Last time Charlotte de Witte’s very own brainchild KNTXT featured on these pages, she announced she was taking the event beyond the walls of operating base Fuse in Brussels. Since that last exchange, the Belgian techno affair had quite the ride. After setting up editions in Ghent (Kompass), Antwerp (Club Vaag) and Hasselt (Forty Five), de Witte also sold out her very own all-nighter edition for the first time. Their techno heavy actions picked up steam and in between the event was handpicked by internationally acclaimed media such as Resident Advisor and Mixmag. An opportunity to host a very own stage at Tomorrowland 2018 soon followed.
To top off their year, KNTXT is organizing their biggest indoor event to date in Sportpaleis Antwerp on Saturday November 3rd, where hostess de Witte will play alongside Chris Liebing, DVS1, Len Faki, One Track Brain and Sam Paganini. De Witte was very happy to elaborate on the big step from Fuse to Sportpaleis.
Hey Charlotte, KNTXT has been around some time, but taking the concept to a big venue as Sportpaleis, is a bold decision. How did this happen?
Well our 4th birthday is in sight and after organizing nights in Kompass, Forty Five and Vaag, we were thinking about the next step. The idea to do something bigger began to grow. We said to ourselves: “Look, we’re a Belgian concept, so why not organize a massive techno event in one of Belgium’s biggest venues? Why not do it in Sportpaleis?” Think big or go home.
Still, there’s a big gap between words and actions. How do you start setting up this kind of event?
As far as the lineup concerns: We’re only hosting one (massive) room, so the main difficulty was to present a line up which breaths techno, but also can appeal to a larger audience. We started out with a broad longlist which featured some legends and established names. Subsequently we began checking artist availabilities, accompanying fees and financial risks. All of this happened in constant dialogue with all of the partners supporting this production, which are Fuse, Live Nation and Tomorrowland.
Regarding production, we want to maintain the KNTXT look and feel and translate it to this kind of venue. The crowd capacity will be the multiple of what we’re used to, which means we’ll invest in adequate and top-notch sound and lights. Of course, we’re also bringing our resident VJ, Malika Maria, who also promised to pull up her socks. It took some figuring out, but I’m really satisfied with the end result. I can’t wait for it to happen and to welcome all of these amazing artists and visitors.
It seems obvious your performances can carry a certain amount of expectations. Does hosting this kind of event bring a lot of extra stress?
It does. This is not your average dj-set in a 500 people-capacity club. It’s the Sportpaleis, which is immense. This concept is my baby and I love being involved in all of its aspects, but organizing an event on this kind of scale, does bring a lot of expectations. I’m not a stressful person, but it all feels so exciting because it’s new. I guess I’m nervous in a positive way. All of the partners have been super helpful though. Their expertise is an immense asset and they calm me down when they have to (laughs).
What will the next step be for KNTXT? Bigger? Further? Do you see it evolve into a different direction than an event?
Regarding this event, I really hope we can turn this into a recurring experience. But it’s still a first edition, so we don’t have a previous reference. It’s hard to see what the future will bring. I’m really excited for all of this and I hope people will feel the same. I feel there’s a tangible opportunity for this kind of event. Belgium has played such an important role in the development of this music, so it really deserves a big room event dedicated to techno. I hope people will feel like we’re filling a void.
Regarding KNTXT in general, the future is a blank page. What I do know, is that our fourth birthday is coming up, so maybe we’ll throw an accompanying birthday rave? Furthermore, A lot of things happen. Maybe in the field of events and possibly on a different level.
’KNTXT’ takes place on Saturday November 3rd at Sportpaleis Antwerp.