FAQ on Empty Hills

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FAQ on Empty Hills

Who Makes Empty Hills?

Empty Hills are not organised by any organizations or businesses. The festival is made by ordinary people, the volunteers. No one is professionally making money on holding Empty Hills Open-Air festival.
The first festival was just a small open-air party made in the woods by a group of friends who erected an improvised stage under a shed and organised a gig of the bands consisting of their friends. Then each of these people called their friends, who, in turn, called theirs; some people came by themselves. Thus, every year there are more organisers and more public.
Empty Hills are made by those who came to make them and out of the things they brought with them.

Who Gives Money to Empty Hills?

We make Empty Hills on the money from our own pockets and with the friendly help of good people and organisations. Sadly, we cannot always give back the money we borrow. But the scale of the costs the festival involves has long outgrown our pocket money, for we are all ordinary people, not magnates. That is why exterior help is always important for Empty Hills, and we are looking for congenial sponsors.

Are Empty Hills Connected with Any Organisations?

Empty Hills Open-Air festival is not a project of any businesses, organisations or state structures, and is not affiliated with them in any way.
However, the festival is approved by the local authorities of the places where it is held, for which we are very grateful.

Why Is the Musical Format of Empty Hills the Way It Is?

Empty Hills are the festival of non-format arts. Paradoxical as it may seem, this is the format of our festival. Any interesting and "catchy" music, irrespective of its genre, is welcome at Empty Hills. Interesting music which has not yet found its audience is twice as interesting for us. Helping such bands is one of the aims of Empty Hills.
You may fall into a delusion that mainstream rock, singers-songwriters, electronic music and heavy metal are not welcome at Empty Hills. This is not true; all these genres were represented at previous festivals. The representatives of these genres find it really hard to pass the selection, because these genres are very popular, the bands playing such music numerous, and the selection criteria much stricter. It does not seem interesting for us to explore the entire spectre of variations within these genres, because there are a lot of other festivals devoted to them. However, it would be interesting to find congenial people specializing in the genres insufficiently represented at Empty Hills and ready to promote them at the festival.
The only criterion used to determine whether the music is interesting or not is the musical taste of the people who began Empty Hills and of some others who joined later. It has been so since the beginning, and so it will be, because this is the method that has led to todays Empty Hills, which we all love ;) Anyone who does not support this policy is free to go some place else.

How to Become a Participant of Empty Hills Open-Air Festival?

The Empty Hills line-up consists of the performers who have passed the restricted selection. The applications are accepted from spring (applications from music bands are usually accepted in March), the date and the deadline being announced at the website of the festival. Submitting anything before this time is senseless, because in this case nobody will remember your application when the time comes.
The selection for the line-up is severe; the competition is usually about 15 applicants per place. However, if you passed the selection, you still may fail to be included in the program if you ignore the messages with application forms and contracts from the Empty Hills Musician Management Service ("the nannies").
A short gig on the Free Stage can be played without having to pass the selection. Two best bands from the Free Stage are included in the next year line-up.
The participants are not paid for playing at Empty Hills. We cover your road expenses, provide food and help with accommodation on site.

How to Organize Our Own Stage (Venue) at Empty Hills?

First, your venue has to comply with the "format" of the festival (see above).
Second, the request should be sent in March at the latest. Then we will discuss which of the infrastructure elements are provided by the venue and which are expected from the festival, and decide which venues to accept. The more the venue organisers can do themselves, the more possible is our consent.
We have rich experience in struggling with the venues not approved by the festival.

Whom Are Empty Hills Made for?

Initially, we made Empty Hills for ourselves. Then our friends came, and their friends came in turn, but we still make Empty Hills for ourselves. They are our home.
Imagine that you are going to visit your friends, or that your friends take you to their friends. We are always happy to meet new friendly guests, although there are sometimes not enough cookies and slippers for everyone. But the guests who came to row or to enforce their own rules are very unwelcome.

Where Will Empty Hills Be Held?

The festival location changes every year and is announced several days before the festival.
Please believe there are serious reasons for this. If you learned about the location before the announcement, do not tell anybody and tell others who know to do likewise.
The location is usually not further than 300 kilometres from Moscow, but outside Moscow region.

When Will Empty Hill Be Held?

Our summer festival is usually held on the weekend prolonged by the Day of Russia (June 12).

Who Will Perform at Empty Hills and When Will the Line-up Be Known?

The program consists of the bands that passed the selection and fixed all the technical formalities with the festival. The election is finished in time, but we always have trouble with further correspondence: until the first day of the festival some bands either cannot realise which day is the most suitable for them, or cannot tell us how many tents they need; some are even not conscious enough to ever contact us. Thus, the time-table changes all the time until the first day, or even during the festival. When it is clear that more waiting is impossible, the time-table appears on the website. The preliminary versions are not published for the sake of mental health of our readers.

How Can I Help?

Empty Hills are made by those who came to make them and out of the things they brought with them.
You can help in different ways:
1) You may help us in building, dismantling, cleaning, guarding etc. If you are, for example, a medicine man, a sound engineer, or an electrician the way you can help is absolutely clear.
2) You may take on the organisation of something small (e.g. the security service for one of the stages) or, other way round, of something for the whole festival (e.g. volunteer management or logistics).
3) You may help us with construction materials, tools, equipment, pavilions etc.
4) You may help in transporting the Empty Hills stuff and people before, during and after the festival.
5) You may offer goods and services of your company for friendly prices.
6) You may just give us money.

Why Are You Asking Us for Money for the Festival?

We think it is a good tradition to chip in for a "good thing" to give it life.
There are three ways of spending money:
1) You may buy food, things, entertainment. From all this, only memories remain.
2) You may make more money with your money. You get the instant power over the present moment. What comes next?
3) Money may give someone some freedom when you give it for someones education or medical treatment, or when you finance the most challenging projects. That is how we care about the future.
Atmosphere is the key word at Empty Hills Open-Air Festival. Here, money is the means of subsistence, but not the destiny.
We are zealous for making more and more people get into the idea of free gift-making. It is only in this case that money is able to give life to Empty Hills. Joy can only be given freely.

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