Bookmark and Share

Secret Island Nation 2012; Back To Nature (interview)

Reported by JontySkrufff on August 1, 2012

With many of the 500 or so predominantly Berliners and Swedes attending next week’s Secret Island Nation (SIN) Festival in Sweden now regulars, next weekend’s annual event sold out in record time, though chatting to Skrufff this week, SIN founder Bjorn stressed he’s far from resting on his laurels.

“In 2011 we sold out during the very last days before the event, for the first time ever. But this year, all tickets were gone in February, five months earlier,” said Bjorn.

“We were absolutely delighted by this result and felt vindicated that we now know how to organize a beautiful boutique festival on a deserted island so have decided to expand our vision to include more workshop style projects and daytime events to enhance SIN further.”

“In practise, that means we’re expanding last year’s concept of founding our own nation as a direct democracy experiment, supported by various software and social media tools, naming it Sweutschland 2.0. Volunteers and regular "citizens" are now offering 33 self-governed projects without us dictating any of its contents.”

In practise, that means sessions on topics including ‘Presentation of hedonistic forms of living under consideration of Dadaism and Situationism in pink’, ‘Alternative Wealth Experiments’ and ‘Occupy and the Revolutionary Zeitgeist’, plus 4 nights of Berlin style alfresco partying to DJs including Luna City Express and Get Physical’s David Keno.

Not that it’s becoming about ‘names’, Bjorn’s quick to stress. 

“As always, we start the line-up with our veteran DJs, many of whom we no longer even ask, we know they’re coming, then we listen to their recommendations and also scout at other venues or festivals,” he explains.

“A big name helps but what’s more important is how much the person and their attitude fits our concept. For the remaining 5 or so slots we received more than 70 requests. Trying our best to give them an equal chance as well as to promote lesser-known artists we arranged the SIN 2012 DJ Contest. 28 mostly yet unknown participants received over 10,000 play within a few weeks, taking the two winners to play a set at the festival.”

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): What were the key lessons you learned last year?

Secret Island Nation (Bjorn): “Last year was the seventh time we’d put on the festival on our small, lonely but lovely island in the rough archipelago of west Sweden. It felt like we had made all possible mistakes we could have during previous years so we were quite satisfied with the overall result. The vibe was, as usual, amazing, the weather conditions random, and the music was as good as anything you’d hear at a Berlin outdoor event. 

Skrufff: This year for the first time, you're introducing a SIN compilation and wrist-band: what do people get?

Secret Island Nation (Bjorn): “We’ve never previously exploited the opportunity of having so many great DJs and artists before whereas this year, because we sold out early and also received funding from EU's ‘Youth in Action Program’ we decided to firstly promote our DJs better and secondly enable a larger crowd access to our music. We’ll be releasing a very limited double vinyl compilation, The Yellow Edition for housy daytime beach music and The Blue Edition for darker, late night, techno, which was produced together with Swiss label Darek.

Producers contributing tracks Samuel L Session, Someone Else, Ian Pooley featuring Högni Egilsson, a singer of Icelandic band GúsGús, and David Keno. It also included Secret Island regulars you (me, Jonty Skrufff- my track Brimstone & Treacle, co-produced with DAVE the Drummer), Demir and DJs with Bad Haircuts. This compilation will also be released on specially designed wrist band USB sticks which also feature 22 DJ-sets from our 2012 line-up.”

Skrufff: What are the prospects of you doing more SINs in different countries in the future?

Secret Island Nation (Bjorn): “We just talked about this the other night, expanding geographically could definitely be in the cards. Argentina, Norway and Iceland are our favorites right now but we are open for other input.”

Skrufff: What should someone wanting to host a SIN party do to approach you? What would they need? 

Secret Island Nation (Bjorn): “The list of minimum requirements would include the following: 1. having an awesome, undisturbed location in a nature setting available, 2. open-mindedness, tolerance towards locals and all minorities, 3. a crew that is as competent as it is friendly, 4. profit maximizing not the main motivation. And, firstly, of course, access to awesome electronic music DJs!”

Skrufff: Anything else to add?

Secret Island Nation (Bjorn): “SIN started by combining our love of electronic music and Swedish nature. Today, the Secret Island Nation Festival also has the chance to inspire people from the most heterogeneous backgrounds, be it ethnically, sexually, political or socially, to directly experience what wonderful outcomes we humans can jointly accomplish without the aim for any personal gain. We are pretty damn happy about that opportunity and that’s what keeps us going.”  (Fad Gadget- Back to Nature, Youtube)  (Secret Island 2011- 15 minute film)

Jonty Skrufff: