(Foto: Euzen@spot 2014 – valgt til M’era Luna Festival, Tyskland, af Alan Høgholm. Portraits: Jonas Kjærsgaard + arkiv)
Around 350 international media and industry people went to SPOT 2014. We’ve asked some of them about their thoughts on the 20th edition of the SPOT Festival.
“It’s my third or fourth time here and I always enjoy it. Here I know that I’ll always find some acts to bring back to Hungary. I really love the festival. It’s a really well organized, very eclectic bill. I saw some really nice down tempo singer songwriters.It’s a great festival to discover bands from Denmark and Scandinavia. It’s really concentrated. Here I can see what’s happening in these countries.It’s also really nice to meet the colleagues too. I’ve met a lot of my German colleagues this year. And Aarhus is a really nice city!”
Fruzsina Szep, Sziget Festival, Hungary
“It’s been very exciting. Well-organised, Good stages and everything on schedule – that makes it easy to be at a festival. Byrta was excellent. Sekuoia would be great on the Primavera Festival stage at three o’clock in the morning. Kill J is also ready to be exported. Vild Smith was also great – even though I didn’t understand a word – they had so much power. And then it was nice to see an old-school act like Powersolo – after all the electronic music I’ve seen. If I could make a wish, it would be more musical variation – I want to be surprised more. But I’ve seen a lot of acts who would do well at Spanish Festivals.
Dario Manrique, Rolling Stone Magazine, Spain
“I really like the new big, free outdoor venue at SPOT – now the festival seems less hidden. It’s up front. It’s in your face. It’s happening. This year you have put on a wider range of styles. The quirkier bands have become quirkier than before. Byrta were outrageous, Penny Police and the choir was special, Elin Kåven…. Where I’ve previously had the feeling that bands have performed what they were known for to impress the foreigners, I’ve felt different this time. People are stretching themselves. I like that. And then I just don’t understand why Treefight For Sunlight aren’t world famous. They’ve got good tunes, they’re incredibly happy musicians. I don’t like mainstream pop, but they are very good. And they can only come from this country – and I just found out why a year ago at the JaJaJa festival in London when I saw Mew for the first time: Now I realise what the inspiration was, Treefight for Sunlight, another favorite of mine Oh No Ono etc.
Kieron Tyler, Mojo Magazine/The Arts Desk, UK
“People are happy. There’s a good feel. I have seen many fine shows. The experience of being in the rainbow with music (”The Portuguese Man of War” at Your Rainbow Panrama, ARoS, ed.), Ann See – she was in great contact with her audience, Spillemændene and the Go Go Berlin frontman – that man needs a stadium! I can’t see him in a small club. Nelson Can – what more can you wish for than hard rocking girls? And Grísalappalísa from Iceland. But I wanted to hear more acts singing in Danish.
Helgi Sigurdsson, Morgunbladid, Iceland
“I’ve enjoyed it a lot – it’s been the perfect place to experience a new musical world. I listen to music for hours every day, and I’m a bit tired of waiting for new music from England and USA. So to come here, is like coming to a new planet. I really want to get more into Nordic music – actually I’ve been planning for a while to do programmes about Nordic music, titled “Nordiscos”, and SPOT is the perfect entry. Ann See, Sekuoia, Byrta, Choir Of Young Believers were strong –also a traditional band such as The Blue Van, who I have interviewed before. But there have also been quite a few concerts with technically skilled musicians, but where the essential originality was missing – or some roots.
Angel Carmona, Radio 3, Spain
- I went to my first SPOT in 2007 – so this was my 8th year. And I still have a very good impression of the festival. Maybe the industry-communication with brunch-meetings and so had gotten even better than usually? Anyway, I think I met a lot of important people this year. And the organisation was good – I got in to see all the music I wanted and a lot of great music – the long hip hop show on Friday was surprisingly good. And even though I’m not that much of a pop fan, the concert with Julias Moos was a gigantic experience. Now we are trying to get them to the c/o Pop festival in Cologne – and to SPOT On Denmark in Cologne this August. Other highlights: Blaue Blume, Treefight for Sunlight, and KIll J were impressive. And then I think that the people from Heartbeat Records are doing a great job for Go Go Berlin and The White Album….
Klaus Fiehe, 1Live, WDR Köln, Germany
I’ve been at SPOT many times, but this time it ended with a scanning feeling in my search for something new or exciting. I’ve seen a lot of bands with talent and skills – but the songs were missing. Or the personality. Personally, I thought the concert on top of the museum (”The Portuguese Man of War” at Your Rainbow Panorama, ARoS, ed.) was a very special experience. Also the concerts by Sleep Party People, Broken Twin, Get Your Gun and Lydmor will stay with me as highlights of this year’s edition.
Dirk Steenhaut, Knack Focus, Belgium