The wheels have begun to turn in preparation for the Los Angeles version of the All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival, which was originally scheduled for October 19th and 20th at UCLA. The original dates for the first American version of the annual U.K. festival were postponed in the wake of September 11th, with the rescheduled festival now set for March 15-17th.
“We were getting a lot of people with anxiety about travelling around the world at that time,” says Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, who are serving as curators for the event. “A large percentage of the musicians going out there were still very willing, but there was still a significant number not willing, because they had children and families. Most musicians are single guys, bouncing around ready to hit the road, but we had to be sensitive to everybody. We were still going to prepare ourselves to go regardless. I mean, we couldn’t even get to our instruments [in a New York City studio unreachable after the World Trade Center collapse], but we were going to rent everything and go out there and play oldies or whatever [laughs].”
The two weeks following September 11th also created a ticket sales vacuum that had festival organizers anxious. “Maybe there would be a big walk up, but you can’t depend on that,” Moore says. “And we couldn’t really predict what the atmosphere was going to be like since we had declared this war. There was no telling what was going to happen that weekend, though, of course, it turned out to be benign. But that’s not the point. We figured we’ll just postpone it until the springtime and everybody followed through. It’s all set to go, the same deal and there’s some new additions. Wilco is playing, and there’s some I can’t say because they’re not really committed yet.”
Also joining the lineup — which will still include Eddie Vedder, Cat Power, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Television, Stereolab and Sonic Youth — will be Aphex Twin and Sleater-Kinney, while the Melvins and Luc Ferrari are the first confirmed dropouts, due to other commitments. For the time being, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Beastie Boy Ad-Rock’s side project BS2000 and Smog are uncertain if they will still be able to make the festival.
“There’s a few Sixties bands I wanted to get,” Moore says. “And I’d get emails back that said, ‘Well that’d be great, except the lead singer is dead’ [laughs].”