All Tomorrow's Parties (music festival)
All Tomorrow's Parties (commonly known as ATP) is an organisation based in London that has been promoting festivals, concerts and records throughout the world for over ten years. It was founded by Barry Hogan, in 1999 in preparation for the first All Tomorrow's Parties festival, the line-up of which was curated by Mogwai and took place in the unusual setting of Pontins Holiday Camp, Camber Sands. Named after the song "All Tomorrow's Parties" by The Velvet Underground, the festival exhibits a tendency towards post-rock, avant-garde, and underground hip hop, along with more traditional rock fare presented in an environment more intimate than a giant stadium or huge country field. It was at first a sponsorship-free festival where the organisers and artists stay in the same accommodation as the fans. ATP claims to set itself apart from festivals like Reading or Glastonbury by staying intimate, non-corporate and fan-friendly. Another vital difference is that the line-ups are chosen by significant bands or artists, resulting in unorthodox events which often combine acts of all sizes, eras, and genres. The festival has taken place in the UK, USA and Australia, and has been curated by the following artists:
Deerhunter, TV On The Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The National, The Drones, Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs), Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel), Battles, Caribou, Les Savy Fav, Amos, Animal Collective, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Jim Jarmusch, Pavement, The Flaming Lips, The Breeders, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Mike Patton & Melvins, My Bloody Valentine, Explosions In The Sky, Pitchfork Media, Portishead, Dirty Three, Thurston Moore, The Shins, Sleater Kinney, Dinosaur Jr., Devendra Banhart, Mudhoney, The Mars Volta, Vincent Gallo, Slint, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Stephen Malkmus, Mogwai, Tortoise, Shellac, Sonic Youth, Autechre, Modest Mouse, and Simpsons' creator Matt Groening.
The festival has its origins in the Bowlie Weekender, curated by Belle & Sebastian at Camber Sands in April 1999. Artists, usually musicians (but sometimes visual artists like Matt Groening, whose line-up featured in the Observer's list of the ten best festivals of the year, or Jake and Dinos Chapman) are asked to curate the festival by inviting their favourite performers to play. The idea is that it is akin to dipping into the curator's record collection, or as founder Barry Hogan described it, "ATP is like an excellent mix tape".
In 2001 the organisation spawned ATP/Recordings, a record label originally created to bring out compilation albums related to its festivals. However the label eventually moved on from just doing compilations for the festival to sign and release singles and albums from artists including Threnody Ensemble, Bardo Pond, The Magic Band, Deerhoof, White Out, Death Vessel, The Drones, Fursaxa, The Scientists, Apse, Fuck Buttons, Alexander Tucker, Sleepy Sun, Spiritualized, Built To Spill, Autolux and most recently Tall Firs and Tennis. At the end of 2007 ATP/R launched series of double 7" singles called Custom Made, which would feature bands choosing four songs; one something old, one something new, one something borrowed (a cover version) and one something blue (artists were free to interpret this as they feel). Artists to release singles in this series so far are Australia's The Drones, Britain's Alexander Tucker and America's Deerhoof.
In 2002, the festival expanded to the USA, and several events have taken place there in subsequent years. The organisation also became involved in booking stages at the Pitchfork Music Festival and the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, Spain. In 2008, All Tomorrow's Parties ran their first East Coast USA festival, which took place at Kutsher's Hotel and Country Club, Monticello, New York. In January 2009, the festival took place for the first time in Australia, with events in Brisbane, Sydney and Mount Buller (in Victoria) all curated by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.
The small organisation that puts on these festivals also promote concerts in London and the rest of the United Kingdom, curate the yearly Don't Look Back concert series and run the record label ATP Recordings.
All Tomorrow’s Parties, as with a number of modern festivals, embraces a variety of artistic genres. Most festival events feature art exhibitions and cinema programmes (in the USA, ATP collaborate with Criterion to present cinema highlighted by appearances so far from Paul Schrader and Jim Jarmusch), and others have featured spoken word performances, stand-up comedy, and book clubs.
In 2007 the curators allowed festival-goers to pick the line-up by organising a voting process for all ticketholders in the months running up to the event, and this was repeated in May 2009. In the years before 2013, when ATP announced they were ceasing to hold residential festivals in the UK, the festival took place up to three or four times a year in the UK (in May and then in December for the 'Nightmare Before Christmas').
In 2009, Warp Films released a feature length documentary about the festival named All Tomorrow's Parties. It premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, and then premiered in the UK at Edinburgh in June. In October 2009 the film was screened at a number of 'one night only' UK theatrical screenings also featuring live music from Les Savy Fav, who feature in the film and have long been mainstays of All Tomorrow's Parties line-ups.
In 2010, ATP announced I'll Be Your Mirror, a series of events taking place in cities around the world named after the B-side to the original 1966 "All Tomorrow's Parties" single by the Velvet Underground. These events still involved a curator choosing all the music and films that play at the event, but without the holiday resort accommodation. The first event took to take place in Tokyo, Japan in February 2011.
Significant past performances at ATP festivals include the reformations of The Magic Band, Television, The Jesus Lizard, yer man Bon Iver, Sleep, and Slint amongst others. All Tomorrow's Parties were also proud to present the return of My Bloody Valentine with a series of worldwide live performances throughout 2008, the London concerts of which were named Time Out's Gig Of The Year.
- Past All Tomorrow's Parties lineups
- List of music festivals in the United Kingdom
- All Tomorrow's Parties, a 2009 documentary film
- ".Flouting the Mainstream, Forgoing a Corporate Stamp" The New York Times, 09/02/2010
- "ATP - The End Of An Era" ATP website 26/04/2013
- 2010 "The 10 best music festivals" The Guardian, 05/09/2010
- "All Tomorrow’s Parties & Book Club" The New York Times, 09/01/2010
- "Pitchfork Hosts a Perma-Rock Festival" The New York Sun, 07/22/2008
- (see above) The New York Times, 09/02/2010
- "Veterans rock for Cave the curator" The Australian, 01/12/2009
- "ATP - The End Of An Era" ATP website 26/04/2013
- "Warp's Return to Sheffield" news.bbc.co.uk, 09/18/2009
- All Tomorrow's Parties Official Site
- Don't Look Back Official Site
- All Tomorrow's Parties Film Website
- All Tomorrow's Parties Festival 2006: The weekend in pictures
- All Tomorrow's Parties Festival 2007: All Tomorrow's Parties vs. The Fans – The weekend in words and pictures
- All Tomorrow's Parties Myspace
- An Oral History of All Tomorrow's Parties, The Village Voice
- All Tomorrow's Parties+Official All Tomorrow's Parties LastFm Group
- All Tomorrow's Parties News Update – Daily Music Guide
- Jabberwocky Festival
- ATP Iceland