SeaNaps: Leipzig’s New Music Festival with Fair Money Distribution

SeaNaps artwork by Katarzyna Pia

SeaNaps is a new music festival based in Leipzig taking place 8-10 September. It aims at drawing connections between networks of music, economy and politics through concerts, workshops and debates. It also proposes a very concrete proposition for alternative cultural economies.

The music

SeaNaps’ line up is at the crossing between electronic, experimental and ancestral forms of music. As in other domains of the festival, the guidelines are inventiveness and curiosity. SeaNaps is co-curated with our partner festival, Les Siestes Electroniques who produce half of our line up. We’re also inspired from their Parisian edition’s concept by proposing to some of our artists to research within the ethnographic sound archive of our host location, the Grassimuseum.

Artists on this year’s line up will include:

Workshops

The main artistic medium is music, but SeaNaps aims at proposing a transdisciplinary approach and, to do so, is working with several local associations and festivals of visual arts, performance and technologies. Therefore, SeaNaps will also be 8 D.I.Y. workshops, given by local artists or structures and organized by our partner, Konglomerat.

The focus?-  create and act by yourself!

You can make your own movie, try out new instruments, craft your own guitar, effect pedal, or participate in theoretical or political workshops and debates (updates to come soon on our website).

The Grassi museum by Katarzyna Pia

Conferences

SeaNaps will also be two conferences. One about the use of ethnographic material in music today.

As we open the archives of the Grassimuseum for our artists and let them use it to create their mix, we also want to discuss about the risks of acculturation this sort of practice can bring if not accompanied by an aware and respectful approach of the material, its roots and authors.

There will be musicians and ethnologists on stage to discuss that topic. The second conference will gather European actors concerned by the creation of a new economical model for music festivals.

SeaNaps’ own digital currency

Because SeaNaps will be a real time, city scaled blockchain experiment! We will propose a way of payment almost exclusively based on digital currencies.

Our festival is for free, but every buying action (drinks, food, etc.) happening during it will be done with bracelets charged with Lips (our own digital crypto token, we call it a “shadow money”). If you speak German I would recommend this good article from Coinspondent about it. Or this one in English from Rock the music biz. Every festival visitors can get our bracelets at our stands in the Grassimuseum.

Each time you buy a drink or a meal at our festival or in a store of our local partners, the money you spent will be split and directly transferred on the different accounts of those who contributed to this festival (artists, security staff, suppliers, but also local associations, shops, etc.). The percentage each account receives will be chosen on a democratic and public decision before the start of the festival.

We want to point out:

  1. The importance of a fair and transparent payment of artists and all contributors involved into an event.

In most festivals, especially “for free” events, most of the revenue of a festival (apart from its subvention and sponsoring funds) is coming from the sale of drinks during the live events. However, in the chain of transactions, payments among partners and fees taken by various third parties, the artist almost always ends up being the last (and less) paid.

Our aim is to give awareness to the festival goers on the direction their money is taking once they have spent it. To question the way our cultural economical system is considering the artists’ work. At a time in which the traditional and monopolistic music industry has shown its limits and yet continues on exploiting 99% of artists who are not rich and famous, it is up to us to propose other solutions, be it for live or recorded music.

  1. The importance of the local production and economy circles upon the existence of cultural events.

The whole process and its execution will be as public, documented, and followed as possible, as an economical, political and sociological experiment, which aims at finding new ways to underline the artists influence and importance in the economy of a cultural event, and within the local economy hosting it.

SeaNaps artwork by Katarzyna Pia

“No Human is an Island”

This is our manifesto.

If SeaNaps is basing its whole experiment on the notion of connection and chose the slogan “No Human is an Island”, it is due to a firm belief: our actions matter, even the smallest.

What one drinks or buy at one side of the city is influencing the other side’s situation.

Therefore, the blockchain is here thought as a way to increase transactions’ vitalizing effect on the local economy. When a euro comes into our system, its “shadow” (the Lips) processes through a world-wide distributed technology but locally implanted reality, irrigating the local circuit and its actors. The local production can hence be thought as a self regulated ecosystem including its inhabitants and actors. A try for a humanistic and solidary economy, thought for those to whom it is only a means.

Crowdfunding & future

We still lack money to buy those bracelets, so please help pay them via Vision Bakery.

What we would like to do next if this is a success is to develop this proposition within existing formal or informal communities of European (or else) festivals putting at the center of their preoccupation the fair payment of artists and social, political and technological innovations.

Faget Maxime is one of the co-founders of SeaNaps.  The cover image is done by Katarzyna Pia. 

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