This time next week several thousand people will be making their way to Further Future, the brainchild of the Robot Heart family, to be held at a recently disclosed site on the Moapa River Indian Reservation 45 minutes north east of Las Vegas. Social networks are buzzing right now with excitement regarding the event so we decided to get the low down with Jason SWAMY, Further Future's co-founder and Creative Director. With a successful 18 year career firmly rooted in dance music culture, Swamy has worn many hats; DJ, promoter, talent buyer, booker, club owner, curator and festival producer together with being one of the much loved Robot Heart's co-founding members and current music/wellness Director. Here he explains some of his thoughts on the upcoming gathering:
So, we are just a week out now from the inaugural Further Future, you must be feeling excited. It's an ambitious undertaking, how long have you been involved with planning the event?
We’ve been developing the concept for over two years. When launching a new venture there are so many ups and downs emotionally, we’re at the final stretch now, so yes definitely excited and anxious.
Looking at what makes up Further Future you have an awesome balance between music, education, wellness, and art. This event is not an ordinary festival, what led you to explore in this more holistic direction?
Thanks for noticing. People have limited time and resources we want to ensure that folks that come to our event get their money’s worth. People are far more sophisticated consumers these days, they don’t want a silo’ed experience and it needn’t be. We wanted to provide a integrated experience that is interconnected with how our community experience their daily lives and we hope we can give them the fuel to enhance that.
Being invite only may assume exclusivity, but I’m thinking we are talking more about seeking active participants? Can you explain the ticketing system?
You are 100% correct, the ticketing system has nothing to do with exclusivity, it’s a process to connect with like-minded active participants and to create a fruitful boutique experience. Our demographic skews to the inquisitive, it’s not designed to be a mass market experience, there are big festivals and conferences that cater to that. One only needs to submit a response of why they want to be a Further Futurist or come to Further Future and if it’s in line with our ethos one will be sent a code, if one chooses to use the code one can come. (Our ethos being our journey through space and time to return to happiness. A Melville quote says it best for what we are about "I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas…"
It’s been remarkable how many amazing responses we get and the effort some folks put into the request. It inspires us. For example we met one of our Vision speakers; Jimmy Wu via our ticketing process. Jimmy Wu is project manager with a NASA contractor at Houston Johnson Space Center. He asked to participate and will be talking about challenges of having humans in space and our current understanding of how we are addressing those challenges so that we can not only go into space but succeed, colonize, and thrive. It doesn’t get more appropriate than that for us.
The line up is staggering, tell me how artists reacted to the Further Future concept?
There’s so much good music out there we felt a responsible share as much a possible appropriately. As this is the first Further Future, none of the artists know what to expect, from my interaction with some of them, they seem to be really excited at the line-up, they seem especially excited at hearing and meeting their contemporaries that they don’t normally get to as the line up is diverse and not sub-genre specific. We’re excited that not only do we get to enjoy the music but we want to create an environment where the artists can be fans as well.
Are you a sunset or sunrise person?
I'm both, both are equally as stunning. I love sunrises and sunsets. Sunrise and Sunset present different latent qualities to me. Sunset is a time for reflection, letting go. Sunrise is re-invention, a promise of hope, both important in personal introspection. I was asked to join the Wonderfruit Festival in Thailand last year to develop a concept which turned into a Sunrise/Sunset stage aptly named the Solar Stage. It was a big success and will be back this year.
In common with Further Future, I'm hearing about more and more artists curating their own festivals, like Annie Mac with AMP, Disclosure with Wild Life, and of course Further Future guest Rob da Bank with the much loved Bestival. What are your thoughts on progress in this direction?
It makes a ton of sense especially if the curator has a deep understanding of artists/music they are showcasing and how they interrelate with each other and the audience. Annie Mac and Rob Da Bank for example (who is playing at Further Future) are DJs who are responsible for breaking good music via their Radio shows and DJ sets. They have access to so much new and amazing music, so they are a great conduit for sharing it with us. By curating stages or festivals they are in essence programming a dj set with the artists they have selected. I think it’s a good idea until promoters use it as a marketing tool and not a education tool.
Given what you do with Do What You Love, Robot Heart and now Further Future, I’m thinking you might have a clear vision of what dance music culture could look like going forward?
The vision of what dance music is the same as the past and will always be. Pushing boundaries, creating amazing experiences, quality music and connecting passionate people.
Finally, that jet lag coming from Hong Kong is going to be brutal, I have no coping strategies and am a useless time-zone hopper! Do you have a plan to deal with it?
I just got off a 18 hrs journey to Vegas, ouch ! I usually set the time to the location destination and adapt to the time zone on the flight with a few glasses of wine :)
Further Future's series of taster videos are a work of art in themselves and their Soundcloud account is stuffed full of contributing artists music to get you in the mood for this unique experience. If you think you are ready for a next level festival - wellness activities, interactive art, gastronomy, spa treatments, future tech speaker series, community building and so much more - you need to act fast! Tickets and accommodation are only just still available, so grab yours while you can. All information is on the brilliant Further Future website so check out their socials and sign up for your next adventure!