Stop Making Sense enjoys a glowing reputation as a seriously good party, thanks to top boss and ex-Big Chill programmer Chris Greenwood. Time Out catches up with the director of this major festival to talk boat parties, alfresco raves and going it solo on the international stage.
Stop Making Sense rose out of the ashes of the Big Chill Festival dance-music tent that I programmed. I was looking to take the Big Chill to sunnier shores and we had already produced successful events in Goa and Prague. The opportunity came up to take the Big Chill there… but when the Big Chill went to Festival Republic, they had no desire to go international. I took the plunge solo and SMS was born.
What were your thoughts before you went?
The Garden and Electric Elephant were already up and running and tales abounded of instantly legendary boat parties and alfresco dawn raves with no sound restrictions… a very Balearic DIY ethic prevailed.’
How do these festivals interact with each other?
At the Tisno site, we share the costs of production, sound, lighting, friendly security and amenities, so we’re constantly in touch. We also share info regarding who we are booking, so we can all retain our specific musical identity.
Tell us about your audience – and what they can look forward to in 2015
Our audience is made up of 25- to 35-year-old European dance-music lovers, with loads of repeat custom. Although predominantly from the UK, we are seeing a steady increase in Scandinavians, Dutch and Belgians and a steady stream from Germany. We reduce all ticket prices for all locals by 30% and always include Croatian DJs on the bill. It’s no longer Hoxton-On-Sea!
We’ve great headline DJs this year, playing long sets at least twice so they can flex their musical muscle. Anja Schneider will be celebrating ten years of her Berlin solid house label Mobilee, there’s delicate electronic from Martyn and Glasgow party starter Jackmaster.
How do you see the Croatian scene panning out?
As tourism to Croatia increases, let’s hope it really develops. The Croats deserve it.