Screenadelica Liverpool, 17/18/19 May 2012 and Porto, Portugal, 7/8/9/10 June 2012

Screenadelica Liverpool, 17/18/19 May 2012 and Porto, Portugal, 7/8/9/10 June 2012

If you go to Screenadelica FB page, you can read that "With digital download taking over the music scene, the desire to still own something physical makes the screen printed poster all the more important, driving artists". This is exactly the kind of statement we 100% agree with, here at CrewKoos and another excellent reason to have Gary interviewed on the blog. We did not expecting that Gary would provide so complete answers, as he must be quite busy with the shows. A great thanx to him !!!

Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we
listening to when we come to visit you?

Today I have been listening mostly to Gentlemans Pistols, At Her Majestys Pleasure. Its just great! That aswell as a lot of Daniel Johnston as I have just finished a poster for his Belfast show.

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from,
what do you do?

Orignially from Donegal in Ireland, moved to Liverpool in 2003 to go to University and ended up staying here. It was always my aim to do design work that I enjoyed, more specifically music and I have been lucky enough to be able to stick to my guns and just do that! 

You are in charge of Screenadelica which going to take place in
Liverpool, 17/18/19 May 2012 and Porto, Portugal, 7/8/9/10 June 2012,
is it the first time you do that, or were you also responsible for the
previous edition ?

Yeah, I started Screenadelica in 2010 during Liverpool Sound City as there wasnt really anything like it in the north of England. I had always been hugely into screenprinted posters and it just seemed like the natural progression to start dabbling in them myself. The first year we did it, we learnt a lot from our mistakes and then last year we were able to build upon our 2nd Liverpool show and bring it to a lot of other great venues and festivals over the course of the year. This year we have one of the biggest gig poster shows the UK has seen, a great line up of bands and a great buzz about what we're doing!

Last year, the exhibition travelled to Barcelona for Primavera Sound
festival, SITE Gallery in Sheffield, Bestival on the Isle of Wight and
Orlando Calling in Florida, how did the audience reast ?
Have you seen differences in the way people were reacting to the
exhibition depending on the country ?

The response we got was amazing in all these locations. Barcelona was our first show away from Liverpool and I dont think we could have done it at a better festival! Gig posters are a growing subculture in Barcelona so a small number of people were very into them but for a lot of people it was something new and amazing! The rest of the UK and US shows were great too, its always daunting to bring something like this to a new audience, you dont know how the crowd will react, if they do at all! Bestival was a festival that we took the most from last year I think, we commissioned 10 artists to design posters for the 10 headline acts, the profits of these went to the Bestival charity, a great cause, so then we sold our back catalogue of posters. The Bestival goers were so into what we were doing, it was great exposure for all the artists involved and this year we are building upon this, bigger tent, live printing, more great commissioned posters and even live printing in the field! The type of music has a lot to do with the reactions of people, take Orlando Calling for example. The Americans are obviously used to seeing screenprints at shows, so we had quite a few collectors there too. The first day was quite rock/indie with The Pixies, The Killers, Gogol Bordello etc, the crowd were so into our posters and it was great, met so many cool people and had a ball, the 2nd day was pure Americana and we had about 1 customer every hour. So really does go to show that you cant get it right every time!

Did you chose the artists yourself, or did you "just have to" validate
the requests made by them ?

There is a very small scene in UK/Ireland when it comes to screenprinted gig posters, a hugely active scene, but a small one none the less. Everyone works together too which is great, theres obviously healthy competition, but everyone is friends, most having met each other at shows and kept in touch. To be honest, the artists that are very active in the UK/Ireland are great, there are no talentless artists amongst our group. We are always on the lookout for new emerging artists, its great when new talent breaks through!

Does it happen you have to refuse some artists, if so, why ?

Yeah sometimes we do have to. Some artists dont understand that its just gig posters that we show, some just dont have the body of work just yet and some just have the quality of work. Its horrible having to refuse someone, but a lot of the time with a bit of advice and direction, they will come back a year later with a portfolio of great work, it depends how driven a person is. 

Flatstock will have his show in Barcelona in May you will move to Porto this
year, are Screenadelica and Flatstock competitors or just friends ? ;)

Definitely all friends! We did Barcelona last year with the backing of the API(who run Flatstock) as a 'test the water' show for them before they committed to a full on Flatstock there. I dont think there is a better festival in Europe with such an amazing and diverse line up that you could have a poster show at it, Flatstock is obviously the daddy of gig poster shows so it was the logical step for them to take over. Im now bring Screenadelica to Porto the week after Barcelona which also has a great line up and the potential to be another gem of a festival. Its going to be a busy few weeks over May and June with Poster Roast during Camden Crawl, 'Ink and Paper' in London, 'Screenadelica' in Liverpool, 'Flatstock' in Barcelona and then another 'Screenadelica' in Porto. 

You have a particular viewpoint on the poster scene, how do you see it evolve ?

The poster scene will always be an under the radar kind of thing, but I think thats a great thing. We design posters for bands we are into, not solely because we think they will sell, but because people design for what music turns them on. Dont get me wrong, we enjoy selling the work we do, but I think the ethos behind what we do is as important as it. 

If you look back at the poster art from the past 10 years, the quality has rocketed, gig poster art has become a credible art form rather than something shunned to one side. With the quality of shows we can put on now, it proves that there is a great demand for what we do and theres definitely the talent and passion to keep it building and building in years to come.

What can we wish you for the future?
Im pretty happy the way things are going, building slowly and enjoying doing what I am doing. Screenadelica is touring around festivals nicely now and we are having fun doing it, getting to travel a bit with it. Im just happy to be part of the music scene, whatever little way that may be.

Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!

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