INTERVIEW: The Black Flag meets Dominic Void

Dominic Void is one part of the driving force behind the phenomenon that is Club AntiChrist or AC for short. Over the last Eight years Dom and his wife...

Dominic Void is one part of the driving force behind the phenomenon that is Club AntiChrist or AC for short. Over the last Eight years Dom and his wife Missy have taken the club night from strength to strength and tonight (Friday 26th Oct) is no exception as AC hosts a massive Ten Zone Halloween spectacular at London’s Club Colosseum. We caught up with Dom and talked to him about Club AntiChrist and he and Missy’s new project ALT-Fest…

The Black Flag: So tell us a bit about your history. What led to you running Club Nights?

Dominic Void: Club AntiChrist is myself (d.Void) and my lovely wife Missy. I’ve run events on and off for the past 25 years and spent 10 years of this also touring with underground industrial metal band Avoidance of Doubt until about 5 years ago. Personally I love running events, more massive Parties, really with the view of putting on THE party I’d go to myself if I wasn’t running it. Attention to detail and really involving the scene and the very people that come to our events.

TBF: Your mostly well known for AntiChrist, which has just turned Eight years old and is hugely successful. Tell us a bit about the history of AC?

D. Void: AC started out really as just wanting to create the club we wanted to go to. By that I mean that 8 years ago there were many clubs we liked, but they all specialised in their own niche and were all great in their way but we wanted to combine multiple genres into one uber night out. Rather than going to a venue for great bands, a Fet club for the fetish side of it or Goth events for the Goth thang etc, we figured lets put everything we like under one roof and have one massive Party! Really we didn’t start with any aspirations more than ‘lets build a night out that we can really enjoy ourselves’. AC started from there really.

TBF: Most club nights are winding down after eight years but AC goes from strength to strength. Why do you think that is?

D. Void: We enjoy what we do and have been alternative ourselves for so long its not something we’ll grow out of. We also listen to our people, involve them, get their feedback input and critique and we care. That’s not to suggest other clubs don’t care but a combination of many factors, some luck, being and having the right idea at the right time and sticking with it through the good times and the tougher times. Honing the night and growing with and as the scene diversifies and changes without compromising our core people based ethos.

TBF: You’ve got a 10 Zone Party on October 26th. What’s in store for your patrons and how difficult is it to co-ordinate 10 zones?

D. Void: We run each zone as if it was a separate event or entity; we imagine it as having multiple clubs, a venue, a theatre, a playroom all under one roof. By doing this we can appeal to a wide cross section of people from within a very varied scene. We have a core team of staff, DJ’s and helpers making it happen with us and the people who share our vision and have supported us we tend to keep as part of the family. We have a really stunning line-up in store in the theatre 3 really fantastic bands: Shanklin Freakshow being a Halloween fav, Skeleton Kid also fitting the Halloween remit but also the awesome Subsource who are one of our absolute fave bands as well. One of the really enjoyable things about AC is being able to book things we really like as well and supporting bands acts, performers and DJs within the scene as well. We also tend to make Halloween a lot of fun, not too serious at times with party games and cheesy spooky decor as well as all the mayhem and eclectic music you’d expect at AC. By having 10 zones it also means we can dedicate an entire all night dance floor to industrial and a separate one to goth Alt and Electro as well as dabbling in a 3rd metal floor later in the evening… Cant wait for it myself!

TBF: The main thing that we really wanted to talk to you about is a new project that you’re working on called Alt-Fest. Tell us about that?

D. Void: We’ve always, for want of a better phrase, fantasised about doing a massive festival, almost a massive AC really, a multi genre Alt spectacle. Uniting and combining Alt art, music, clubs and lifestyles into a really huge annual celebration. There are lots of smaller or one genre specific festivals covering Goth, Industrial and metal as well as the more mainstream Rock type events like Download and we looked at some of the festivals abroad and thought we need something like this in the UK, we need a really big outdoor camping event, we need a really HUGE field to hold one massive Party…And we need a festival that covers all of the diverse lifestyles and music choices our scene offers us… so Alt-Fest was born..

TBF: You’re looking to get the Alternative Community involved in the Festival, which we think is a brilliant idea. Tell us a bit more about this ethos?

D. Void: To be honest we hate corporations, we hate how the big corporate festivals are all about money and massive festival touring bands on rotation. So we decided we’d invite the scene to run Alt-fest with us, with our scene inputting on the line-up, what’s there, the funding and every aspect. With the recent developments in crowd funding we also so an opportunity to use crowd based funding as one potential way of not just raising the funds for Alt-fest but also a way to empower and totally involve the very people that would attend Alt-Fest. It’s the world’s first truly people powered festival. And the very people that attend can not only shape the festival itself but ultimately have the power to decide how big and ultimately how successful Alt-Fest is or becomes. So our ethos is all about people, about involvement about communication and working with the scene to make the festival move from a dream to a reality. Its also about changing how the music industry works, how bands are booked and also getting the bands involved in the festival, getting them to support us. The line-up is key. Alt-Fest isn’t just about music, it’s also about art and performance, circus and representing our really diverse culture. That in mind we plan a circus big top with side show, Alt performers, circus and Fet shows, burlesque, comedy and more… Plus in the longer term a Burning Man type art area is our aspirational dream as well.

TBF: What acts have you got confirmed so far?

D. Void: That would be telling! The early stages have been firstly finding the perfect greenfield site, which in itself has been a massive task, one now achieved, this will be announced first and very soon. Watch this space for an announcement on our amazing and beautiful 300 acre green field site soon. Act wise we have about 40 name bands confirmed across all the Alt genres. So all I can say is we have 3 truly huge Goth icons on the bill, several very large metal acts and so far, just about every industrial band I’ve ever wanted to see myself and some really exciting up and coming acts too. It is frustrating and somewhat of a tease not being able to share the preliminary line–ups with you yet. Its all about timing, crowd funding and a structured process, ensuring each stage of building the festival is done to the highest standard with the involvement of the scene.

TBF: You’re going to feature unsigned bands as well as big names. How can smaller bands get involved?

D. Void: Firstly we’ll be supporting bands and acts that have supported us at AC and as promoters, and our friends will also get on the bill. Second, bands and Alt performers should send us full details, a bio, video, their press release history etc to bookings@alt-fest.com We will be diving in to up and coming bookings in 2013 as currently our focus is on the preliminary name line-up, to marry that up with our next funding stage…

TBF: Other than music what kind of acts are you looking for?

D. Void: Anything exciting, artist and or interesting that sits broadly under the Alt banner. So artists that do great art and sculpture to freak shows, burlesque, circus, performance installations and beyond…

TBF: What’s been the general reaction from the Alternative Community so far?

D. Void: Pretty damn good! I think many are waiting to see just how good or big the line-up is and others haven’t quite got the fact that they can get involved and shape the festival itself. But over all we are really touched at how well Alt-Fest is being supported at this early stage. There is already a real buzz building and we haven’t announced anything yet, once we do we are confident it really will be HUGE!

TBF: What’s the long term plan for the festival?

D. Void: To become THE international annual destination event celebrating Alternative Art, music, lifestyles and culture….

For more information about Club AntiChrist visit http://clubantichrist.com/ and for Alt-Fest visit http://www.alt-fest.com/

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