Over the past 10 years Krake Festival in Berlin has built itself a reputation as one of the most unique, interesting, and forward-thinking events in the city. To celebrate their 10th Anniversary this year, from the 11th-13th December they will present Krake Festival 10th Anniversary: World Wide Web Edition.
Krake Festival is for true music lovers featuring an array of mind-expanding producers, musicians, DJs, and AV artists with notable past highlights including UK techno legend Regis’s bone shaking 90’s drum & bass workout in 2019 and The Mover’s (aka hardcore pioneer Marc Arcardipane) epic live set in a red-lit abandoned crematorium in 2017.
However, enter 2020 and due to corona-times festivals everywhere really have no choice but to either postpone or to move online. While for many of us live-streaming has been a great means of staying connected to electronic music, which is often designed for dark dance-floors and pumping sound systems, it is sometimes hard not to stifle a yawn and think ‘oh god yet another live stream’. But true to the form of previous years, the Krake team has risen to the challenge to recreate an entirely new online experience which showcases the multi-faceted experience of their festival.
Featuring 3 days and nights of electronic music streaming into the early hours, one of the highlights of Krake Festival will be the “Multi-Stream Rave”, a festival situation translated for lockdown with ten simultaneously streamed “floors” for attendees to move between on the Krake website. These will be operated by different crews such as Mechatronica, Fold London, Omen Recordings, Ismus, and Seoul Community Radio amongst others from venues all over Berlin and across the world from London to Los Angeles, from Korea to The Hague and back to Berlin. For fans of banging techno and electro there will be plenty on offer with headlining artists including a mix of legendary old-school acts, some of the hottest up and coming artists, and top flight DJs including Helena Hauff, DJ Stingray, Shed, Unit Moebius- Live, Clouds, Aahan, The Lady Machine, Clara Cuvé, Intergalactic Gary, Vlaysin, ILLNURSE, D.Tiffany & Roza Terenzi amongst many others.
The music will be streamed all night long through the krake-festival.de website in conjunction with United We Stream and Arte.Tv, and people will be able to switch between the streams like they are moving between areas or floors at a real-life festival which will all feature distinctive musical and audio-visual concepts. To add to the experience, they are introducing the wonderfully silly concept of a toilet floor, an interactive version of a club toilet, designed for banter and talking nonsense with friends and strangers. Closing things out on the Sunday night there will be an ambient sleep concert until 8am Monday morning, soothing those who have kept going all weekend in true festival style with some relaxing and spacious music.
Beyond the virtual dance floor the festival will also feature some very special multi-media shows. On the opening evening, Friday 11 th December, Irish producer Arad (one half of Lakker alongside fellow Irishman Eomac) presents “Augmented Fantasy”, an AR (augmented reality) audio-visual project. Following his DJ set on Friday night of the festival, on the Saturday Shed will provide a live soundtrack for “Transforma”, a legendary Berlin artist collective who have brought have exhibited their unique approach to live visual storytelling at major festivals and venues all over the world. Running parallel to al of this will be “Krake TV”, a concept developed in order to further expand the online festival streaming format.
Krake TV will feature a variety of different TV shows including specially commissioned music videos, a Call-in Talk Show discussing some of the most important an also most ridiculous issues of our times with their audience, artist features, and even a techno fitness workout show filmed at Fold in London.
There is also an accompanying 2 part, 82 track (yes 82 tracks), compilation on Bandcamp (featuring the aforementioned Irish producers Arad and Eomac, alongside Diarmaid O’Meara and Jamie Behan amongst too many others to mention) and the annual Krake Festival charity raffle with prizes from their industry tech partners including Ableton, Native Instruments, Korg, KRK, Novation, and Focusrite alongside a host of vinyl, clothes, and merch from a host of major label partners. To enter the raffle you just have to purchase one part of the compilation, €10 each for 41 tracks, with all proceeds from the compilation going to the charities Seawatch and Ichmachwelle, a project set-up by KilleKill to help adults with learning disabilities learn how to make electronic music- successfully with Ich Mach Welle featuring on both the compilation and as a live act at the festival.
The question many people might ask is why, when there is so much free music and streaming content all over the internet, would you pay for it? Well Corona has been giving everyone a hard time and our culture if it is to continue needs funding in some way. So Krake Festival, in their own words, asked themselves “how can we find a way that works for you, our beloved audience, as well as for everyone who has been contributing to this project?” In order to try and be fair to everyone they decided to develop a sliding scale price, 1€ Day pass for the undecided 5€ Day pass for the ones with little money, 10€ Regular day pass, 20€ Supporter day pass, 50€ Full Festival ticket (3 Day pass incl. 82-track 10-year anniversary digital compilation)
At the end of the day, it’s great to see a festival that celebrates music and represents the hard work that many artists endure to release their art into the world. In previous years Krake has been an intimate and personal festival, unlike the traditional approach of throwing up a stage and creating barriers, where people had an opportunity to communicate and engage with people of the industry and to discover how much work goes into making the music we’ve all come to love.
Although, the crazy year that has been 2020 has thrown up barriers and restrictions to going out and enjoying our culture, through the interactive nature of its online platform Krake Festival attempts to bring back a sense of community to World Wide Web of electronic music.
Words: Nora Goodbody
Independent Electronic Music Appreciator.