On May 10, Ghent will be able to add another premium open-air event to its already impressive resume. It will take place at a location that has not yet been Christened, so that makes two firsts on one day! The people behind infamous projects like KERK, Nächtvøgels, FLY OVER and Bar Wilson are putting their combined creative energy into a new project: Lifesnacks. Expect good vibes, a high-end lineup and an awesome location. We met up with Jules Gahide (aka Bafana) and Victor Luyckx to hear them out on their new adventure.
Lifesnacks. What’s in a name, right? We’re guessing: something nice and sweet just before the festival season?
Jules: "That’s correct! We aspire to be a new friendly kid on the block that just wants to have fun on a spring day. We will showcase a refreshing house and techno sound, without trying to reinvent the scene."
Victor: "I think a lot of promoters & clubs take themselves too serious nowadays. With Lifesnacks, we try to bring the basics of an open-air - which basically is a cool outdoors spot with good music - in a no-nonsense way: low key approach with a high happy-go-lucky attitude."
Tell us more about the location.
J: "Back to school! We’ve been searching for a decent open-air spot ever since our first Alpha/Nächtvøgels open-airs 5 years ago at the 'Grindbakken' in Ghent. It’s been a while for us since we did any outdoor events, but that is because we had our hands full with other endeavours."
V: "Finding a good open-air spot in Ghent, it appeared to be harder than we thought.. We checked a lot of options but there was always something that did not work out in the end: permits, neighbors, etc."
J: "The new location is a school with a big (like, really big!) garden tucked away in the outer fringes of Ghent. This place has a lot of potential, so we’re really excited with all the possibilities that lay ahead of us."
V: "Let’s say the garden is the first piece of the location we unveil, with more parts & sides of the building to be discovered in the future."
How did you find that spot anyway?
J: "Close friends pointed us towards this location. The idea is to organise more than just this outdoor event, but let’s just wait to see how this edition unfolds."
Now, musically speaking, what do you have in store for us?
J: "At Springstof (the organization behind Nächtvøgels, KERK, FLY OVER, Bar Wilson, ed.) music runs through our veins. Music runs as a common theme throughout every project we take on, so we always try to curate with care, whether it’s booking a lineup or compiling playlists."
V: "For us, a good lineup must be interesting, fresh, challenging, etc. This can be more oldskool, new things, but always electronic. We try to bring a story. For this first edition, we have Bafana (Jules, sitting next to me) on the opening duties: he’s a really good selector and can set the vibe right, the perfect opener before Fred P takes over the decks. It’s the second time we have Fred over, last time was a few years ago at a Nächtvøgels party. He mixes flawless and takes you on a trip through house music culture. This - hopefully in the sun - is the soundtrack we imagine for Lifesnacks. After Fred comes Sixsixsixties from Brussels. He will make the transition between Fred P & DMX Krew: musically this is quite the challenge but we think he has the right vision and record bag to fulfil this task. Dmx Krew will bring us a live set: he’s been in the scene for ages and is a really exciting producer. We’re curious what he will bring! Top of the bill is Avalon Emerson: we’ve been trying to get her over for quite some time now, she’s one of the most interesting and refreshing artists in dance music at the moment. From house to techno and everything in between."
That’s quite the bill for a first time! Will this be a one-off? Or are you guys in it for the long run?
J: "Let’s make this an annual thing: after a long winter it’s always nice to fool around under open blue skies, no?"
V: "Let’s admit: we’re in for the long run with LifeSnacks.. Why shouldn’t we? (laughs)"
Did you feel the need for a new event in Ghent? Or was the personal urge and promotor-virus too big to ignore?
J: "A bit of both, we reckon. The promotor-virus inside of us is always burning steady, but we also feel the need to bring a different take on the current DJs that are being booked. From our perspective, it’s a bit more exciting this way. We just can’t wait to see that DMX krew live set in full effect."
V: "We have been waiting to do a new open-air party since we did the one at the Grindbakken 5 years ago. Now things come all together with this new location."
Your previous endeavours have all been more than successful, which makes us believe you must have a Midas touch. What’s the secret?
J: "It’s how you define ‘successful’, we think. We’re definitely happy with how things are going now, but there are still a lot of slow nights, hard productions, or things that just don’t go as planned. It’s not about a Midas touch, but the amount of effort you put into it and the people who you surround yourself with."
V: "For example: Tim Colmant, our graphic designer. We discovered him by accident, and from the first contact on we had a really good connection. It’s important to have a good vibe with the people who help realize a certain idea you have. If the click is there, they can put things into words or art, not only what you had in mind, but even better. If all aspects are done right: identity, lineup, location, etc., and we all do the extra mile, then you reach ‘picture perfect’. I think this is a constance through our work, you could call this our Midas touch, maybe.."
So, let’s add it all up: what’s it about? Where? When? And how do you get there?
J: "In short: house and techno music, not being played in a dark club, but with grass under your feet. All of this at the St. Paulus school on Thursday, May 10."
LifeSnacks open-air with Avalon Emerson, DMX Krew, Fred P, Sixsixsixties and Bafana. Thursday, May 10 (bank holiday!) at the St. Paulus school, Ebergiste De Deynestraat in Ghent, starting at 14:00. Click here for the Facebook event page.