Wednesday, April 23, 2008

All Tomorrow's Parties

The All Tomorrow's Parties (ATP) festival series is a unique beast in the increasingly generic world of music festivals. First, ATP selects a headliner, often of cult status (say My Bloody Valentine or Sonic Youth). Then they have that band curate the majority of the line-up themselves. It's not always a band that curates...other creative types, like Matt Groening of Simpsons fame, have had this honor in the past, too. Anyway, it's a fantastic concept and the results are usually varied, obscure and unpredictable. Essentially, you end up with a live mix-tape of someone's favorite acts and influences. Equally cool is that many of the key acts agree to perform an entire classic album as their set.

ATP limits their tickets to a absurdly exclusive number. The just announced ATP-New York festival is selling only 3,000 tickets. And no single day passes for the casual festival-goer. Intead you book a room in a hotel on site, living with up to 8 or so people for 3 days/nights. Kinda like an urban-based Bonnarroo, but instead of camping with 40,000 stinky hippies, you're living in a hotel with 3,000 music snobs and maybe even the artists themselves.

ATP began as an English-based annual festival before branching out into some add'l concert events (the 'Don't Look Back' series) in which bands perform classic albums in full. Then more recently, ATP has been hosting stages at other festivals (e.g. Primavera in Spain, Pitchfork in Chicago). They even have their own record label, ATP Recordings. The market seems a bit crowded over here in the States, but now ATP is boldly crossing the Atlantic to put on ATP-New York this September. By the sound of it, response is good. ATP-NY will be headlined and curated by the aforementioned My Bloody Valentine. They've invited Thurston Moore, Built to Spill, Tortoise and The Meat Puppets to perform classic albums from their back-catalogues. In addition, you can expect to see Low, Mogwai, Shellac, Fuck Buttons and other obscure acts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's go. I think you'd do much better with music snobs than with dirty hippies.