Festival For Self-Built Music

Format Festival Installation Workshops

City Berlin, Germany

ZK/U - Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik – How can one generate a beat from old remote controls or design an instrument from waste pipes? The Festival for Self-Built Music provides a diverse programme around the theme of self-built musical instruments, with workshops and concerts for children and adults. It sees itself as a platform and networking place for musicians, artists and inventors. In addition to numerous concerts, talks, performances and an exhibition, the festival is a large playground for children and adults with various craft stands to build their own instruments.

Underlying the Festival for Self-Built Music is the question how self-building instruments influences our conception of music, and what happens to things when they are being used completely differently than intended? Coming from a musical background, the organizers of the festival have always experimented with sounds and built themselves the instruments that they did not have. The festival and the whole ‘self-built music’ movement emerged from this. The format is not just a one-off event; much rather, it is a research project allowing musicians, artists, children and other visitors to explore the possibilities of DIY music.

Mobilization Find your people

The hardest part of organizing the Festival for Self-Built Music is finding people who make their own instruments. Quite likely, there is a huge hidden scene that you will need to find and get in contact with. Make sure to invest enough time in this! Visit and get to know the artists and their instruments. Often there are stories to tell and ideas to share.

Production Programme Diversity

Already while connecting with potential participants in the festival, keep in mind to aim at a high level of diversity in your programme. Establish a good balance between workshops for children and adults, and create variety in the concerts and performances.

People Power A good team is gold

The production of the festival can be very stressful; a thousand little things are to be done. With a good team and many helping hands you will manage. Distribute the tasks clearly among the team: who takes care of the bands, the exhibition, the contracts, the entry, and so on and so forth. If everyone helps and works towards the same goal, all the hard work will be worthwhile!

People Power Building Building Building

Of course, at a festival for self-built music, you build everything yourself: giant instruments, installations for children, stages and exhibitions. The festival should have a self-made character. Therefore, invest a lot of time in the preparation and installation, and make sure to have a large team of capable people to help you with this.