MEMORY OF A FREE FESTIVAL: BALTIC FEST 2021 (LIVERPOOL BALTIC TRIANGLE)

Things were getting a bit boring, post-pandemic. So, what is a psychedelic rock band to do? How about creating a new music festival? it Worked out alright…

As the world was (slowly) recovering from the pandemic, it was still clear that as of May 2021 it wouldn’t be possible for big, corporate events to take place, since they rely on huge crowds and huge amounts of money. Luckily for us, we don’t give a shit about either.

With this in mind, Baltic Fest was created – a 3-day music festival taking place in three different venues around Liverpool’s trendy Baltic Triangle. I decided to bring together my two main creations, the Liverpool Psychedelic Society and Coffee and Turntables, for a very unique FREE festival (in the spirit of Sixties’ happenings, we could say) mixing live music, DJs, art exhibition, photography and psychedelia.

Here’s my photos from last weekend’s BALTICFEST in the Liverpool Baltic Triangle, May Bank Holiday in the Liverpool Baltic Triangle. A superb time. Bringing live music back to the Baltic. It was good to do something fun and cool and non-corporate, for me, my friends, randoms.. and to show it can be done. Creating culture, a sense of community.

The room featuring the Liverpool Psychedelic Society exhibition was totally fab, unique… people loved it and the joy people had playing and experimenting with the musical instruments was great to see. Like I said before – I don’t feel optimistic about the cultural landscape post-pandemic. People want more of the same. People are lazy. The mainstream culture always tries to define what’s worth your time or not. All that little people like me can try and do is do our bit to counter this… that’s what I do with all of the Coffee and Turntables and Liverpool Psychedelic Society events. This is creating our own culture… our new, counter-culture. Things need to change… because the same old is the same old bullshit.

For the future, we need to embrace a sense of community. Help each other, however we can – the cafes made more money than they would’ve otherwise, some musicians and artists at Baltic Fest were performing or showcasing their work for the first time in years, or ever, like Peter Scott, for instance: one day, I met him for the first time when I bumped into my friend Lo and they were hanging, and we chatted, he showed me his art and I just offered “so, do you wanna be part of this?”. It’s not just about helping mates… it’s about embracing new people, finding “the others” like Douglas Rushkoff said. Corporate culture isolates people and makes us small, just consumers – together we can make something special.

Baltic Fest was just a good showcase for this spirit, which guides everything I’m organising this year and beyond – all of those Liverpool Psychedelic Society events will be ace too, let’s hope people will appreciate how special it all is…

-by Ivan Thunders

“We have to create culture, don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. ” – Terence McKenna

CREATE YOUR OWN CULTURE

All photos by Ivan Thunders, except photos of Thee Lucifer Sams and of Ivan’s solo set (obvs!) by Adrian Wharton. All Rights Reserved (c)

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