[After an incredibly busy and packed A3C Fest 2015 this past weekend, festival director Mike Walbert tells SOHH how the approach landing the biggest hip-hop artists annually.]
We don’t do booking agents. We don’t artists that we straight book. What we really like to do is find artists that are excited.
If an artist isn’t excited about being here, then they’re not going to come. If they just want to get a check, there’s tons of places that give checks.
So the first thing we ask is, “Do you want to come and engage? Are you willing to do a panel? Are you willing to talk on something? Are you willing to do a mixer?”
You gotta find out if the artist wants to be here because at the end of the day, artists will perform at a lot of places if you give enough money but that’s really not what it’s about for us.
We really want to have a very diverse show. That’s my goal. I want to make sure we’re not too much of anything.
I want to make sure we have a really good representation of hip-hop. I guarantee you that likes all of our line-up. It would be impossible because we have experimental hip-hop, trap, backpack, Southern, UK, grunge, nerdcore, we literally pride ourselves in that.
We pride ourselves in being able to showcase hip-hop for what it’s worth for everything, what’s relevant, what’s not.
We’re putting together a line-up that’s more cohesive than anything.
We would love to get more international artists. This year we don’t have a lot of Bay Area artists, some years we have tons of Bay Area artists. Next year we might have more Bay Area artists.
We just want to make sure we have something for everyone.
We rely on our curators and our partners to create A3C. The curators submit their line-ups in theory and we help to produce it.