While everybody is (mostly) doing summer festivals for cash and booking the usual headliners, it is quite refreshing to see events like DBE promoting undreground artists and bringing them together in a very unique environment in Romania. We managed to get a few questions in with the organizers to give our readers an insight into this unique event.
1) You guys started organizing DBE in 2009, what propted you guys to start this very unique festival?
Our love for dark underground music was a determining factor to support this scene and since not too many bands in this niche had previously been invited here in Ro, we transformed it into our hobby, just that we did everything differently, in our own way.
2) Were you concerned with the 'competition' of an increasingly crowded summer festival circuit? What do you think makes DBE different from the rest?
The first two editions were held indoors, in December, in a club in Bucharest. We then decided to go out in the light and found the beautiful fortress of Alba Iulia, and we chose August, for reasons easy to understand, such as the weather. We do not consider ourselves as organizers, we do not have competitors, we do what we do in our own way. If DBE resembles any other festival, that’s good, but if it has its own identity, it’s even better. Everyone with his own perception. We are being honest with ourselves in everything we do and we treat both the artists and the audience likewise. However, we know now that DBE is more than just a simple event, but only for those who are supporting and participating year after year.
3) Now that the full band roster is announced, can you give us some insight as to how you guys go about picking the bands?
For us, this is one of the most challenging chapters. This year we finished the lineup in just 2 weeks. We try to find a balance between the musical styles, but at the same time we want to surprise the audience with all kinds of unfamiliar but interesting bands that are performing their premiere show in Romania or are accepting our invitation to return to DBE, on the condition that they had previously played in Romania only at our events. On January 15th we decided for a new edition and on the same evening we made a list of about 60 bands, of which we chose 16. Some bands wanted to come but they were already booked for other shows, others refused our invitation, but none of those that had previously performed at DBE refused us. This can only mean that artists truly appreciate what we do. And we rejoice enormously.
4) With so many amazing artists playing DBE, which would you say were the most memorable performances you guys have witnessed at DBE... so far?
It would be disrespectful to name just a few. Each show was special in its own way. How can we compare them when we had bands that performed their first live show ever at our events? Some bands that come to my mind are: Alcest, Lantlos, Dordeduh, Wallachia, Clouds ...
5) DBE move locations last year and this year is back at RYMA, any particular reason for this?
We wanted to discover as many beautiful locations as possible and we hoped that each DBE edition would take place in a different environment. But it’s very hard to find them. Logistically, RYMA is the most convenient for everyone, so we came back here.
6) Any plans of moving this event to a larger city to expand it?
There are no future plans. After this edition, we will take a break and we don’t know for how long. When the stars align again, we will be back.
7) For the first time people attending, or people that are on the fence about attending, what would you tell them to expect from DBE?
I’d tell them to expect nothing and come if they really want to. But they might come across a truly unique experience and an atypical event. There are no headliners at DBE, no press passes, no badges, no photo or camera restrictions and there are no invitations. All the bands have reasonable timing, all artists are treated the same, for us everyone is important, whether they are musicians, the public or the team. Everything is DIY, with constant volunteers who help us and who identify with DBE’s vibe, which overall is very relaxing, we treat everything with respect and with great decency. Dark Bombastic Evening revolves around the idea of “back to the roots”, it’s all about the pleasure of supporting the dark underground culture, the passion and the desire to do what you want, without compromises, without sponsors, and having no obligations whatsoever.
8) Do you guys still have a list of bands that would be interested in having play at DBE in the future?
As long as the Underground is challenging day by day, it’s perfectly normal to be tempted. But until we decide to come back, we hope that our Romanian professional organizers will have the inspiration and desire to invite not only the headliners, but the bands who differentiate through quality and originality.
For us, DBE means a positive attitude. When we see people smiling, we realize that we have done something beautiful and meaningful and this means everything to us.