Astral People are not just artist management. Instead they are Sydney's answer to a more cultivated and experimental music scene. They're management, with a face. They work with the likes of Collarbones, Dro Carey, Polographia, Albatross, Bon Chat Bon Rat and many more. They're expanding rapidly and have plans to tour some big names to interesting venues. Elke spoke to the guys from Astral People about the upcoming OutsideIn Festival, Action Bronson and what the promises of 2013.
How do you guys all know each other?
Vic and Tom met at a kick-on on one rainy day. Lee and Tom manage Collarbones. Vic manages Dro Carey who played with Collarbones. We had a shared vision to combine our acts to form the management company that is now Astral. Now we all kick-on together.
Outside In is a pretty unique festival with a killer line-up, how was it born?
Doing a festival was always a bit of a dream for us. When Astral first started we started putting together rough plans for a unique, boutique festival and once we thought we were in a position to make it work with a solid well rounded bunch of acts and a venue that suited we kicked our plans into gear and OutsideIn was born.
Could you tell us a bit about the partnership with Record Label YES PLEASE?
We’re good mates with Matty from Yes Please (as are a lot of our acts are with his acts) and love the artists he represents, as well as his label. We approached him to co-present OutsideIn with us as we all share the same vision of providing Sydney with something different to what’s out there without breaking the pockets of our punters.
We've heard you're having three stages for the festival, did you have to do some structural engineering to The Factory Theatre!?
Unfortunately these days it seems The Factory is only used for its main room. We’ve known for a while about the other rooms and courtyard available in the venue that’s often been given the miss. When we approached the bookers of the venue, Sam and Caroline, they were very supportive of our idea and this use of the venue is their intention. They’ve been great to work with and we’ve formed a good team so a lot of exciting projects coming your way over the coming years.
But as far as structural engineering goes, we’ll hopefully be building a makeshift stage in the courtyard and there will also be some amazing visuals and art installations around the venue thanks to our good friend and production manager – Jon Watts.
You guys seem to be constantly working on projects and shows, how do you manage this?
It’s pretty much taken over our lives. We work full time during the week on Astral and then often spend our weekends hosting shows or going to gigs our artists are playing. It sometimes gets a bit tough and we’ve all had to make some sacrifices to make this work, especially being in our first year and all. Having said that, we wouldn’t want it any other way.
And you're touring Action Bronson down here for the summer! How'd you swing that!?
A lot of hard work. There were a few people chasing this tour for a while but at the end of the day we were confident we had the best tour proposal for him across Australia and New Zealand and so was his agent in the end. It was a special moment for us landing this tour as it was, in our eyes, a step up in terms of the touring side of our company. He’s bigger than any other act we’ve toured thus far. Keep a look out as we’ll be announcing Action Bronson’s full Australian/New Zealand tour in the coming month.
What else is coming up for Astral People?
Pretty much all our artists have releases coming up over the next 6 months which we’re stoked to be working on with them. We’re super excited to get these releases out, seeing our artists grow is what we take the most pride in and all of them are now producing on a world class level.
Besides that we’ll be bringing you a lot more large scale events and club shows and a few collaboration projects with some big guns in the industry. We’re looking forward to a big 2013 and solidifying our brand and roster. Also stay tuned for a couple of exciting local acts to join the Astral People family in the near future!
Photo courtesy of James Bradfield