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A dream come true

The new festival We Are Robots is deemed to be one of a kind as it has been designed to put the spotlight on the future and innovation of music.

Organised and hosted by Old Truman’s Brewery, the festival (2-5 November, 2017) includes live performances, a daytime conference, sound installations, DJ workshops and exhibitions.

Emma Joyce and Gordana Jovkovic (pictured) are the leading force behind the organisation. Both come from a music background: Jovkovic is a composer and has been wroking in the events department at the venue for the three years. Joyce has worked in radio and has been at The Old Truman Brewery for six years, currently working as the events operations manager.

In an exclusive interview with Access, they talk about how the innovative music festival comes to life.

How did you come up with the idea of We Are Robots festival?
Joyce: We Are Robots has been a dream of mine for a long time, though officially my co-founder Gordana and I came up with the concept early in 2016 and we’ve been working on the event ever since.

We wanted to provide a space for musicians, industry professionals and music fans to come together and experience new music technologies, discuss future practices and share industry insights.

The format of the event is both a festival and exhibition. Why do you think both formats work together well?
Jovkovic: We’ve worked really hard to make sure both the festival and exhibition are curated hand in hand. For example, we have workshops confirmed during the day hosted by brands of equipment that our guests artists actually use.

Teenage Engineering, a Swedish consumer electronics company, will be at the festival for a workshop featuring its portable synthesizer OP1. French electronic musician NSDOS uses the OP1 as part of his performance and he is our headline act on the main stage (Friday 3 November) in the Boiler House.

What has been the most challenging to date?
Joyce: The event planning process has been really exciting and challenging from the word ‘go’. The people we’ve met along the way, and the support we’ve had, has been incredible. The most challenging part was getting the curation of the event just right. Once we sorted that everything else fell into place; We can’t for show day now!

What is the role of your partners and howhas it been working with them?
Jovkovic: Our partners have different roles and we’ve been lucky to have some top brands on board such as Ableton, Pioneer DJ, Rough Trade and Point Blank Music School who have all helped shape the festival into what it is now and been very generous with their support and guidance. Each partner is bringing something different to the table, from song writing workshops to live performances.

How many tickets are sold to date? How many people do you expect to attend?
Joyce: We’ve sold quite a few tickets and are expecting approximately 500 people a day. We are really excited about show day now and can’t wait for everyone to come and get involved.

Emma Joyce and Gordana Jovkovic have a busy work scheduled and certainly will have more stories to tell.

“We wear a few hats, by day I’m the Events Operations Manager at the Old Truman Brewery and Gordana is a composer. We are very lucky to have been given this opportunity by the Old Truman Brewery to launch what’s set to be a great show,” they conclude.