Montreal electronic music festival AIM Festival is just 10 days away and we chatted with founder Francois Lebaron to get the inside scoop on the festival. We chatted about how they picked the lineup, challenges of putting on a festival and the idea for their 32-hour straight dance party.
AIM festival takes place at Parc Carillon outside of Montreal from July 14-16. Some of the artists on the lineup include Gai Barone, Guy J, Lee Foss, Sunny Lax and Todd Terry.
MM: How did you choose the acts on the bill?
As we want AIM to become a cutting edge platform where you can find many types of quality electronic music, we added a trance stage this year. Every act has been well chosen to build a solid progression through the weekend, as AIM is non-stop from Saturday at noon to Sunday 6pm. Next year, we will add one more stage with another style, while keeping quality as the main asset.
MM: How do you go about booking your lineup that makes it unique compared to other festivals?
We want to offer the best of electronic music without compromising the quality of music, and the performances. A good example is having Paranoid London or Pachanga Boys or Simon Patterson and Mark Sixma. The blend of styles makes it very unique.
MM: Where did the idea come from for 32 hours straight of music come from and how has it been received?
We propose the original rave culture formula, which has almost disappeared from the Quebec club culture today. It's not like Berlin down here. For sure, it was very well received by the fans and also by the authorities, as we work closely with them to keep the event safe and fun.
MM: What have been some of the challenges putting on the festival?
One of the main challenges remains to keep positive feedback on every social network (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) about everything we do. Until today, being responsive and close to our fan's requests or feedback allows us to grow our community and to keep our fans happy. Obviously, a festival means important investments, but the more we grow, the more help we receive from different sources such as Government, sponsors etc.
MM: How important is it to have the local aspect of the festival?
Local artists, as well as local food trucks or artisans are very important to build a strong community supported by all.
MM: How much thought goes into the "immersive" side of the festival? Is it harder to become fully immersed if you aren't camping?
If you don't camp, the 32 hours of non-stop music will get you into the immersive side of the festival, that’s for sure. BUT, the best way is definitely to camp with a bunch of friends to get the full experience :)
MM: Has it been difficult to remain an independent festival with all of the consolidation in the festival landscape?
Not that much. We’ve been approached by potential partners, but for now we prefer to do our own things and to continue to build our vision.