Dutch bands and foreign acts. Some of my favorites are Personal Trainer, Mozes and the Firstborn, and Charlie & the Lesbians, a cool Dutch punk band. I am also keen to see Slevert Mos and Iceage from the foreign acts. It will be amazing!”
“I think my best backstage experience was playing pinball with the lead singer of Eagles of Death Metal. He told me that it was a very special, rare machine, and he found it amazing to have it in the backstage at Lowlands. It was so random, but so cool.”
“I think that would be our gig at Lowlands. There was so much pressure, we were in the middle of a hype. We rocked Noorderslag earlier that year. Lowlands really is a festival where people see you. I think it was also one of our best gigs, both for me and the band. Someone from our label cried because he was so proud.”