Open-Minded: Dimitri Vossen of Desertfest Antwerp

YOB Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

YOB Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Desertfest Antwerp takes place this weekend in Belgium, at the legendary Trix Club. Named for the distinct cult style of California’s Palm Desert style of rock, doom, and psychedelic influences, pioneered in the 90s by bands like Kyuss, Acid King, Fu Manchu, Goatsnake, Monster Magnet, 60 Watt Shaman and more. The fest itself and its related other events represent the best in underground culture, with music ranging from stoner rock, doom, indie bands, and other styles to please fans of discerning taste. Ghost Cult’s Susanne A. Maathuis, who is covering the fest this weekend for us had some questions for Dimitri Vossen – one of the organizers of the fest.

You’re a pretty young festival, how has reception been so far?

The response from the community has always been overwhelming, from the first-year sellout to the great support we got after the cancellation of Graveyard. There’s no shortage of stoner/desert themed festivals these days, but I think the eclectic line-up and the dedicated team we work with make Desertfest Antwerp an event that has quickly earned its place. We’re definitely determined to keep building that reputation over the coming years.

You’re part of the Desertfest franchise, how much freedom do you get in that?

A lot, actually. It is a very loose organisation, in the sense that there is constant communication between the different branches, but there are no strict regulations concerning programming or organisation. There’s a tendency to help each other out where we can, so the franchise doesn’t feel restrictive, only constructive.

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This year you guys have an excellent line up, what set are you personally looking forward to the most?

I’m a big fan of Yob, so seeing them is always a thrill. I think the shows by Black Rainbows and Scorpion Child will go over great with the Desertfest audience, and I think Vodun will blow everyone’s socks off – they’re a very peculiar band, doom metal crossed with wailing soul vocals, but the DF crowd is certainly open-minded enough for such experiments.

Of course it was a shock when Graveyard broke up, what was it like to lose a headliner so short before the festival?

Take a guess 🙂 of course it’s every organisation’s nightmare, but if I may say so myself: we managed to save the situation elegantly, and it appears like some people are even more excited about the replacement band Colour Haze.

Vodun, by Paul Quinn

Vodun, by Paul Quinn

What would be a dream come true to book sometime in the future?

Hmm, I’m afraid to say because I might jinx it!

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SUSANNE A. MAATHUIS