Interview: Si Hawkins, “I’d be gutted if I missed SPOT”
Si Hawkins has guested SPOT festival as a journalist, for over ten years. His love for the festival is great, and he’s not afraid to admit it. I met him in a bowling alley, where he was part of the untraditional Super Bowl networking event.
By Mads Kamp
“I first came here first in 2007. A friend of mine recommended SPOT to me. It poured with rain the first night, and I seemed to get kidnapped by some band who weren’t even playing here. They were just related to someone I met. They hit me up with loads of Jaegermeister, put me in a car and drove down to the docks. And I thought: “I’m definitely going on a boat to Russia!” And that became the whole intro to my first article from SPOT. It turned out there was a venue down by the dock. It was amazing and I’ve been here ever since.”
“I have a lovely mental image of SPOT, which is the walk through the town and into the festival site. Someone told me yesterday that it’s really lovely when it’s summer here, and it’s not just the sun. You can feel there’s a summer atmosphere. But I think it’s like that even if it’s raining here. I’ve never been to Aarhus outside of SPOT, but I kind of get the feeling, that SPOT is the start of the summer.”
What are your expectations from SPOT?
“I think the idea is to not really have any expectations. I feel like I should look through the programme and find what I want to see, and there are always a few things I want to see. But usually it’s better to just go with the flow. If you come here long enough you’ll know a lot of people. I mean, I’ll literally walk around a corner and bump into somebody I know. You can put as many rings on the menu as you want, but you’re not gonna see most of them. You’re gonna bump into someone, and they’re gonna tell you that: You have to come see this band! And then you go and see that band, and they’re the best band you ever saw, and you’d never even heard of them ten minutes earlier.
Or sometimes you just go to a venue that you like. Sometimes at 10:30 you think: “I wanna go to the music hall because I want to sit down.” And you’ll sit there and you’ll see some bonkers thing, that you’d never gone to see out off you own. And I love that.
Sometimes I’ll even go to see something that just has an interesting name, because it’ll look good in my article, you know.”
What makes SPOT different?
“The music is great and it’s a mix of things. I like the way that SPOT does interesting things actively. Cause not many other festivals will say: “These bands need to perform together.” Or will put bands together, or do multi media things. So I really like the way that works. There’s a bit more thought put into it.
The Venues are great, and it’s been brilliant since Godsbanen opened. So there’s a great mix between open and indoor venues. Everything’s quite nearby, but you still feel you’re at a festival area.”
“One of my favourite gigs was when I accidentally saw First Aid Kit. They were pulling up in a car park, and while the roadie was unloading the van, the two women performed a song, just to practise it. And I was just walking past, so I stopped and watched them sing a song. It wasn’t an official gig, but it was perfect, and it was just me in a car park outside Radisson. I always come across these random things here.”
“But I guess the best experience, must have been last year when I brought my wife. We got married the week before SPOT. And I like SPOT so much that I worked on her all year like: “Honeymoons, yeah we could go somewhere, but you know SPOT festival is really great.” So we ended up going. And because I know so many people here, who couldn’t come to the wedding, we thought it would be nice if we sort of continued the wedding party at SPOT, only a few days later. Sadly we didn’t bring the dress and the suit.”
Bowling for Network
“For me it’s also more for enjoyment, for a lot of the delegates and supervisors, it’s very important work. This morning, at this Super Bowl event, where five random people are put together to form a bowling team and consequentially bonding over it. Me, two guys from a local band, a booker from Switzerland, and girl who runs a venue in Holland, formed a team. We called it The Homejukie’s Bowling Team. And you don’t get that anywhere else.”
“The last few years SPOT has just been amazing. Better than ever. I was in Tunisia until Wednesday, but had to come. I’d be gutted if I missed SPOT. I can’t miss it, no matter how busy I am. I’ve made a lot of proper solid friends here. My life would definitely be a lot less rich without the sort of residual SPOT experience.”