Interview :: Matt Blanchard: OutsideIn Festival
August 15th 2012
Sydney is a burgeoning hub of increasingly-glorious electronic music right now, so we had a chat to Matt Blanchard of Yes Please, who along with the chaps and chapettes at Astral People has captured that glory and squeezed it into a new festival called OutsideIn.
FBi: OutsideIn is the first festival in which you’ve had a major role in curating. With so many huge events dropping off the calendar over the last couple of years, what made you decide to jump into the game now?
Matt B: It’s definitely a precarious game, over the last couple of years we’ve witnessed some massive festival blunders. Although the festival scene is overcrowded, I still think there’s room for smaller, niche events. OutsideIn is happening at The Factory Theatre, which has a capacity of around 1000 people. Compared to most other festivals, it’s tiny, which I think is our advantage. It allows us to focus on the sounds and the artists we love, maintaining quality over quantity.
Plus, locally we’ve got talented artists like Seekae, Chet Faker, Hermitude, Jonti, Flume and Oliver Tank finding success and not only within our own shores… now just feels like the right time.
The line-up you’ve put together bounces all around the aural spectrum, but there’s definitely a focus on wonky hip-hop beats in their various forms. Has the rise of locals such as Flume and Collarbones influenced the direction you took in curating the festival?
Well the Astral People crew and myself manage a number of the local acts on the bill and have been involved with the scene for a while. So I wouldn’t say the success of those artists has informed the direction of the festival, but I would definitely agree that their success has made the event possible. Without a participating audience it’s pretty hard to put on an event, unless losing bucket loads of cash is your objective!
Melo-X and Jesse Boykins III are billed separately on the poster, but they’re releasing their collaborative album a month prior to OutsideIn. Will attendees be getting a taste of the deliciousness that they cook up together?
Haha my lips are sealed, you’ll have to come along to find out, but that album should be great.
Obviously Oliver Tank is signed to your label Yes Please; you must be pretty excited to be able to drop him on top of a festival line-up. What should people expect from his set?
Yeah, Oliver’s killing it at the moment, his music is definitely resonating with an audience. With any event it’s important to have recognisable names, which is part of the reason behind booking acts like Flume and Oliver Tank. Obviously we love their music, but that recognition amongst a wider audience allows you to put on some more obscure stuff and balances out the line-up. We want the event to also be a place of discovery, you might come along to see the more familiar names, but we hope you’ll leave with at least one new favourite you’d never heard of.
Anyway to get back on point, from Oliver Tank’s set expect plenty of new material, something bigger and the solo artist may not be solo…
Finally, can you give us a sneaky nudge in the right direction in regards to which faces might pop up when the rest of the line-up is revealed?
All I can say is there could be a couple more international acts followed by a stack of local heroes. All up we’ve got around 30 artists playing and there may even be an opportunity for a local artist to win a slot at the event. So keep your ear to the ground for future announcements and if you want to see more events like this in the future, support your local scene!
WHAT: OutsideIn Festival
WHO: Smoke DZA, Oliver Tank, HTRK, Flume, Shigeto, Africa Hitech, Jesse Boykins III, Melo-X, Collarbones, Thrupence, Polographia, Dro Carey, plus more to be announced
WHERE: The Factory Theatre
WHEN: 3pm Saturday 10th November
HOW MUCH: $49 from The Factory Theatre