Silke Westera, Booking agent at FKP Scorpio, Germany, will visit SPOT festival for the first time. We have talked to her about her work – and her hopes for the visit to Aarhus.
Text by Charoula Kolonia. SPOT Festival
Hi Silke. Thanks for being with us. Would you please tell us a bit about your journey into music. How long have you been an agent – and how did you get into it?
– I started working in the business 16 years ago at a venue in Oldenburg, my hometown. And then applied to be a trainee at FKP Scorpio who took me straight away. After my traineeship I’ve been a tour booking assistant mainly for my boss Folkert Koopmans for a couple of years before I had the chance to become a promoter and build my own roster 7 years ago.
What is your favourite thing about working as a booking agent?
– To discover new bands and watch them / their talent grow.
What do you look for in a band or an artist?
– Well, best case scenario: I am falling in love with the music, and that I cannot explain, it just happens. Plus it’s important I feel they love their music as well. Sometimes you see bands / artists who don’t seem to enjoy what they do at all. It doesn’t mean they have to smile all the time – or at all – but you can feel whether they care or not. And so does the audience. That’s important to me.
How do you get to know the acts that you want to see at the SPOT festival? / Are there any acts that you are especially keen on see at the SPOT festival, and if, why?
– I am about to have a closer listen to the line-up and see what pops up. I am looking forward to see Siv Jakobsen as I am about to work with her in Germany. And I will try to see AV AV AV as I have wanted to see them for a long time.
What do you know about SPOT festival?
– Well, as it’s going to be my first time, only what I heard. It is supposed to be a fantastic experience and a great option to discover new Northern acts. I am afraid I missed out on it during the last years but happy to make it this year.
What is your main purpose by coming to this festival?
– It’s been on my list of “to-go” festivals for ages. I’m looking forward to some good networking / discovering some good acts.
Some say that there is a Nordic wave at the moment, how can you relate to that?
– Yes, it seems there are a lot of good artists coming from Scandinavia recently but I feel that’s a phenomenon that comes in waves every now and then. Of course I’d be interested in digging deeper if I think it fits to my roster or the German market at all.
What do you know about Nordic Bands? What is your favourite Nordic music?
– I haven’t worked much with Nordic bands / artists so far. But when I had, they always had been very professional. It feels like they would work with more seriousness than maybe bands from other regions.
Have you any Danish artist so far?
– In fact I have only worked with Swedish acts so far from Scandinavia. So I guess I need to close that gap!
What is a successful festival experience for you?
– To get back home with the feeling I had a productive time. That doesn’t always mean to extend my roster by a certain amount of new acts, it also can be good new business contacts or learning things that opened my mind maybe in new directions etc.
What do you take into consideration when you book festival slots for an act?
– The right timing should be an important fact plus if I feel it is the right match.
What is the best way to get started working with FKP SCORPIO? / Could you name me 5 characteristics that an artist of FKP SCORPIO has?
– To be honest, I can’t! We are all quite independent promoters who decide whether we want to work with an artist or not without any set guideline or whatsoever. The best way to work with us would be to create great music. A proper set-up in the background is appreciated as well of course.