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The debut Antyfest sees 11 events mark the lost festival summer by putting on miniature shows for insect audiences
By IQ on 26 Aug 2020
Eleven music festivals, including Pohoda in Slovakia, Busan Rock Festival in South Korea and Russia’s Ural Music Night, have announced plans for Antyfest: a miniature online festival taking place before an audience of (you guessed) it ants.
The brainchild of Ural Music Night – a multi-genre, 80-venue festival which normally welcomes over 200,000 guests to the city of Yekaterinburg in June – Antyfest aims to showcase festivals which would have happened this summer but for Covid-19 “to insect audiences, in the absence of humans”, say organisers.
These concertgoing ants will enjoy music from artists who should have performed at the participating festivals, on to-scale replica stages based on the actual festival lay-outs, set designs and lighting.
Also taking part are Blue Bird (Austria), International Music Showcase Festival (Israel), Lagos International Jazz Festival (Nigeria), Le Guess Who? (Netherlands), Stereoleto (Russia), Summer Sound Festival (Latvia), Terminal Music and Arts Festival (Serbia) and V-Rox (Russia).
“We secured the site plans and line-ups for all these festivals and have recreated, in detail, scale replicas of the experience that would have taken place”
Antyfest kicks off this Sunday (30 August) at 2pm GMT with a five-hour live YouTube broadcast hosted by Ural Music Night (UMN). This live stream is followed by pre-recorded videos of other ant audiences at shows that would have taken place at the festivals this summer.
Artists performing include Courtney Barnett, Garish, Noga Erez, Ayalew Mesfin, Lola Marsh, Jungle, Ofenbach, Nadav Dagon, Sheep and Electrogorilla+.
Natalia Shmelkova, UMN’s executive director, comments: “Covid-19 has forced the world’s music festivals to cancel or postpone until further notice. Ural Music Night was no exception. Despite this, we had the idea to unite people, music and concerts with Antyfest, a macro-festival of festivals.
“We secured the site plans and line-ups for all these festivals and have recreated, in detail, scale replicas of the experience that would have taken place should these festivals have gone ahead. This will provide our viewers with a brand-new virtual and fully immersive experience in the company of ants.”
This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.
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