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Interview: Ben Woods - Better Living, Everyone! Streaming Festival

Interview: Ben Woods - Better Living, Everyone! Streaming Festival

Annabel Kean / Thursday 16th April, 2020 10:36AM

The coolest place to be this weekend is two feet from your router, with laptop, TV screen and HDMI cable on hand for the premium Better Living, Everyone! festival experience. Live-casting over two nights on the Melted Ice Cream site via artists' own Instagram livestreams, the lineup is stacked with more than 30 acts including Marlon Williams, Lawrence Arabia, Soaked Oats, Francisca Griffin (Look Blue Go Purple), Charlotte Forrester (Womb), Emily Edrosa, Robert Scott (The Bats) and many more. Annabel Kean got the scoop on what's hot and what's not when it comes to the Better Living, Everyone Livestream from the festival curator himself. Ōtautahi man with the plan Ben Woods dishes the dirt on his curation process, Glad collaborations, and which cheeky bev to enjoy with the show below...

UnderTheRadar proudly presents...

Better Living, Everyone: A Melted Ice Cream Streaming Thing
Friday 17th & Saturday 18th April - watch at, from 4:30pm both days 
[timetable here]

Featuring... Adam Hattaway, Ary Jansen, Ben Woods, Charlotte Forrester of Womb, Delaney Davidson, Emily Edrosa, Ferby, Flora knight, Francisca Griffin, Hot In The City (DJ set), IRD, Jim Nothing, James Harding of Best Bets, Katie Everingham of Dateline, Lawrence Arabia, Lucy Hunter, Luke Towart of Wurld Series, Marlon Williams, Martin Sagadin, Michael Morley, Mousey, Oliver Devlin of Hans Pucket, Oscar Mein of Soaked Oats, Pickle Darling, Power Nap, Rebecca Nash, Richard Dada, Robert Scott, Ryan Fisherman, Sabine (After Party Forum), Scott Maynard of Zero Cool, Vincent H.L, Violet French 

Annabel Kean: What was the process like trying to wrangle so many musicians?

Ben Woods: Well, I started thinking about trying to arrange a festival as soon as we all got shut inside, but it took me a week or two to actually summon the nerve to start being pro-active in getting things happening. I remember thinking, if I just start messaging people, then there's no way out. So really the process was just me sitting at my computer sweating for an hour sending forty messages on Instagram and Facebook, going off for a walk without my phone and returning home to a festival lineup more or less.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to put on their own live-streamed music event?

I guess just do it, don't worry about how it'll turn out and don't be afraid to ask for help. I'm generally a bit of a scatterbrain I think, so my usual way of making anything happen is just throw yourself in too deep and deal with the consequences. I don't know if I'd recommend that, but it's working out! Lucky I have Brian Feary and Jamie Stratton from Melted Ice Cream to actually figure out a lot of the hard stuff.

How will Better Living, Everyone! online differ from the previous four festivals?

Well obviously we're all stuck at home and it's all streamed, so that changes everything. I didn't have any part in organising the previous ones other than playing at one or two, but I think a big part of what has made this one so much bigger is that it's being fuelled from people just wanting something to happen and connect with people through music however they can. There's no real money attached to the fest other than potential merch sales for individual artists and the money they can try solicit for local charities, so I'm very thankful to everyone involved and for that energy.

What would you say is the ideal way for Better Living, Everyone! to be experienced?

I guess watching the master stream that will be available at, so you don't have to flick through everyone's Instagram profiles individually. Send it through to the telly if you've got one and are tech savvy. Have a good meal and a cheeky Lindauer if that's what you're into.

Will there be spot prizes?

I haven't considered that! Maybe Sabine who's running the Official After Party Forum (see @stayhomesabine on Instagram) could have an awards ceremony. I'll pass that on.

Have you looked into a Glad sponsorship?

No, but we did get Leah Panapa who was the OG Better Living woman to voice our radio ad which is amazing! I did think about how liable we could be for brand defamation or something of the sort!

Will people be able to re-watch the festival down the track?

We're hoping to capture some of the footage and maybe make a little video of some of the best moments if the artists give their consent. I guess we can't do much though if people screen record!

Can you give us some background into the images used in the poster e.g. mug in microwave, frozen pizza?

That was all Brian Feary. I guess some of the bleak realities of being completely home based! We've all been there.

Will there be any fun surprises?

I'm imagining there will be many, but I certainly don't know what they are! My guess is heaps of crazy shit will happen and fall apart plainly because most of us have never participated in a streaming festival, and we defo have never organised one. But I think it'll be part of the fun.

Will there be a chat feature so I can ask for shout outs?

I think so! I'm curious to see the tone of the chatrooms, hopefully everyone will keep it all relatively PG.


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Better Living, Everyone! (a Melted Ice Cream Streaming Festival)
Fri 17th Apr 4:30pm
Streaming Event, Online
Better Living, Everyone! (a Melted Ice Cream Streaming Festival)
Sat 18th Apr 4:30pm
Streaming Event, Online