Freekuency Festival is a not-for-profit festival that takes place during spring in Portugal and works on a on a pay-as-you-like entry system. Born out of the free party movement, Freekuency has developed over the years into a spectacular 3-day event with a friendly-family atmosphere. I took the opportunity to catch up with one of the festival’s organisers to delve a little deeper.
I like the idea of a pay-as-you-like entry system, but it is a big risk! Has the risk paid off thus far?
To have a donation on the gate was a financial risk and in the first few years we struggled to get the budget for the following festival. But as the ideology of the festival is not financially driven; we decided from day one to use a “pay what you want if you can” scheme. In recent years, festivalgoers have began to understand the ideology and thanks to their generosity, the budget for the festival always gets reached, with room for growth.
Describe the music and the crowd
The music is very diverse, with six areas crossing the spectrum of underground music. This creates a platform for many unknown arstists to perform on a high-quality sound system. The atmosphere at Freekuency Festival is truly amazing, as there is a unified understanding to what we are trying to create, with each and every person being a part of it.
How do you go about selecting artists?
All the areas manage their own music and demos get sent well before the festival.
Artists can reach us over the Freekuency webpage. We don’t look for superstars as for us, it’s more about quality and the vibe.
I read that the artists, performers, crew and helpers work and play for no money whatsoever – what do you think motivates these people to participate in the festival?
Yes, what you have read is right. It’s hard to believe, but no one is getting paid! The organisers, DJs, artists, cooks, litter pickers and toilet cleaners are all in this together for the pure love of the festival. Making this work and setting a good example adds to the great atmosphere of the festival, where everybody plays an equal part.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
Keeping up with the infrastructure and the needs of people as the festival continues to grow each year.
How can people get involved in volunteering at Freekuency?
People can always get in touch upfront over the Freekuency webpage, come a day before the festival or lend a helping hand while it is happening. Workers always get drinks and warm meals from our kitchen.
What would you say are the main reasons for visiting?
People can experience soundsystem culture at its finest with a great atmosphere in a beautiful country.
Is there anything else you would you like to tell people about Freekuency?
We can never thank all these people who make this festival happen enough – their time and devotion are what make it possible for us to grow and continue. Also, we’d like to thank the local people for their patience and tolerance, and the council for their help.
Find out more about this year’s Freekuency Festival via their official website.
For more interviews with festival organisers, follow my series “Tell me about your festival” on Medium.
Composed by: Milly Day