Lowlands is with its 50.000 visitors the biggest festival of the Netherlands. We were invited to join the Texelse Boys Playground: a section at the festival aimed at contemporary digital art and technology. They asked us to 'do something special with audio.'
So we created a realtime sampling workshop. In our 'lab', we had some equipment: PC's running Ableton Live, a few MIDI controllers, a guitar, and a 'Dixie' [toilet cabin] used as vocal recording booth. We also had a number of portable hard disk recorders.
During the three days of the festival, we collected all sorts of audio material. We used the portable recorders to make multitrack recordings of bands playing at the festival [Zuco 103, Vive la Fete, and others]. We also went to the festival's camping terrain with these recorders to capture sounds of [often drunk] party people playing their instruments. The vocal booth and guitar were used to record festival visitors who dropped by in our lab. Then, with the PCs and controllers, we mixed and edited all assembled material.
Whilst all this audio capturing took place, we gave a workshop to festival visitors three times a day. The goal was to give them the opportunity to make their own 'Festival Remixes'. This meant they could toy around with the recordings we had made ourselves, and record their own material on the fly (in the vocal booth, on the guitar, with the MIDI controllers, or by bringing in their own instruments). We assisted them in the process by giving tips and sharing techniques.
At night, the Humanworkshop artists - Leisure-B, BASIC and Remus - climbed the stage and combined the most useful recordings of that day with their own tracks and tunes.