It is an excellent time to be a festival goer in the United States. In addition to Decibel Metal & Beer Fests: Los Angeles and Philadelphia, we have Maryland Deathfest, Days of Darkness, Psycho Las Vegas, Red River Family Festival and plenty more. Respected label Prophecy Productions will throw their hat in the ring for the first time on US soil this weekend, hosting the inaugural Prophecy Fest in Brooklyn on November 2 and 3, featuring performances from Alcest, Crowhurst, Year of the Cobra and more.
Decibel spoke with Prophecy’s Rayshele Teige (artist management and PR) and Matt Bacon (social media consultant and creative strategies) about what attendees can expect. If you don’t have tickets yet, they are available here.
This is the inaugural Prophecy Fest, but Prophecy Productions began as a label in 1996, almost 23 years ago. With so many festivals currently in existence, why did you decide to start one now?
RT: Although this is the first time Prophecy has organized a festival in the United States, this festival’s big brother is already an institution in Europe for some years. The intention of our fests are to bring likeminded people together. Over the years, a big community arose around our label consisting of fanatic music lovers, unconventional artists, openhearted peers, etc.. On November 2/3 2018, we establish a Prophecy family meeting in the States.
MB: We wanted to have something of a launch party for the label in the USA and present our audience with all of the cool bands we have been signing and other bands who we simply enjoy. A lot of our artists who aren’t playing the fest are coming out too which I think is a really cool touch. This is simply our way of creating a cool event which we can use to give back and contribute to the scene as a whole. We want to be a label who help fosters connections and growth in the USA and this seemed like another step in that direction.
Tell us about the lineup: how did you select which bands would play? There are a variety of genres on the festival, so was there a specific vibe or feeling you wanted to achieve?
RT: The lineup has a strong focus on our North American artists. During the first year of our newly established Prophecy USA division, one of our main goals was to investigate the depths and borders of the US music scene, to sign a collective of up and coming original artists. A year later, almost to the day, we proudly want to showcase them. We want to achieve the continued vibe our label aims for since the very beginning—to feature artists that differ in genre style and message while complimenting each other through an uncompressed love for artistic expression, intoxicating atmosphere and transfiguration.
MB: The goal was to put together a lineup that really spoke to the breath of Prophecy Productions and the broad variety of sounds we have come to represent. We have acts from all over the country, some of whom have never been out east before. We did this intentionally because we wanted to craft a unique experience that gave the listener a sort of premiere over the course of a weekend on what Prophecy is about.
Prophecy Fest is hosted at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. Why did you select that city and venue to be the home of what will, presumably, be an annual event?
RT: Prophecy wanted to create an interesting contradiction to Germany’s Prophecy Fest as the European edition takes place in a venue that is an actual cave in a very rural and remote part of Germany. In contrast, Prophecy Fest USA is all about urban lifestyle within the rough allure of man made aesthetics. In my opinion, you can find utter beauty in both. For our American approach, New York’s Brooklyn seemed ideal. Prophecy’s plans for the next years is to reinvent Prophecy FestUSA within all cultural epicenters throughout the United States.
MB: We chose Brooklyn because it is in many ways the heart of this scene in the US. There are just so many cool bands from the city, including our recent signees Kayo Dot and also So Hideous who will be playing their first show in 18 months with us. The scene was so inspiring it felt like this was the right place to start. That being said, our goal is to move this from city to city with different promoters to help grow the event and brand whilst spreading the good word all around North America.
Prophecy Productions also recently expanded to the US, right? What does that mean for the label, and is this fest a way of celebrating that expansion?
RT: It can be seen as the first year anniversary of the Prophecy US division. We’re looking forward to celebrating it with our new artists who’ll be showcased alongside Prophecy’s current bands we already share a long history with—like Alcest. We’re also excited to meet up with Prophecy supporters and loyalists among the music community that cherish our work and approach. I hope this weekend will create some nice memories.
MB: It was really a move to show that we are trying to transcend and embrace new frontiers with what Prophecy is doing looking towards the future. This is not a label to rest on its haunches, and because we have such a strong presence in Europe it made sense to come over here. We are actively signing hard touring bands who are going to benefit through our roster and looking to push the label as hard as possible through not just signings but also tours and events like ProphecyFest. Furthermore we are doing some really exciting work with SPKR, a distribution, web shop management and fulfillment company run by label founder Martin Koller. Aiming to be in the USA will benefit so many American labels that don’t have resources across the pond. The festival is absolutely meant to celebrate the expansion and show that we are tackling a bold new frontier head on.
What is the most exciting part of hosting Prophecy Fest?
RT: The most satisfying part of this event is debuting and showcasing artists we strongly believe in. By bringing these bands together with well established scene innovators & devoted allies, my wish would be that every person in the room has at least one musical epiphany that will enrich his or her life.
MB: This will be a rare occasion to see Alcest in such an intimate environment, something that will become even more unique as their star continues to rise. Alcest has been a band we have been working with pretty much since they started so getting to bring them into this event is really amazing. Alcest are a special and unique force and I believe they will carry our visitors off into another realm.
Can we expect more Prophecy fests in the future?
RT: We will establish Prophecy’s US fest as an annual highlight for like-minded music lovers choosing a new interesting city every year. Changing the city each year offers an opportunity for our visitors to discover a different place each year while experiencing new music, finding new places and friends.
MB: Absolutely, though we will definitely be experimenting with different cities, promoters and formats. Keep your eyes peeled!