The organisation of Conduct Festival had to cancel the event. Amidst the build-up of the festival, the students were taken by surprise when a storm stroke on Thursday. The heavy winds blew the roof off the main stage, canvases were ripped apart by the storm and fences fell down. They had to escape the terrain to get to safety. The damage was big, but the organisation was willing to pull some all-nighters to build everything back up, chair of the committee Simone Cooijmans says. “But they predicted more bad weather for today and the firefighters and other specialist gave us a negative advice to continue building up the festival.”
The rain made the scaffolding too slippery to climb on and the wind was picking up again. “For a moment we considered continuing the festival on a smaller scale, but that’s not wat Conduct stands for. It would detract from the experience we were going for. We wanted to either do it well, or not do it at all.”
It was a tough decision, says Cooijmans. “Really terrible.” But: all the hard work hasn’t been for nothing. All plans and designs for the festival are still there and hopefully can be put to use in the future, she hopes. If that could happen this academic year, the student doesn’t know.
Conduct is different every year, but the organizers have a clear vision: “We provide visitors with a complete experience, and the visitor takes central stage as far as we are concerned,” Conduct committee members Lars de Langen and Bjorn Nieuwenhoff say.
The theme of this fifth edition, which coincides with the conclusion of Lucid’s fourth lustrum year, is Nature in contrast to Technology. The Flux field has been divided into two halves and visitors will be ‘given a tour’ by a host.
That host acts like a pilot who accompanies his passengers on a journey through space. It’s time to leave Earth and to take a seat among the stars, according to Conduct’s story this time around. The countdown clock will start running at 16:00 hrs. and when the launch fails after sixty minutes, the pilot will inform everyone about every defect and solution. In the meantime, artists that have been flown in will provide the passengers with the entertainment to suit an Electronic Music Festival.
Bigger than ever
“This will be Lucid’s biggest event in its entire twenty-year history,” Nieuwenhoff says. “There will be many well-known artists, we really go full out with light shows, and the entire event will revolve around the story. We’re glad that DJ Mike Mago and DJ Jess Bays will perform on our spaceship.”
The committee has been preparing for the event since September and currently consists of almost twenty members. “Everyone is fully dedicated,” De Langen says. He was also involved in the two previous editions of Conduct, one of which doesn’t really count, he believes, because it couldn’t take place due to COVID. “We’ve been focusing exclusively on the preparations recently. It might cost us a couple of credits here and there, but it’s worth it, because organizing an event like this together is so very cool.”
All the pieces of scenery were made by Lucid members and friends. “You enter through a gate that says ‘welcome on board,’ and if you want, you can assemble a fitting outfit with aluminum foil and fabrics. You walk past light artwork Hyper Collective, which plays a major role in the story,” Nieuwenhoff says. “Conduct doesn’t offer a standard festival experience; we use a storyline to create a coherent whole.”
Speculative design, or design fiction, is a discipline within Industrial Design that teaches students how to design future scenarios. “You use storytelling for that. We designers address societal problems. I believe that this festival, during which we combine technology with festivities, is perfectly in line with our study program. All our committee members put as much of their creative powers and knowledge as possible into the realization of ideas. We used our network and can offer salsa workshops, theater and 3D animation.”
Not every visitor will fully immerse his or herself in the apocalypse story. “But they don’t have to. It’s also fine if they show up for a foodtruck, a beer and music.” Despite the busy final few days in the run up to the event, Nieuwenhoff and De Langen remain relaxed and full of enthusiasm.
You can buy tickets here: https://conduct.nu/tickets/