[Festivals Stories] LEM Festival - International Experimental Music Meeting
Given everything that happened since the Covid-19 pandemic happened, having made it through is already something to be really proud about. We didn't only lose an important part of our funding but more importantly our artistic director, Víctor Nubla, died on 31 March 2020, right after the lockdown was imposed. The situation looked extremely bleak and the mere survival of both the festival and the association seemed to be a great challenge. Despite all, we faced up to it and went beyond that. Against all odds, we managed to be one of the few music festivals that took place in Barcelona or all Spain, with attendance figures that went in hand with the reduction of the events. We held 30% of a normal year's events but that also exceeded 95% of the venues' capacity, given the Catalan government's restrictions.
In January 2020 we were planning LEM Festival's 25th anniversary and we ended up doing the best we could to make it through one of our worst moments. We honoured those who worked so hard before us to make LEM Festival what it is, and we intend to keep up with it for as long as we can. Our relationship with the artists and the audience is something we really care about, as we know we're part of the small, spread out but always connected family of experimental music, and we need each other in times of need such as these.
The Covid pandemic was a severe blow but we worked hard to find ways to keep in touch, not only through social media (although we greatly increased its use) but also having some concerts, improvisation sessions and other events streamed or recorded, edited and posted later on. During the following months, we received a lot of positive feedback, especially from those who couldn't even try to attend the events because movement between municipalities was restricted.
As we try to make things go back to normal (which sadly won't happen this year) we will also try to remember what we've learnt about ourselves as people, as an association but also about our audience, our funders and the administrations who decide what can and can't be done. We've improved a great many things during the past year and intend to keep working in that direction, while getting back what we've lost. We look forward to see all our audience back, along with new people interested in experimental music and how it merges with other art forms, as we've learnt of new ways to reach to them - and we intend to continue doing so.
More info: www.gracia-territori.com
(General Editor: Simon Mundy)
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