Rocking Behind the Scenes – Interview with Patrick Connor
Do you have any dream acts that you would love to have play at Zandari?
Um … kind of. But we are not really a festival that is ever going to have big headliners. That is not really what we are about. Our aim is to help break new talent both in Korea and internationally. Thanks to my work with Zandari I have been lucky enough to go to loads of other showcase festivals as well, and there are a few acts I have seen there that I would love to see at Zandari.
Last year we managed to bring in The Dizzy Brains and KoKoMo. They were two of my favorite bands I had seen at other festivals, so it was great to be able to bring them in for Zandari. This year it is similar with Erye Llew and Crosa Rosa. I saw them playing at Focus Wales and invited them over, and amazingly they said yes! They are both amazing live. Sax Machine as well. I saw them at Transmusiclaes and they put on an amazing hip-hop show using brass instruments and looper pedals. I’m so happy they’re with us at Zandari Festa 2017.
Those are the success stories, but there are a couple of bands I saw elsewhere who we have not yet managed to get over to Korea. But hopefully we’ll be able to next year! Of those, two I really want to have over here are Too Many Zooz from the US and Meute from Germany. Too Many Zooz play a style of music they have called brass house and Meute is a marching band playing techno music. They both have amazing live shows and I would love to bring them over to Zandari soon.
What is the biggest challenge in helping to run a festival like this?
For me, it’s probably the cultural differences! When things get tense, it is sometimes hard because we all deal with pressure in different ways. Of course, sometimes there are language difficulties as well, although I try my best to deal with it all in Korean. Other than that, just that we have a super small team. Hopefully as we grow we will get more funding and will be able to expand the team to take the pressure off everyone.
How do you feel about the progress and growth Zandari Festa has made over the last five years?
I think it has been amazing. They have done a wonderful job at getting the festival off the ground and sustaining it in a market that is not traditionally open to the discovery of new acts. I think the first year they only had a couple of international bands, but last year we had 50 and it is the same this year. The quality of the acts taking part in the festival is amazing as well. A lot of the international bands who come here have moved on to some success back in their home countries. So it is kind of cool to have been a small part in their journey well. When bands get bigger, it is always awesome to be able to say I saw them out here in Korea!