Headed up by Tom Gaffney and Patrick Lang, Futuresounds festival started as a way for these electronic musicians to have a space to play and hear the music that they loved, but now it has become something a lot bigger.
Tom Gaffney and Patrick Lang of Futuresounds are taking over the Crown and Sceptre this weekend with twenty-three local electronic music acts playing on three stages, which is a significant evolution from where they began a few short years ago.
Futuresounds will take over the Crown and Sceptre this Saturday (November 21) at 7:30pm. Full details can be found at the Facebook page.
“Originally, myself and Patrick really just wanted to play some electronic-only shows, which seemed to be pretty rare a couple of years ago,” says Tom.
“We booked four electronic acts which ended up being our first mini-festival at The Exeter. Since then, we’ve increased the act numbers to six at Futuresounds III, then 21 at Futuresounds IV and now 23 at Futuresounds V.”
At the heart of Futuresounds has always been a love of the music, which is placed before all else, including profit, with the festival being run with free entry until this year. However, the festival’s growth- especially the size of the acts on the bill – has led to a ticketed entry price of a modest $5.
“A small price tag on a flagship event for a growing music community pretty much opens doors to literally anyone who wants to walk in and check it out. The premise was that hopefully they’d get hooked into the scene (like we were) and keep coming back for more and supporting the scene, which has definitely happened to a significant extent,” says Tom.
Tom and Patrick’s support of electronic music is not, however, restricted to the festival, but has grown into a fortnightly event held at The Producer’s Bar called Sidechain.
“We try and make it as much of a chilled out, performance-based space where electronic acts can perform to a very easy going crowd,” Tom says.
“We also pair the music up with nice visuals and some simple board games to really try and transform the space. Through Sidechain we’ve met literally hundreds of electronic artists that we’ve given the space to perform, and it’s been incredibly fun.”
The Futuresounds collective has also been part of a shift in the music scene in Adelaide, where it has become more acceptable for electronic acts to perform in mainstream venues.
“We’ve definitely noticed a big change in electronic-only showcases now, especially at venues like Ancient World, Rhino Room, and Rocket Bar (Cats). We’ve also noticed that people have a pretty keen interest in some of the more established acts now, such as Joy & Sparkes and How Green. We think that the more artists and supporters become integrated into the scene, the further Adelaide will grow as a cultural hub for electronic music – that’s what we’re hoping for, anyway.”
The festival itself, says Tom, will be more than some “EDM dance party or rave”, instead acting as a showcase of the diversity that electronic music can offer even the most casual or cynical listener.
“One example is that at the festival, dream-pop solo act Lonelyspeck plays at the same time as 90s inspired summer pop band World Wild and Daft Punk-influenced producer Tevlo. I’d say that’s a pretty good mix of acts to suit a huge range of interests. We spent a good couple of months trying to tailor the lineup so that it showcased as much local electronic quality music that everyone can really get into.”
Entry into the event will also get you a USB wristband pre-loaded with one track from each of the performing artists. With local heavyweights like Nakatomi and Lonelyspeck hitting the stage, it’s set to be more than just electronic … it’ll be electric.