I’ve attended one summer music festival. I drove eight hours to get there and waited another eight hours just to get into the venue. I paid too much money for mediocre iced coffee every morning. I didn’t shower, and I often found myself squashed against strangers who also hadn’t showered as I tried to scout out places with somewhat decent views of the stages. I missed a great late-night act because I was so damn exhausted.
Judging from FACT’s report, the PAN Festival appears to be a rather different sort of event. Supported by The Wire, the festival will take place January 27-28 at London’s Café OTO, a venue that’s hosted the likes of Tim Hecker, Thurston Moore, Grouper, and Mount Eerie. Instead of suffering painfully humid weather and wandering through crowds in a dehydrated daze, you can curl up with some organic fruit juice or a ginger beer and listen to cosmic noises, haunted drone, electro-acoustic distortion, and deconstructed classical — pieces that blur the very boundaries of music. The lineup highlights PAN’s experimental roster and includes R/S (Peter Rehberg/Marcus Schmickler), John Wiese, Eli Keszler, C.C. Hennix, Werner Durand, and Valerio Tricoli — acts that might not appear in a standard summer festival lineup. You can snag tickets for just Friday or Saturday, or you can pick up a two-day pass.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time that one summer, and I like those festivals just as much as the next music nerd. I’m just not always down to abandon hygiene for four straight days, ya know what I’m sayin’?