Same Same But Different Festival Director, Peter Eichar chats with ListenSD on bringing the festival back after the Pandemic.
ListenSD: We’re super excited for festivals, and especially one as unique as yours, to come back. How has COVID-19 has impacted the festival and music world from your perspective?
SSBD: The Covid-19 lockdown was a unique time. When the US first shut down we thought, “We’re in September, it’ll all be over by then…” We were obviously wrong. As we reached out to everyone to move our dates to 2021, something really cool happened. Everyone in the industry realized we were all in the same boat here. Bands, agents, and managers all realized they had to adapt. I think it brought the whole music community closer in general.
LSD: An incredible part of SSBD is the community aspect; what are you looking forward to for this iteration that is new and exciting?
SSBD: I also love our festival community. Our festival-goers provide so much creativity, from costumes to tents, to characters they portray during the fest and more… it inspires me to be more creative both inside and outside of the festival! This year I’m most excited about our new beach stage. It’s bigger, better, and is really going to create a fun daytime “Floatopia” party vibe. Adding to that, our “But” stage will now be going during the day as well, to give a great live band alternative to the DJ’s on the beach.
LSD: I love that you have Saxsquatch on the lineup; what goes into curating the SSBD artists?
SSBD: Curating a festival lineup is a really unique, fun, and challenging experience. I start each year with the perfect lineup in my head, but a lot of the time my top artist picks just aren’t available. In the end, the lineup becomes a compromise of musical acts I know I want from the beginning, musical acts that my friends put in my ear, acts I find out of chance, and acts that apply to play the fest. Historically when choosing bands, I’ll go see them live, and see if I can place them in the hypothetical lineup in my head. This year there weren’t really any live shows. This is the first year I’ve based some booking off of livestreams, and Saxsquatch is a great example of that. One night, a few friends and I stumbled upon one of his livestreams. We all looked at each other and knew we had to have him at the fest. He was one of 3 or 4 acts booked based on livestreams. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues in future years.
LSD: Another portion that I truly love is sustainability. How can more festivals and the music community as a whole focus on creating awareness and enact change in this field?
SSBD: That’s a great question. In a festival scenario, reusing a cup or water bottle goes a long way. A lot of our festival trash comes from single-use water bottles, cans, and cups. Since it’s come to light that our country doesn’t really recycle at the moment, we’re really going to push the reusable aspect this year, as it could significantly reduce the amount of waste we produce.
LSD: What would be your ultimate get for a headliner?
SSBD: Daft Punk if they ever decided to come back. I’m sure that’s at the top of every festival booker’s list. I have a few more names in mind, but we’ll have to see if they show up on next year’s lineup.
LSD: Where do you see SSBD in 5 years?
SSBD: I’d love for the fest to remain independent, still feature an amazing mix of DJ’s and live bands, and be big enough to support some big headliners, yet small enough it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Oh and floating stages…. we better have some floating stages 🙂