“All the artists are visitors and all the visitors are artists,” says Jakub Hošek about Creepy Teepee, an annual music festival taking place in the small gothic town of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic. This year running over three days from July 7 to 9, the event carries on its nearly decade-long anarcho-punk approach to programming, one that’s fully DIY and in support of its community and Hošek is one of its organisers. “Artists mix with the audience, and there is no real place to hide for anyone, no real backstage,” he writes to us via email. “It’s very easy to feel like a family during this short time.”
The ‘family’ that Hošek speaks of is quite an impressive one. There are co-organisers Nik Timková and Štěpán Bolf, of course, and then a slew of some of the most exciting emerging and emerged producers and artists around. From new up-and-comers like Bonaventure, coucou chloe, Mechatok, and Bad Gyal, to some fairly big names in their own fields, including Princess Nokia, Sega Bodega, Yves Tumour and Mykki Blanco, the list of must-see performers is endless.”It’s always big relief and feel of joy when something ‘hard to get’ for us happens!” reveals Hošek, whose Creepy Teepee team also boasts an unofficial ‘ambassador’ in Pictureplane.
To open its ninth year running in the medieval surroundings of a historical UNESCO site, the aforementioned US-based producer contributes an hour-long hardcore mix to accompany a conversation with its founders on their past, present and future. It’s a festival founded in the “world wide weird” of online social networks, with an ongoing commitment to great music and ongoing cultural activism.
** Tell us a little bit about the mission statement of Creepy Teepee festival.
Jakub Hošek: Creepy Teepee is not a classic music festival. It’s more a community meeting for people who love music and are interested in contemporary tendencies in music and art, feeling the same social attitudes… It’s about openness and tolerance. No genre is illegal. The line up could be radical but we will never make any compromise regarding the character of this event — we will never change that for the comfort of sponsorship, for example…
Our mission is to create a space without borders, with the feeling of friendship and the lust to confront yourself with incoming progressive cultural approaches; to live intensively in the here and now. Also to think about the possible future we are facing and start a common discourse on how to change the world and make it better for everyone!
** On your website’s ‘about’ section it lists some fairly positive ‘rules’: ‘No Racism // No Sexism // No Homophobia // No Nationalism // No Violence,’ and ‘No borders / No Genders.’ Has this always been your policy since the start, or has it developed over time?
JH: We feel these rules should not be positive but obvious! Of course, the urge and responsibility to say it loud and clear comes from the current social and political situation in Middle Europe, and everywhere else where racism and prejudice feels more and more accepted by the general public. We came from a direct environment of engaged anti-system fighting in the 90s when we were teenagers and since 2003, when we started A.M.180 collective and later Creepy Teepee.
** In that time, have you seen a shift in how other festivals run, in terms of enforcing safe spaces and encouraging diversity in line-ups?
JH: Lots of festivals grow up fast and commercialize. Line-ups more adjust to wider audience’s taste and less risk is taken in adventurous decisions.
** Given the artists you have on the programme — emerging artists, along with more established ones from a similarly networked ‘scene’ — what do you think it is about Creepy Teepee that welcomes and attracts this set?JH: It may be the emphasis on interconnections and perception of contexts! Everything comes from something, all actions and tendencies are connected. We try to book artists we follow and listen to, sometimes for many years, and who we appreciate, for the continuity in their work and for their strong impact on contemporary musical language.
** How instrumental has social media been to the development of Creepy Teepee?
JH: Essential! We are not interested in classical media. Social media connects us to a global community of people with the same mindset. Apart from social media, our only PR are the whispers of festival visitors 🙂 Thank you all for that!
** Has your approach to organising and promoting the event changed over time? Have changes in social media contributed to those differences?
JH: Except for dramaturgy and visuals, we have no given positions and everyone is doing what they can, we all do it in our spare time when we are not working, every bit of help is welcome. Self-organisation and devotion to the cause is a must to be able to withstand doing this festival. That is probably why it’s just a small crew and that’s understandable. We all do this without getting paid for it — starting with curators and ending with volunteers helping during the three days.**
– phase fatale, ‘spoken ashes’
– broken english club, ‘wreck’
– tzusing, ‘4 floors of whores’
– marc ash, ‘cecilio (alexey volcov mix)’
– spit mask, ‘blacksheet’
– bellatrix, ‘rebirth’
– JT whitfield, ‘ansias loop’
– sacrestia del santissimo sangue, ‘sigillo della luce nella pietra’
– sacrestia del santissimo sangue, ‘sovrana sofferenza’
– GAM, ‘supra gymnastics’
– Upsetter, ‘invisigoth’
– L/F/D/M, ‘between kills’
– Tackle, ‘grondman’
– spit mask, ‘easily intimidated’
– rimbaudian, ‘U R beautiful’