Now & Then: Basia Bulat

Video available all weekend July 23rd – 25th

After more than a year off the road and locked down, Basia Bulat reflects upon her 2007, 2010, and 2014 Hillside Festival performances, how Hillside set a high benchmark as the first festival (and arena concert!) she ever played, how playing on Hillside’s main stage actually freed her up to experiment and try new things musically, what gathering with a community of festival goers and colleagues means to her, and how she hopes to be back at Hillside again, irl, sometime soon.

About Now & Then
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us to fulfill our mission and to stay relevant at a time when our raison d’être, to present live arts events to our community, has been nullified.  When we couldn’t showcase artists in person, we turned to  an extensive library of archival video and audio footage from our festival that includes multiple camera angles and high-resolution recording.  We have never used this footage because our focus is always on the future—the next artist we will showcase live, the next workshop that will blow people away.  And though we don’t think of ourselves as hoarders, we do have at least 15 years of high-quality footage that we keep and rarely touch.  So, for this special project series, we have asked some of the artists whose performances were beloved by our audience, unusual in some way, even epic, to sit with us to talk about their Hillside experience, their music, the sets we recorded in the past, and the paths they have followed since in their careers.  This interview will be interwoven with the archival footage in such a way that they comment, both directly and indirectly, on each other.  Some artists we interview will perform a couple of songs for us in the here and now, which will round out the documentary about them.  It is our hope that each facet of this documentary exploration teases out the individuality of the artist and prompts us all to reflect on the trajectories of creative lives and the inspirational role festivals play in showcasing brilliant artists, quirky personalities, and wild improvisational sets between performers from different cultures, traditions and generations.  We also hope this Now & Then project grounds you in sweet memories of past festivals and gives you hope as we move into the uncertain future.

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