The Local Rag chatted to DJ and Lo-Fi head honcho Owen Evans about Lo-Fi Production's upcoming boutique festival in a local spot near Te Akau ...
So whats this LO-Fl all about?
We are a House/Techno collective that produces events and parties with a twist. As well as regular club nights we throw events where the decor, lighting, setting, venue, food and beverage are as important as the music and the most important ingredient is you, the punter.
To be part of the collective is super easy. Be passionate, proactive and have a good heart. We try as much as we can to take this out of the usual clubland venues and put them where house/techno isn't usually part of the furniture. We also have a regular podcast/ mix series which nurtures and showcases house and tech no. We also love House and Tech no if you can't tell.
What inspired this?
I have been going and playing clubs and festivals around the world for 20 years, and after a massive O.E returned to NZ to raise a family.
However the party gods (and best friends) had other ideas and I discovered the burner style festivals in Melbourne. In particular Rainbow Serpant and Rancho Relaxo. I like to call these festivals for adults. Where there was a lot more than just DJs on a stage, a bar in the corner and a carpark you pay for. Which is what I was used to. Its here that the freedom to express yourself, your values and the freedom to roam is allowed and more importantly encouraged, and again you are encouraged to be part of these festivals. The more you help the bigger and better the experience.
Also seeing venues and landscapes on the world scene utilised for arts and events. I feel like NZ has the best scenery and landscapes and some absolute killer venues whether they be theaters, lofts, breweries, wineries, beaches and the like, but we are only recently seeing them utilised to their full potential and because of this people are venturing to these gigs more and more as they are tired of or don't feel comfortable in a club.
Also when you say inspired it really helps that Veterans of the NZ music scene have come on board with my vision, (Creative director/ DJ/techno enthusiast Matt Drake, Designer/ DJ/ producer extroidanaire Cyril Orson)
and longtime friends (too many to name) have lended time, love and money to the project.
We've had chefs, photographers, space curators, architects, mixologists, artists, every walk of life helping in some way and labels like Beat and Path and lnsomniak have come to the party lending there skills and knowledge from the start. Like I say its a collective. A sum of all parts and we wouldn't of got this far without love, support of everyone involved.
So whats LAST PLACE ON EARTH then?
Well without giving too much of the mystery away, this is our showcase of what we think a festival should be. We have a fair few surprises up our sleeve that we don't want to give away but its a camping trip like no other. Amazing DJs, cutting edge dance music, stage design, visuals, food, beverage. Breathtaking vistas and all put together like this is the Last place on earth. 20 hours showcasing the best NZ (and the world) has to offer.
Tickets will be capped to 500. We want this to be special and intimate. We want this to feel like you can make friends with everyone.
How did you decide on Pepepe as a location?
I would love to say something spiritual like the venue chose us but In reality my good friends and landowners Tim and Jocelyn Orlando-Reep have really seen our vision and let us run with it. Once Tim showed us what his land had to offer it was a no-brainer. Once they realised what I actually wanted to do with their land it was too late! All joking aside they have been amazing and am super stoked to be able to showcase their land to the public.
How did the idea originate?
Well its been a longtime dream to throw a festival, and this started out as a 40th celebration that snowballed.
This is where Matt Drake has been invaluable. Taken the passion and mayhem that's in my head and used his knowledge and experience and turned it into something that's achievable. Also the teams behind Shipwrecked festival and Aum festivals are a fountain of knowledge and advice to draw from.
What sets you apart from other festivals?
Do you want to be treated like you are the biggest and best part of the festival experience?
Maybe you don't like dance music but want to experience something different and unique?
Want to be welcomed like an old friend or part of the family?
Come along and I promise you a good time ....