This Saturday just gone, I went to Synthfest UK 2018.
It’s an annual gathering both of makers of electronic gear and the end users – like a big trade show but with a way more personal touch.
Here’s a little vid I made:
As you can see from the vid, there’s a huge range of stuff to look at but, more importantly, you can twiddle with it all!
When I was a kid and when huge music shops like Turnkey still existed as bricks and mortar emporia, I used to go to London specifically to try out synths that you would never see up in Derby.
Going round Synthfest always reminds me of that feeling. Where the hell do I start? I just want to play and patch EVERYTHING but there simply isn’t enough time. It’s equal parts joy and frustration.
And then there’s the makers. How wonderful it is to go up to the person who built something you own and give them actual feedback. Every maker I met was as super-enthusiastic as the punters. They were all proud of their shiny metal babies and loved hearing how we used them.
There’s only one criticism of Synthfest I can make ~ it’s a very white, middle-aged, male event. It’d be lovely to see more younger people, more female geeks wandering about and the same goes for black and Asian noisemakers. This lack of diversity isn’t specifically because Synthfest excludes groups; it’s more that it just replicates the existing biases within the music scene. What we have to do is actively combat those barriers to entry, to reach out to people who may not feel they’re invited or that it’s for them. After all, how much of contemporary music isn’t electronic? 5%? Less?
I think we could start to address this by tweaking the program to be more inclusive and more attractive to different groups of people.
Anyway, polemic over, here’s my gallery of pics from the day:
If you’re an electro music geek, whether you’re a builder or a player or both, please do check out the next Synthfest. I think you’ll love it.