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Roadburn 2017: Baroness' John Baizley On Curating "Hugely Inspiring" Fest

Roadburn 2017: Baroness' John Baizley On Curating

John Baizley and his band Baroness have a long history with the Netherland’s Roadburn festival, having played it for the first time in 2009, an experience that the singer-guitarist found to be overwhelmingly positive. In the years since then, Baizley has been even more won over by the annual event, which has hosted many of his favorite bands of all time. “It’s just a hugely inspiring and impressive festival,” he enthuses.

So last year, when the Baroness frontman was asked to curate the 2017 edition of Roadburn, he jumped at the opportunity. Through the process, he imagined an “alternate version of himself” and challenged himself to book a festival that would keep that hypothetical version of John Baizley engaged for days on end. The resulting bill included cutting-edge artists such as Chelsea Wolfe, Deafheaven, Converge frontman Jacob Bannon’s Wear Your Wounds project and French progressive-rock band Magma, among many others.

Baizley also brought a new component to Roadburn: a silkscreened poster art exhibit. “Within the realms of heavy music, there are so many incredible visual artists that work in tandem with a lot of these bands to create the aesthetics and the overarching looks for these underground music acts,”says Baizley, who is himself an accomplished visual artist. “It seemed like it could be a really cool thing that very much fit in line with the philosophy of the bands that I was booking to bring a number of my friends who are visual artists to exhibit their work at Roadburn.” Dubbed “Full Bleed,” the exhibit showcased the creations of Bannon, Richey Beckett, Becky Cloonan, Zbigniew Bielak, Darko Groenhagen, Arik Roper, Marald Van Haasteren, Thomas Hooper and Baizley himself, as reproduced in silkscreens by Burlesque of North America.

In the video above, Baizley talks about Roadburn, his experience both playing and curating the festival, and his goal of “bringing bands out of obscurity that could have remained entirely obscure forever.”

Edited by: Jaclyn Sheer
Video footage courtesy of: Super 208 productions, Pamela Strohm, Andrea Black and Dante Torrieri
Photography courtesy of: Pamela Strohm and Dante Torrieri

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