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Punkt Festival 2010

John Kelman By

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September 4: Post-Punkt Party and Festival Wrap-Up

And so, another year, another Punkt. With a series of remarkable performances and Live Remixes that ran the gamut from contemporary classical composition to the farthest reaches of extemporaneous creation, there was a lot to recommend—and precious little to criticize—about a festival now wrapping up its sixth year, with at least one event that will put it on a different map than it's been on before. Nobody planned for John Paul Jones to come to Punkt, but there's little doubt that it will provide a significant push in visibility, when planning for Punkt 2011. Had he not attended, had he not delivered a brief opening set, and had he not sat in with Supersilent, Punkt 2010 would still have managed to surpass previous years. But it's impossible to ignore the significance of a festival that, at best, can seat 550 people at any one time, yet is capable of attracting the kind of name power it is beginning to entice, year after year.

But the beauty of it all is that none of this will deflect from Punkt's primary mission; instead, it will simply enable the festival to grow into new areas, through the vast potential of an ever-expanding network of people who believe in that mission.

Attending the jam-packed post-Punkt party at K35—up the street from the Agder Theatre, a location that served food and drink for guests of the festival throughout its three-day run—it became clear just how much this festival is about building on relationships. From journalists who came from as far away as Canada and Japan, and musicians spread even more widely across the globe, to a dedicated staff of festival volunteers, many of whom have been with the festival since inception, it was an opportunity for everyone to let their hair down after a festival that managed, as Punkt has done year-after-year, to surpass previous editions and set a new high bar for the year to come.

The party went on until well beyond sunrise—even considering that sunrise, at this time of year in Kristiansand, was still very, very early—and there were, no doubt, more than a few post-Punkt hangovers. But when it takes more than an hour just to say goodbye to all the old friends from past years, as well as new ones forged in just the past couple days, it's clear evidence of the growing importance—and reach—of Punkt.

Punkt may only happen once a year in Kristiansand—and, perhaps, a couple more times in other locations like Tallinn, Estonia, in 2011—but Punkt is something that remains a conscious part of those who have been a part of it, all year around. Punkt isn't just a festival; it's a concept, a philosophy, an aesthetic, a family. And families aren't just put away because they'll not be seen for another year; they remain in the heart and the mind.

If Punkt could be a model for other festivals, it wouldn't be in terms of logistics, sound, lighting or even the music itself—though the way this small festival that thinks big operates, it could easily teach much larger festivals a thing or three. What Punkt can teach other festivals is that the best, most organic way to grow is through community, through shared goals and common ideals. Capture the heart and mind, and everything else follows.

Visit Sidsel Endresen, Supersilent, Maja Ratkje, Jan Bang, Håkon Kornstad, David Wallumrød, Unni Wilhelmsen, , Stian Westerhus, Knut Reiersrud, Nils Petter Molvær, John Paul Jones, Audun Kleive and Punkt Festival on the web.

Photo Credits

Page 1, 9, 11: John Kelman
Page 2, 3: Jan Hangeland

Page 4, Top: Jan Hangeland

Page 4, All Other Photos: John Kelman
Page 5, Top and Bottom: Jan Hangeland

Page 5, All Other Photos: John Kelman
Page 6, Top: Jan Hangeland

Page 6, All Other Photos: John Kelman
Page 7, All Other Photos: Jan Hangeland

Page 7, Top and Bottom: John Kelman
Page 7, All Other Photos: Jan Hangeland

Page 8, Top: Jan Hangeland

Page 8, All Other Photos: John Kelman
Page 10, Erik Honoré and Nils Petter Molvær Trio: Jan Hangeland

Page 10, All Other Photos: John Kelman


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