MENT? MENT… MENT!
We were incredibly lucky last year. We actually organised a festival. The clubs were full, we danced hand in hand, raised our glasses, laughed, shouted and lived in the moment.
About a month later, we were introduced to a new world with new rules where concerts are just a distant dream. Despite all the restrictions, the summer interlude had a healing effect, and just when we started to taste freedom, it became clear in August that there would be no MENT on the announced February dates. Far from being pessimistic—we were hoping for a half capacity situation, or at least for concerts with masks on. But out of sheer caution, we made the decision to move MENT to June and outdoors, envisioning a victorious seventh edition. The perfect challenge for such a boring year. We started exploring the venues, planning the set-up of the stages, deciding on the programme, and finding out what it means to move the festival from clubs to the open air. At the end of 2020, we were still in high spirits even though the official statistics were worrisome. We discussed vaccinations, concerts with rapid COVID-19 tests … We even considered the end of the epidemic.
As the new year came, reality slapped us in the face. While we were finishing the first announcement for MENT 2021, organisers started cancelling festivals, tours were being quitely postponed to 2022, and the event sector was tirelessly looking for solutions and interlocutors. Government officials didn’t provide enough information, and most European festivals began to publicly warn that March was the last chance to decide about summer events. In the meantime, our long time favourites La Femme announced their gig at MENT while releasing a new album. More cancellations followed and soon it became clear that we can practically forget about June. All the optimism that came from abroad quickly vanished as new strains were announced and the vaccination process continued at a very slow pace.
We are now in the middle of April. No one knows what June will bring. It’s clear, however, that won’t be as simple as everyone would like it to be. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for La Femme—now it’s time to devise a new plan and look for new locations. Riding the trend wave, we’ll focus on the localisation, sustainability and digitalisation.
What will MENT look like in 2021? When will it happen? How will it manage to … no one really knows at the moment. The only thing we know for sure is that MENT will certainly take place!
foto: Aleš Rosa (MENT 2020)