From Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd August 2015, Extra Normal Records presents Contra Pop Festival, a three-day event encompassing live performances from some of the foremost artists working at the intersection between popular music and the avant-garde. This diverse congregation of musicians epitomises a vibrant European scene far from the clutches of the corporate opportunists who threaten to homogenise pop culture. Contra Pop 2015 will boast a purpose-built stage and sound system located on the sandy beach of the historic town of Ramsgate in Kent.
With entry free of charge, local and international beers available on the premises and a variety of cafés and restaurants only a stone’s throw away, Contra Pop 2015 is a rare opportunity to absorb the cutting edge of the musical underground in a quintessential seaside setting.
Extra Normal has put together a fantastically eclectic, engaging and thought-provoking bill of underground artists for Contra Pop Festival. I am sure the programme will engage with, and shine a light on, Ramsgate’s music community, as well as attract attention from further afield; benefiting both artists and the town itself. I look forward to seeing the festival come to fruition.
Senior Producer at Cafe OTO, London, founder of Cry Parrot, curator of Music Language Festival and co-curator of Counterflows Festival, Glasgow
As a curator for some of the foremost Spanish arts centres – such as MNCARS, La Casa Encendida and CA2M – for the past twelve years, I find it refreshing to come across such an innovative artistic programme as the one proposed by Contra Pop. The research underlying this festival has delved deep into many different styles and forms to produce a kaleidoscopic, yet coherent, line-up.
For the music scene in general and for audiences across Europe, it is essential to be able to enjoy the realisation of such proposals, in which some of the most important artists of recent – and, no doubt, future – decades will attend and perform. This engagement with the past with an eye for the future is exactly what audiences all over Europe are looking for now. It's precisely at this moment, when the paradigms of the music industry are shifting, that events like this are more necessary than ever.
José Luis Villalobos
Curator of Festival Electrónica en Abril, Madrid
There is a huge appetite for festivals presenting experimental music that sits outside the commercial mainstream and where artists and musicians can come together to experiment. Contra Pop’s line-up does exactly that and is an exciting new contribution to this growing field.
Director of Wysing Arts Centre and curator of Space-Time Festival of Art and
Having attended several festivals every year for the last decade or so, it seems refreshing that here comes one with a roster of live acts, artists and creative musical folk who are off the radar, under the covers and far, far away from the homogenised line-ups that the British public are so weary of. More of this kind of festival please and quick!
Author, music executive and broadcaster with Resonance FM, London
Contra Pop’s line-up represents the cream of contemporary UK and European electronic and leftfield music.
Co-founder of No Pain In Pop label and curator of Nail The Cross Festival, London
Extra Normal’s plans to stage Contra Pop Festival will showcase a wealth of new talent to audiences in east Kent and bolster the development of the growing new music scene in Ramsgate.
Director of Whitstable Biennale, Kent
Staging a festival with a list of artists that span a wide spectrum of music – old, new, some ‘out there’ and others more popular in their appeal – is a welcome addition to Kent's musical calendar. In light of the recent development of the Ramsgate Music Hall and the fantastic Turner Contemporary in neighbouring Margate, it is clear that Thanet is a rising cultural hot spot and is therefore the perfect setting for a new music festival.
Co-organiser of DRILL festivals and member of the influential post-punk band, Wire