With a global health crisis still completely dominating every aspect of our lives, it really does feel like our next big rave is just a distant pipedream right now.
But what if the music festival came to your house instead? And what if that festival helped raise funds for those right at the frontline of the crisis here in the UK?
Look no further. Onyx Recordings and Goat Shed have teamed up to create the Stay At Home Festival – a three day event providing 36 hours of drum & bass streamed live to your living room in a bid to keep the festival spirit alive whilst encouraging the community to stay indoors.
Taking place on Easter weekend from April 10-12, the ambition of the event is to support the NHS by raising money and awareness, alongside providing an easily accessible platform for ravers to get the festival release they crave.
With the line-up featuring the likes of DJ Hybrid, Sub Zero, Paul T & Edward Oberon, Trex, Collette Warren and Ben Soundcape, AC13, Amoss, Kelvin 373, KY, Simula and labels such as Context Audio and Overview, Stay at Home Festival is one of the the biggest live streamed D&B events so far during these new locked down times and has struck a chord across the community of fans and artists.
“This virtual festival is a great way to help raise the much needed awareness and funds for the NHS during these unprecedented times. It’s also a great opportunity for artists to reach their audiences, providing a temporary escape for disintegrated ravers and supporters of the DnB scene” – KY
“I have a lot of friends working in the NHS through these times. Whether they are trained to be working on these wards or not, they are not alone and we can help. Please donate what you can to this cause. If you can’t afford to then help spread awareness as we can all do our bit to support our countries key workers.” – Amoss
“I am very excited to be involved in this innovative concept. In hard times like these I think it’s important that we show as much support as we can for our key workers in this country. The NHS is important to everyone so please donate what you can or help spread awareness so we can all get through this together. I think a lot of ravers have been craving something like this for a while, I am gassed for this!” – Simula
We caught up with the event founder Chris Wickens to find out more…
So this weekend you’re going to be treating everyone to a virtual dnb festival at home…
Yeah! It all started as a simple idea from myself. With everything event-wise being cancelled and the NHS completely stretched, I thought why not meet in the middle and create a positive initiative to drive awareness to the NHS, raise money and keep everyone happy.
Didn’t the idea only come about last week?
Yeah I approached a friend of mine, Adam Slevin, with the idea. He is the owner of Goat Shed – a south coast broadcasting company championing young talent in the electronic scene. Five minutes later we cracked on with the artist liaison and people were saying – Yes! I love the initiative, I want to support it. Since then it has snowballed really hard.
That’s because everyone is keen to support the NHS, plus most of us are at home anyway!
I think it’s something for everyone. Even the people who don’t have the funds to donate can still enjoy it and help the NHS by spreading awareness. That’s what’s helping now, the fact that people are so behind the concept. Taylor from DnB Talk really helped me promote the event. We only launched 24 hour was ago and we’ve already got about 1.8k people interested in or attending the event.
So in terms of the festival’s logistics, how is it operating?
First we will be educating all of the artists to the point where they know exactly what they are doing with OBS, which is a broadcasting software. By doing this the artists have got the ability to link up their camera and audio gear with a soundcard. Adam will then help the artists link their streams back to Goat Shed, meaning it can act as the venue and people can be there for the whole 12 hours instead of navigating anywhere else. It’s worth mentioning some artists will be pre-recording their sets as live, due unstable Internet connections.
Speaking of artists, the line-up is looking pretty hefty…
Yeah I’m lucky to have got the likes of AC13, Simula and especially Amoss, who has been such a helping hand. Onyx recordings are responsible for launching artists such as Ben Snow, Jappa, AC13 and Disrupta, so we’ve been able to use those connections and build a line-up with some amazing up and comers.
It’s quite handy running a virtual festival as there’s lots of room for flexibility. Plus there won’t be long queues at bar…
Yeah you can literally have everything you need in front of you. You can put the heating on, you can have an eight pack either side of the sofa and you can literally rave in your underwear. I guess you can still do that at a normal festival though, if you wanted to…
Comfort raving. How important do you think it is to have a big virtual blowout like this in a time when festivals are off the cards?
Very important! I feel like this situation is bringing people closer. Communities are being built. Obviously it’s a tragic event, but initiatives like this are really positive and that positivity is what we need to keep pushing forward.
Amen. If the festival is a success will you consider another instalment?
Definitely. Once this crisis passes I would be interested in putting together the whole live experience as well as the stream, for people who can’t attend shows. I do feel for disabled users who struggle to get out of the house but still love drum and bass. It would be cool to do that as the next step and give everyone access to a festival – whether you’re there in person or stuck at home.
This won’t be the first innovative stream you’ve ran either will it?
No it won’t! The label is becoming accustomed to running quirky streamed events. Recently Onyx, Goat Shed and Born on Road teamed up to do a remote stream in a cave underneath Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge. Quirky events are becoming our forte and this festival is the next step.