Apr 07, 2020

Q&A: MENT Festival vs. Coronavirus


We want to share with you a little update on how INES#festival organizers reacted to the current situation. Spoiler alert, since MENT festival already took place in February they did not have to cancel this year’s edition. Andraž Kajzer is the artistic director of the festival. He still told us how they are adjusting to the situation and shared some useful advice.

Andraž Kajzer
Andraž Kajzer, Artistic Director at MENT Ljubljana Festival.

gigmit: MENT festival vs. Coronavirus – what are the main things you are working or struggling with currently? 

Andraž Kajzer: Luckily MENT happened before the situation was present here. We’re currently working on the 2021 edition. Mostly as planned, we just postponed a few things and we are of course working from home. All the planed travels until the summer is cancelled or on hold. No one knows how will all this go through and there is a lot of question about the future: Will everything goes back to “normal”? Will people still want to attend large events? How will the economy fall impact the festival budget and the purchasing power of the audience? Should we be prepared for a different format of an event and what does that mean?

What message or tips do you have for artists at the moment? What can they do while stuck at home?

We need to stay positive and take this as a challenge of how else is music being delivered to people. The significant rise in streaming, new DJ mixes etc. show that artists feel the need to communicate with the world and that audience needs music. This is also a good time to rethink your music, your career, listen to music, watch music documentaries, educate yourself and practice.

How is the music community reacting to the Coronavirus crisis in your country? Are there any positive stories you could share?

There’s definitely a lot of live concerts happening. It seems radio is stronger – the national radio hosts quite a few live streams and some webzines are publishing more material, sharing more music. Some labels publicly praised the “Bandcamp day” (when Bandcamp didn’t take their cut), it seems it worked well for the artists and the labels were happy with the results. We hope that the sales go up in these times and that more and more people will use the channels through which musicians get paid for their art. Just think of how much music do we listen at home these days. And how it can help our mood.

Many festivals and artists are trying to implement digital editions of their shows. Is it a possibility for your festival? 

We hope this won’t be necessary for MENT 2021 but we’re definitely thinking about different possible ideas which we can implement in the future as the event(s) evolve and as more and more content is provided directly into everyone’s homes. As mentioned Val 202 – the national radio is doing quite a lot of streaming but otherwise, most of the artists use social media – Facebook and Instagram for live streaming.

We also asked other INES#festivals how to act vs. Coronavirus. Find out more…
If you are organising a festival, please let us know more about your experience and your plans in the coming months, here.
Here you can check out which festivals have been cancelled or postponed.
Get important information and links for music makers during the corona crisis and learn how can gigmit help in this situation here.

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