Last Saturday night I attended Tunguska – A Psychedelic and Post-Rock Festival at The Gov. Unfortunately due to being unwell I had to leave early so I contacted the organisers Nick and Nya to find out bit more about how Tunguska came to be and where they see it heading in the future. The line-up consisted of some of Adelaide’s best musicians with Sons of Zoku, Oko, iiah, The Howling Fog, Aura Form and The Unset taking the stage.
How did the concept of Tunguska come about? And what did you want to the experience to be musical wise for patrons?
For some time, Nick and I had been dreaming of creating a space where music and art could exist without the abrasive nature that generally occurs within live music and festivals. We relish in the intricacies of a performance and to notice that we require stillness. We also wanted a space where artists have the freedom to play out a full set without most restraints that commonly cause a long worked on piece to be cut short or altered.
Musical wise for patrons we will always endeavour to make the experience something visually and sonically unique by embracing a wide variety of experimental artists spanning through genres such as folk, ambient, acoustic, electronic, rock and metal. Our diversity is not based on gender, ethnicity or any of those current societal expectations of what diversity is amongst the creative industry. Our diversity can be found within the creative expression provided by the artists our focus is purely on the art.
What is the meaning behind the name?
Once the pandemic happened the world that is basically as essential as oxygen to us was taken away, our mental health plummeted to new lows and our sense of community was squashed. We have always both believed that with great darkness comes great light, and with great destruction comes great change. So, we began seeing the situation as an opportunity to create the change we wanted to see. Tunguska is an event that occurred in Russia where an asteroid collided with our planet causing an incredible explosion of bright light knocking millions of trees over neatly, it seemed the perfect example of something so destructive generating something so strangely beautiful. It’s an event that is estimated to happen only once every 300 years.
You had a few set backs during Covid. Did you wonder if it was ever going to happen?
Nick and I are very determined people and at no point even considered that it wouldn’t be going ahead. We were set on creating something dynamic for a dynamic society.
I managed to only see the first three bands and had to bail due to being unwell. How did the night go?
Wonderfully. The following three artists continued to play their full sets regardless of any hiccups with scheduling. iiah, OKO and Sons Of Zoku are a collective of very professional and energetic artists. The love and energy that is put into each performance by all the artists is incredible.
You drew a pretty big crowd for the night. Where you expecting it to be so well patronised?
Nick and I ran into this with no expectations. We just hoped to break even financially so we can create our next event. We could not believe the turn out and all those who attended have our gratitude.
Any plans for future Tunguska’s?
Our dream for Tunguska is for it to be something similar to that of a “bush doof” with a different edge. Being an environmentalist, we want the event to be outdoors, immersed in nature, eco friendly and human friendly all while leaving no trace because we like a challenge haha. We want all artists to be included so stalls and chill zones are something we would love to incorporate. So, if you create something unique, we want to hear from you, regardless of your medium. This isn’t just a platform for musicians because there is so much more than just “music” that goes into creating and releasing a piece of music and we would like to raise an awareness to this. We also plan on creating a mini mid-year event, we’ll have announcements coming soon.
We ask that phone usage is limited and never surrounding the stage, because you’ll miss or interrupt a fantastic light show that is created by one these people who is usually hidden away but still has incredible creative expression that we no longer want overlooked. We are trying to generate an immersive experience so if you need to have a convo, please move towards the back or outside. If an artist switches to an acoustic or ambient piece, we ask for silence. If the performance is more visual, we ask that you engage. We want our patrons to feel as though they too are a big part of this community and if they want to participate, we invite them to reach out to us. We aren’t looking for “good” artists, we’re looking for genuine creative human expression.
Photos courtesy of John Goodridge.