Interview: Resistanz 2020 with Leighton

We spoke to Leighton, the well known organiser of the world famous Resistanz festival at Corporation Sheffield, often shortened to 'Tanz', the German word for dance. The overwhelming support and excitement for the return of the festival has already played evident on social media and with tickets going on sale today, who knows how fast they will sell out!

Leighton.. A lot of pressure on one man's shoulders.

Q. Leighton thank you for taking some time to answer some questions about Resistanz festival. The emotions have been so very low since the last Tanz in 2016. However the excitement has been building higher and higher with your teasers and hints at the 2020 reunion over the last year or so. Now finally, at infest festival, you dropped the news (Some were lucky to stumble across the flyers) that Tanz is confirmed! What with 2019 a horror year for awful news everyday can you just once again clarify that we are not dreaming and Tanz 2020 is happening and not a cruel joke?

A. So yeah, Resistanz Festival or “Tanz” as it is known by a lot of our supporters will be back for a special event in 2020. The venue was actually booked some time ago but I wanted to make 100% sure I had everything needed (including finances) before an official announcement was made.

Q. What have you been up to the last few years and how often do you get bombarded with love and support messages asking for Tanz to come back and was there a final turning point that made you think, ‘that’s it, let’s do it!’ ?

A. Keeping busy really - working, some traveling, spending time with family, that kinda thing. For the last few years I’ve still been putting on club nights and DJing in my spare time. The festival organising takes up a lot of free time though and doing it 6 years in a row without a break was hard work, so it was nice to have a break from that and enjoy having time to concentrate on other things. People kept asking about Resistanz coming back, literally every time I was out clubbing or at an event.

Q. You booked some of the most incredible acts from across the world of Industrial music even from the very first festival. Obviously with each passing year the sheer success and LOVE for your festival grew exponentially and therefore it must have become easier with each passing festival but how did you manage to pull it all off, get the first festival off the ground and continue to book the superstars that you did?

A. A lot of effort and thoughtful planning went into the first event. A good year and a half before Resistanz 2011 was even announced there were plans being drawn up behind the scenes. That careful planning and hard work did pay off though. The feedback from the crowd, the crew, the bands/DJ’s that performed that first year surpassed expectations and word soon spread about the UK’s latest industrial based music festival. The hype was so great that following on from a break even after the first year, Resistanz 2012 was to be a completely sold out event. I wouldn’t say every year following became easier, as we were determined to make sure every following event would be bigger and better than the last. So with that in mind (although booking acts became easier due to the festivals reputation) we were putting more pressure on ourselves to find ways to better the experience for the fans.

Q. I remember a crowd, myself included who had just moments before been on cloud 9 after Modulate sound system brought a close to Tanz 2016, to being very tearful as you made the announcement that it really was going to be the last Resistanz festival as you needed to rest; especially as for most of the crowd it had been their yearly tradition and for others it was their first and last experience of what is now considered to have been the ultimate pilgrimage for Goths of the UK. So how stressful is it to put on a festival like this and how much harder will it be now that Brexit causes a lot of uncertainty in regards to band’s travel abilities?

A. Resistanz 2016 was a mixed bag of emotions for me. I was so proud to have been involved in such a special event and although I was looking forward to having more free time I would of course miss not only the three days of escapism but all the wonderful people involved. Yes I did shed a tear or two myself on the last night. The work load can be stressful. There is so much to consider putting on an event of this size. I think the only people that would truly understand or get a general idea of what that is like is other promoters. It genuinely took a year to organise each one. At one point we were actually booking bands for the following year while at the festival itself. With Brexit so much is uncertain that it’s hard to plan for it’s impact when nobody knows what is actually going to happen. We do expect the value of the pound to drop but that has already been taken into consideration. I don’t see any major issues with so much planning on our part being done in advance.

2016's Tanz art

Q. I would imagine you can’t yet tell us any of the bands you have booked, if any so far but can yo