Catching up with Albert Salinas of Lapsus Festival
Welcome to Festival Insider's Organizer Q&A series. Here, we have intimate conversations with some of the festival market's most exciting and influential innovators.
Experimental, audiovisual, avant-garde, boutique, If they're all words that you like to associate with a festival, then you need to pay Lapsus Festival a visit. Last year, we had the pleasure of catching up with Festival Director, Albert Salinas on the ideation behind the festival and what to expect...
What is your name and what is the name of your festival?
Hello, my name is Albert Salinas, and I'm the director of Lapsus Festival.
When did the festival start and what inspired it?
The festival started back in 2014, and it's inspired by our experience attending other festivals here in Spain and other countries.
When and where does it happen?
Lapsus Festival happens all along the year. It doesn't have like a concrete date, and we usually make three different events along the year. But nowadays, it's obvious, it's past and let's see what is happening in the future.
Tell us about the site and how it influences the festival?
The influence of the festival is mainly our experience as I told. IDM music experimental stuff. I started attending festivals 20 years ago, and my first experience was Sonar here in Barcelona. It's, for me, the better and biggest electronic music festival, all around the globe. And I started like discovering this kind of music and this kind of experimentation back there, and well, I would say that in terms of festival, Sonar could be our main influence, and also all the festivals like, Sound Lab festival matter as well.
What kind of musical artists play at your festival?
The artists and music that appear at Lapsus Festival. It's kind of glitchy, also ambient, also experimental, IDM, Break. Let's say all the music that cannot fit in a club. Even we also make club editions, our club sessions. But let's say that it's more brainy than clubbing music.
Who was the first act you ever booked?
The first act we booked, was 2008. We made like the first-ever edition of the festival and then we stopped doing it for a couple of years, and it's a non-official edition. I remember that my first- the first international artists that I booked, it's called Kettle, it's a guy from the Netherlands. And one of the- well nowadays it's one of my favourite artists and it's also he's also signed at Lapsus Records label. So we started like, like a close friendship.
What’s the most memorable set or sets for you?
Well, there's a lot of memorable sets. But if I should have if I've must, like, tell something about one special. I could say that last December, we booked Susan Gianni, it was like a super amazing show. One-hour show using like multi-channel audio environment, using only her beloved Buchla synthesiser. We recorded the Live Set during all the show, and we recently released an exclusive album on vinyl and digital formats. Just reissuing this set was amazing. It was super crowded and all the people enjoyed it a lot.
Who is the target audience for your festival?
The people that come to Lapsus Festival, it's people mainly interested in sound and audio and music. We are also into visuals and audiovisual shows. But we mainly focused our ideas or our philosophy through the music. So it's people that it's more into music than visuals just to compare this balance. So could be that people are also interested in experimental music and in both digital and physical formats in terms of labels. So let's say that it's musical people.
What is unique about your festival? What sets it apart?
The unique thing of Lapsus Festival...I think it's the dimension, it's not a big festival, it's a festival for six, seven hundred people, a reduced capacity festival - that's like a boutique experience. We don't want to sell a lot in order to lose, I think, that good experience for the people. So I think that this is the main difference. If I can compare to another festival- reduced capacity, a super sound quality, and really, really underground artists.
What are some of the challenges you've faced in organizing your festival?
Well, what's the main challenge? I think it's just to make the money work, as Lapsus festival. It's a small festival, and it's not easy to deal with that and to deal with budgets and, and, and around artists and underground labels, I think it's not easy to, to make it work in terms of money. All the sponsors are nowadays more into bigger festivals and different events. So nowadays, all the festival comes, all the money from the festival comes from our own budget, our own home, so we don't have super main sponsors, and this could be the main challenge if I have to say one.
Anything else you would like to tell us about?
If I could add something I must say that nowadays it's super, super hard to think- thinking about starting again, a festival experience. We have now paused our festival branch or our festival activity, we ended in December, and now the COVID situation it's pretty tough. We are thinking about new formats, and all online and streaming formats are just raising a lot. But we are not 110% convinced that this is the correct format for the moment.
There's a lot of things that we need to set up correctly and not to cross like red lines because there are a lot of artists and festivals offering online experiences but I'm not sure if that then monetization for artists and festival it's going in the correct direction. So we are starting to step ahead and move forward. But let's see maybe in one year we can explore a new edition or a new concept for us. For the moment we are mainly focused on our record label, our Lapsus label and also in our radio show, a weekly radio show - Lapsus radio and let's see how what the futures bring us.