In two weeks, the 2016 Live Camp music camp in Bražuolė Village will begin.
For two days, the air will be filled with acoustic music from local indie rock bands as well the bravest camp’s visitors who dare to perform on an open stage. Located in Lithuania’s Neris Regional Park, the camp is perfect for those who love nature and are passionate about indie music. To find out more about this attractive combination Music Export Fund met with one of Live Camp’s main organisers, Liverpool Community’s Karolina Maleckaitė.
Karolina was first part of the festival’s audience since it began in 2010. She then started volunteering in 2012 and in 2014, became the event’s main organiser.
Over the years, Live Camp has improved and grown, and has attracted a number of partners. As a result, it has been able to include more outdoor activities such as last year’s outdoor library or zip-lining across the river, which gathered crowds. Furthermore, the annual collaboration with the Regional Park gets both visitors and organisers in taking care of the environment.
“This year the collaboration with Neris Park will continue,” explained Karolina. “We’re planning on which areas need most tidying up. Last year it was really nice that the visitors helped cleaning up the site.
“They are also encouraged to swap their car for a train ride, help volunteers keeping the area tidy, as well as recycling.
“This connection with nature we value so much, so the festival isn’t about being lazy all day. We really care about nature and always leave Bražuolė cleaner than we find it.”
While the additional activities have not been revealed for this year yet, Karolina confirmed that the “Beaver’s Hunt” – a legendary night hike – will be on the agenda.
“It’s been organised since the first year and up to 15 people can come to this hike around the entire park including the river,” she continued. “Last year there were some challenges but I won’t reveal them to keep the air of mystery surrounding the hike.
“But I can guarantee 100 percent that none of those who tried it regret doing it. It’s an exclusive experience, so just remember to bring a headlamp and some clothes you don’t mind getting wrecked.”
Since 2010 camp, the way music is showcased has also changed a lot. Having moved the schedule around, the organisers were able to showcase more artists.
On both Friday and Saturday festival goers will hear some locally well known indie bands such as Šarūnas Petrutis, jautì, Local Blood, No Intro, Dave Adam, plus others. The whole day of Saturday will attendees a chance to perform on an open stage or at least hear others do so if they’re the shy type!
“Lithuanians are a little timid,” Karolina suggests. “Every year a lot of them wait to register until the very last minute. They arrive to the festival, get the tickets and then someone says ‘by the way, we will also want to play.’ I performed myself in 2011.
“It does feel a bit daunting, but it’s a great experience and people receive everyone warmly. Usually covers are played in-line with Liverpool Community’s spirit, as most of Live Camp’s visitors who attend our parties, come to the bar and take interest in the Indie genre throughout the year.
“Our community has always had a goal to help young musicians showcase their work along with the more well known bands, get experience on stage and find their audience. We also record most of the performances in Live Camp and give the recordings to the musicians afterwards. On Saturday night, we’ll have an even more informal jam session which will take place by the fire.”
Chilling by the fire that may carry on all the way until dawn very well demonstrates Live Camp’s main philosophy that acoustic sets can also be extremely fun and hard partying isn’t all there is to indie music. After all, one of organisers’ aims is to take bands that the fans already know and show them in different light.
“Most musicians that have played in Live Camp have said that it’s in their own interest to present their repertoire in a new way.
“Some bands, such as Stiffer or Condor Avenue, have proven to be so good acoustically they managed to make everyone party, including myself. So if you come to our camp to chill but suddenly want to party that sure is an option. It’s not our main goal but with great bands it just happens.”
“In Live Camp, the musicians also get to know their audience better. They are always so far away from it, up on the stage somewhere I think they like the feeling of getting closer and our small stage is a perfect place to experience that.
The organisers value quality relaxation and want the camp to sustain its cosy nature.
“We want it to remain a camp rather than become a festival. We don’t put neither nature nor music first. Some people come for this, some for that. But as long as we manage to combine these enjoyments in one event and attract about 200 enthusiasts yearly we will keep going.
“We have a lot of old-timers to whom our event is the best in the whole summer which really pleases me. Bands that have started with the Liverpool Community and became quite big like to come back because they feel a family-like connection to us, and want to work together again.
In the future, Live Camp may try to attract some bigger names, but for now, all they really need is good weather.
“Even if it rains, everything will be great,” Karolina concludes confidently.
So don’t wait any longer – mark your calendar for Live Camp 2016 on August 19, relax by the river, hear your friends play, register your own act and experience what acoustic music can really offer.
Pictures from Live Camp 2015 by Alan Scerbakov and Kęstutis Bidva