Foals' Yannis Philippakis talks exclusively to eFestivals

Open'er Festival interview

published: Mon 20th Jun 2011


Thursday 30th June to Sunday 3rd July 2011
Babie Doły Airfield, Gdynia, Poland, Poland
4-day with camping 410 PLN (approx. £88)
last updated: Fri 10th Jun 2011

Singer Yannis Philippakis frontman of Foals spoke exclusively to eFestivals ahead of their Heineken Open'er Festival appearance. Yannis is in the hospital when I call, and it's a pretty bad signal.

You're playing the Heinekin Open'Er festival are you looking forward to it?

Have you played there before?
No we haven't we're never been to Poland, and it's somewhere we've been looking forward to playing for a long time. Since we started in the band, we've always had a lot of internet activity, and internet requests from Poland, and so we're quite excited to play there. We've heard the crowds are really feral so it'll be good.

When you go and play there, will you get a chance to look around?
Hopefully we'll have a day there, or possibly two. I'd quite like to explore Poland too, I'd like to go to Krakow, and obviously Warsaw. We have some friends from Poland, and maybe they'll show us around. It's always nice to have some time in the place where you're playing.

Do you try to schedule that when you're touring and playing festivals?
Yes, where possible. Sometimes it's not feasible, but it's always nice.

Is there anybody on the bill at Open'Er you're hoping to see whilst you're there?
I don't know who's on the bill.

Do you camp when you're at festivals?
No. I don't really like camping that much. Well, I like camping when it's camping, but not at festivals. I had some unpleasant experiences when I was younger doing it, so I've kind of gone off it.

Did you go to festivals much when you were younger?
Not much. When I was 17 I went to a festival in Oxford and I just didn't really enjoy camping. It was just not that appealing. I never really liked festivals as a punter. I went to this one, as I say, and I never really went to any other. That was just an Oxfordshire one, I never really went to any of the big ones. It never really appealed to me.

You've been to many as a band, do you enjoy playing at them?
Yes we do. I enjoy playing to festivals, we play to people we wouldn't normally play to, and at certain festivals the setting can be quite beautiful. We always get an incredible amount of energy back from festival crowds, and an optimism, and a sort of escapism at a festival. They're always fun places to play.

Have you got many UK festivals lined up for this summer?
Only two, we've got Wireless - playing with Pulp and Grace Jones, and we're doing Latitude festival. Which we've played at before, and we're looking forward to that, and it's going to have a great line-up, so it's going to be exciting.

At those, are you able to go there, and hang out, and have a look around?
I think at Latitude we're going to hang out, but I'm pretty sure we have to leave the Pulp one later that day.

Have you got any new material, you'll be showcasing?
No, not really. We'll probably do improv stuff if we have long enough. We like doing improve, we like having space within the set where it can just be free. But, no we probably won't be playing any finished new material, it's early days yet for that.

What advice would you give festival goers?
Take a lighter on a string and wear it around your neck, and have a weapon with you! (I think he was joking).

What's been the most memorable festival appearance you've had?
Um, probably the ones we grew up being in awe of, like Glastonbury, and Reading or Leeds. Some of those shows feel special because you know who played there. Like, I used to watch Nirvana live at Reading, and I think it can be a kind of surreal experience playing there, when you know bands that you grew up admiring have done that.

Fuji Rock Festival in Japan is stunning because of the setting, and because it's in Japan, and then there's also Coachella, by Palm Springs, that was fun. It was boiling, too hot.

If you ran a stall at festival what would you sell?
Hmm drugs, or mushrooms on strings.

Do you ever read the eFestivals website?
No, I try to avoid the internet to be honest, with the exception of Twitter I avoid it.

Thanks Yannis, enjoy your summer.

Coldplay, Prince, and The Strokes headline. Also confirmed are Abraham Inc., Big Boi, British Sea Power, Caribou, Chapel Club, Chromeo, Crystal Fighters, Cut Copy, D4D, Deadmau5, Fat Freddy's Drop, Foals, Gooral, Hurts, Igor Boxx, James Blake, Kate Nash, M.I.A., Marcelina, Neony, Paolo Nutini, Paristetris, Primus, Pulp, Pustki, Simian Mobile Disco (live), Snowman, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, The Black Tapes, The National, The Twilight Singers, The Wombats, These New Puritans, Twilite, Two Door Cinema Club, and Youssou N'Dour. The additional 'opening day' line-up means that there will be more than 120 artists programmed to appear at Gdynia.

Offering festival goers some top international musicians along with a host of Polish music and theatre acts, Heineken Open'er Festival takes place in Babie Doly Airfield, Gdynia, Poland for four days between Thursday 30th June and Sunday 3rd July 2011.

Tickets are on sale at the following prices:-
- 4-day ticket without camping: 370 PLN (approx. £78)
- 3-day ticket without camping: 310 PLN (approx. £65)
- 1-day tickets are priced at 165 PLN (approx. £35).
- a camping pass: 40 PLN (approx. £9)

To buy tickets, click here.
interview by: Scott Williams

Thursday 30th June to Sunday 3rd July 2011
Babie Doły Airfield, Gdynia, Poland, Poland
4-day with camping 410 PLN (approx. £88)
last updated: Fri 10th Jun 2011

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