WE Festival 2016

Over the primacy of Techno and parties that cater to specific faculty’s crowds, one might get the impression that Maastricht is lacking a certain diversity in scene. For those who yet decided to hit the city, January was a rich month full of Balkan Beats, Dancehall and Hip Hop. For the 6th time this year the WE Festival crowd is taking it on themselves to provide the Maastricht community with a week full of music, workshops, and insights into what Maastricht harbours in alternative scene. Friday, the 22nd of January they invited you for the Mini-We at the Muziekgieterij for a night of DnB. Of course, we of Kichaka were there to check it out for you and take a few snaps of the night.

The artists they invited to headline was Joe Ford a British native DnB DJ hailing from Harrogate. He played in Holland, as well as the surrounding areas quite a lot in the past and gave us some sweet information about his music and his thoughts about the night. Whilst the DnB scene is quite huge in England, we were curious to see how he felt about the crowd and the venue here in charming Maastricht. Besides the obvious “the venue looks awesome and the crowd up for it”, he enjoyed how the venue’s factory vibe works for the music! He seemed stoked for playing the leading set despite having a ‘’dry January’’. His DnB inspiration ranges from NOISIA, Spor to Dub Fx.

Jonas Vacek, a founder of Subsystem Maastricht and a recent addition to the WE festival music team provides us with an insight into how the night went.

Do you think your event was successful? (ticket sales, the turnout)

This was Subsystem’s 6th event, and by far the best. Andrea a fellow member of the WE music team, the WE Team and my crew pulled off one of the most impressive things in terms of production and organisation. Everyone I talked to - from the artists themselves, the organisers, volunteers and party-goers - have only great things to say, which I'm really proud of. The performances we had were absolutely amazing without exceptions, lights were insane and the crowd was supremely hyped! The event surpassed our own expectations.

How do you feel about Muziekgieterij as an event location?

Muziekgieterij is really one of the only few venues here in this city which can offer a service worth an international booking. The WE Festival has been experimenting with other venues before but when it comes to it, the same conclusion can be made: Maastricht needs more venues. However, WE are hoping to explore new places this coming festival as the city is willing to collaborate with us to a much greater degree this year, and hopefully others will be able to use them too.

How did you choose the artists you brought?

The idea behind the lineup was a "compromise" (without the bad connotation!) between the WE Festival and Subsystems’ vision for culture in the city. The WE wants to promote under-the-radar talent and enrich the city's culture and Subsystem aims to promote bass music and bring in some more "experimental" elements into the city. These visions are not mutually exclusive, so coming up with something was really not at all difficult! We've spent a good amount of time figuring out the lineup, and I can tell you that at the beginning it looked very different. In the end we stuck to our concept and chose the artists based on what we thought would fit. I think that the flow we managed to produce for this evening was a pretty major feat. We managed to glide between garage, grime and trap into liquid, jump-up and neurofunk in the end very easily, thanks to the awesome cooperation between the artists.

Will there be primarily DnB artists for the main WE party?

The music team has stuck to the formula that we think works quite well for the festival week, which means that the closing night on Saturday is an event that brings together everyone who has organised, volunteered, performed or just attended the main festival week, and make those people happy. The Friday event before is the more "whack" and experimental thing where we go a little nuts. That’s where you can expect the DnB!

What is your personal role in the WE festival?

I've been a part of the WE Festival for less than a year, so far I’ve been primarily involved in the music and film festival team. When it comes to music, I'm generally in charge of the bass-ier stuff due to my background, and together with Andrea, we create and organise events such as the one now. The film festival is completely new this year and still very much in the making. We’re working very closely with wedowe's Aiman Hassani as well as getting a good deal of advice, help and cooperation from the Maastricht cinema Lumiére to make sure we pull off something remarkable! Currently we've received somewhere over 6000 international submissions consisting of shorts, docs, features and other experimental stuff, as well as some previously distributed films that will be presented along a QA session with some of their creators. The overall selection will be curated by a really determined team. "Different perspectives" will be the overall theme this year. I can't say much more than this for now, but do make sure you stay tuned for more news!

For more information on Joe Ford, the WE Festival and the other artists, check the WE festival website or WE on Facebook.

Thought differently about the night? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.