The Sample Music Festival is Berlin's annual meeting place for an international audience of creative people who want to explore the boundaries of contemporary digital performance art. Since its founding in 2015, it is currently developing into a pop-up event in collaboration with established industry giants such as Prolight+Sound Frankfurt and Dubai. In the interview with organizer Alexander Sonnenfeld, we learned more about current developments at the SMF and what to expect.
The development of the SMF
1 How has the SMF developed since its foundation in 2015?
The Sample Music Festival was born in 2015 out of a vacuum. Until then, there was no event worldwide that dealt with turntablism, finger drumming and controllerism - modern instrumental forms that you can't study at a music university. Thus, a podium for expert knowledge, discussion, and high-quality live performance was created - an interface between the "new" and the "traditional" music culture to create more acceptance.
Over time, the industry became an important multiplier and we integrated an exhibition for music technology. We are proud to cooperate with all major manufacturers in the industry and now also arrange artists for product presentations or workshops. Every year, visitors from 15 different countries come to Berlin and the SMF has further expanded its high international standing.
Since 2019 we are official partner of the Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt and the Prolight + Sound Middle East in Dubai. These locations naturally offer us an outstanding opportunity to carry our mission even further into the world and thereby inspire more people.
2 What other possibilities for further development are there in this area?
We want our event production to continue to expand, while always remaining cross-disciplinary, experimental and visionary. The presentation of innovative instrumental forms plays a central role. In Berlin we are closely connected to the music tech scene and therefore have many contacts to startups in this field.
From an institutional point of view, we would like to transport our art to institutions that have had no, or at best only a few, points of contact with these forms of playing. This should create valuable and so far missing synergies between the state-subsidized music business and the community of DJs, turntablists and controller artists.
We are currently expanding our internet presence and will also become more active in the area of education in the future. In addition to an e-learning platform, a concrete training center in Berlin is to be built at some point in the future.
What significance does Prolight + Sound as a trade fair for event technology have for you?
For us, Prolight + Sound is the most important trade fair in Europe for getting to know the products and services of the event industry. No other event offers a better opportunity to make direct contact with visitors and manufacturers. The multi-faceted programme of events creates new impulses and we are happy to make a small contribution to this.
“We are looking forward to Frankfurt!”
4. With regard to Prolight + Sound 2021: Can you give visitors a little taste of what to expect ?
Like last year, we offer our visitors a variety of musical activities and an original supporting program with international artists of the. This includes showcases, competitions for DJing and Beat Making as well as professional coaching in this area.
Top brands of the DJ & music production industry will exhibit their products in our special area. In addition, we offer our partners a stage for product presentations and hands-on workshops with product specialists. As every year we will initiate jam sessions for visitors and present a networking event with the hottest DJs of the scene.
For the B2B clientele of the fair we also plan interesting fields of action. These include showcases and workshops on the topics of audio-visual performance and live sound branding. Since our artists are able to play any kind of audio & video samples with their instruments, creative methods regarding brand experience and experimental marketing are possible. We would like to convey this great concept to visitors in an impressive way at Prolight + Sound 2021. We are looking forward to Frankfurt!