AFL: Hey! On 6th December is the Northcote Festival 2015. Are you excited?
TvR: “Hi Simon! To say we’re excited would be quite an understatement. It’s been such a fun ride once again putting this all-dayer together, and I’m content with the diverse line-up. To top it off, Legends Arising has its own stage this year where we’ll be celebrating the release of our new physical fanzine, The L.A. Journal #3.”
LS: “We’ve been working very hard on this year’s line-up so we’re very excited to see it all come together! On top of that we also offer a festivalmarket and a range of vegan food so we hope everyone is just as stoked as we are.”
AFL: Can you tell us a little more about yourself? And what drives you to make this festival?
TvR: “Of course! So my name is Tim van Reyswoud and I’m from The Netherlands. About 5 or 6 years ago I started my own webzine called Legends Arising as a way to keep my friends updated of all the upcoming tours and releases. The platform quickly evolved to an all-round website providing news, interviews and reviews with the help of an ever-growing team of enthusiasts.
In the summer of 2012 my friend and I decided to travel to Ieperfest together with Anne Carolien Köhler, a photographer who had already been contributing her pictures to Legends Arising for photo reports for quite a while. In the train to Belgium we quickly came to the realization that we both had the ambition to start a zine; Anne from a photographer/designer point of view, and I wanted to expand my platform – to use the website as a news source and a way to discover new bands, and to do more in-depth and diverse articles in a physical zine. So in March 2014, the first issue of The L.A. Journal was released. We try to put one out every six months, but we realized that close to impossible with our busy work schedules.
In 2013, I was involved with Northcote for the first time. I’m not sure how that came about exactly, but I’m guessing Patrick asked me to be a media partner at the time. So I did some announcements and ticket raffles, and a friend filmed all the full sets that year. Ever since I’ve been taking care of the promotion of Northcote, trying to get European coverage for the festival, both through Legends Arising and other media outlets.”
LS: “Yes! My name is Louisa Steenbakker and I’ve been working at Bibelot (the venue where Northcote takes place) for about a year now. When Patrick told us that he wasn’t going to organize Northcote anymore we decided that quitting the fest was not really an option for us. Northcote has given lots of bands a stage and brought the hardcore community in The Netherlands closer together. So when Patrick told us that he was okay with us taking over we were really relieved and excited. Since I’m a big fan of hardcore/punk music, go to a lot of shows, play a lot of shows with my band Rites and have been a frequent Northcote visitor, I was more than happy to take things over from him.”
AFL: I know by myself how many work it is to organise a festival. What were the most difficult things to organise the festival?
TvR: “Budget vs. line-up. Even though Patrick, the initiator and former organizer, isn’t involved with Northcote anymore and the venue Bibelot has taken ownership, the festival still has its DIY attitude. We want to keep ticket prices low, so it’s always a challenge to put together a diverse bill that counts around 20 bands.”
LS: “I agree with Tim completely. Time was also a difficult factor. We had to organize part of the fest in our free time because it was simply too big and it couldn’t interfere with our regular work schedule. But in the end it’s all worth it.”
AFL: How do you get in contact with the bands for the festival? And whereon do you pay attention when you booking the line-up?
TvR: “As said, Northcote still has its DIY attitude. We work with a lot of upcoming bands so Facebook is usually the easiest and fastest way to get in touch with bands or band members. For some of the bigger bands we take the traditional route and talk to their agents. Regarding the line-up, we’re always in search of a good balance: local vs. international, popular vs. upcoming. Northcote should be place where kids can see their favorite band but also discover new bands.”
LS: “On top of that we also use our own network. I know a lot of upcoming bands and so does Tim. My colleague Ifor has been working with some hardcore/punk agencies for a while now and it’s always good to talk to other promoters. Going to as much shows as possible, or playing lots of shows if you’re in a band really helps too. You’ll probably meet a lot of cool people and bands.”
AFL: On which band(s) you’re looking forward most?
TvR: “That’s always a really hard question, but if I have to choose I’d say The Worst Doubt and Mercy because I’ve never seen them before.”
LS: “That’s a hard question to answer because I think all bands have great qualities. If I’d have to choose I’d say Such Gold since I’ve been a fan of them for a while, Code Blue Coma since they’re a promising band and Mercy and Mad At The World since I’ve never seen them live before.”
AFL: How many visitors do you expect? And why is the Northcote on a Sunday?
TvR: “The last two years Northcote has sold out. We always work hard to make that happen again, but I never really dare to say that ‘I expect it to sell out’. I always like to be caught by surprise myself for that matter, haha! And Northcote takes place on a Sunday because we feel like people have nothing better to do on a Sunday anyways. So why not spend it at a venue looking at awesome bands all day?!”
AFL: Will there a Northcote 2016?
TvR: “I’m sure there will be!”
AFL: Thank you for taking time! Have you any last words?
TvR: “Thank YOU for preparing a great and thorough interview! All I can say is get your tickets for Northcote NOW before they sell out!”
LS: “Thank you for interviewing us! I just want to tell everyone to get their tickets and go have a great time at our fest.”