Counterflows festival – Q&A with organiser Alasdair Campbell

Counterflows festival – Q&A with organiser Alasdair Campbell

Sven Ake / Photo: Heiko Purnhagen

An experimental music festival, with a focus on songwriting

Why should people come to Counterflows?
It is hoped that by opening up the possibilities with a new festival and bringing together, under the festivals banner, new artists, that Counterflows can offer what all culture should, the idea that there are always exciting new experiences in art that may broaden our horizons.

Counterflows is perhaps unusual for being an experimental music festival with an emphasis on song.
The idea for this inaugral Counterflows festival was to look at song in the context of experimental music making. We see song as fundamental to all music. Counterflows has developed and moved on since these initial ideas and the festival will explore the relationship with song and experimental music in different contexts. Intergrity of expression is the key. Everything is deliberate.

Why is bringing local and international scenes together so important?
The importance of the idea of local artists is integral to any festival. Local music making needs to be championed as not some parochial inconsequential activity but as equal to any artistic pursuit. Festivals can enable the juxtaposition of the local and the international and hopefully encourage a modicum of egalitarianism in the music.

You seem keen to provide a varied experience by using a number of different venues and including workshops and screenings.
Absolutely, all art needs to challenge the idea of form and in a music festival it is important to offer the opportunity to take part in various experiences.

What does the future hold for Counterflows?
Counterflows will develop more links with new cities and networks to establish the festival across Europe and hopefully further afield but also continue to reinforce its base in Glasgow and London.


A festival of underground, experimental and international music, Counterflows marries the local to the international with artists from around the world collaborating with homegrown talent across Glasgow.

Various venues: Glasgow

Thu 2 Apr

Times vary / full festival pass £50 / 07939 607934

Fri 3 Apr

Times vary / full festival pass £50 / 07939 607934

Sat 4 Apr

Times vary / full festival pass £50 / 07939 607934

Sun 5 Apr

Times vary / full festival pass £50 / 07939 607934

Volcano the Bear

Experimental Kraut- and noiserock-influenced duo of Daniel Padden and Aaron Moore. Part of Counterflows.

Michael Gira, Grouper & Diamond Catalog and Early Songs

Gothic folk rumblings from Swans frontman Michael Gira. Part of Counterflows.

Kazuki Tomokawa, National Jazz Trio of Scotland and Margareth Kammerer

Japanese singer/songwriter supported by the Bill Wells-led NJToS. Part of Counterflows.

Michael Hurley, Kim Doo Soo, Sven-Ake Johansson, Josephine Foster and Torsten Lauschmann with Red Note Ensemble

Blues, acid folk, free jazz and haunting piano pieces feature in this eclectic day-long bill. Some events are individually ticketed. Part of Counterflows.

Caspar Brotzmann's Massaker, Opaque and Ultimate Thrush

Hendrix-influenced guitar flailing from Brotzmann and his power trio. Part of Counterflows.

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