BIMM Hamburg student Ava von der Mehden on founding her festival FINTAREI
We caught up with Ava von der Mehden, Music Business student at BIMM University Berlin Hamburg and founder of FINTAREI Festival, to talk about the festival and its representation in the music industry.
FINTAREI was founded by Ava to support and highlight the work of local female and non-binary artists.
Can you talk a little bit about the festival: what is it about and how did you come up with the idea? What inspired you to organise the festival?
The feminist movement and supporting Finta* personas in the industry has been very important to me for as long as I can remember. I grew up living with my sister and mum, who works as a self-employed photographer and always got paid less than men in the industry, which is the case in most areas of business around the world. So, I kind of see it as my mission as a woman starting out in the music industry to take a different approach and bring awareness to this problem to make a difference as soon as possible, as well as supporting each other and build up a local community of strong Finta artists.
How did the festival come about?
The idea for the festival was established during my studies at BIMM. For our assessments, we planned hypothetical festivals (because of COVID) and this is where I came up with it. So, I started planning it in different classes and finally, for my professional project in my last year at BIMM, I was able to make it happen.
How did you find and book artists for the festival?
Growing up in Hamburg I know the local music scene very well, and many people in my community started doing music as well. Also, during my internship at ATC Management last year, I became even more immersed in the local music scene. So, when I knew I was able to host my festival, the feedback was overwhelming; all the artists loved the idea and wanted to be a part of it. Even though I couldn´t promise to pay them, they just wanted to support this important topic. That felt amazing. In the end, I decided to have a mix of BIMM and local artists and I think my lineup is amazing. Sadly, I couldn´t let everyone perform but hopefully, this won´t be the last FINTAREI Festival.
Why do you think it is necessary to have a festival highlighting the music and work of female and non-binary artists and music professionals?
As I already mentioned the situation for Finta personas in the industry is not always easy and fair, as well as in the music business generally. Female and non-binary artists and business people are often underpaid, underestimated, and treated unfairly in comparison to cismen. I´ve already experienced that in my little years’ experience in the industry. That is why I think this festival is important: to spread awareness and to support each other.
With so many big festivals still not having enough representation in their lineups and still mostly only booking men, why do you think the music industry is so slow when it comes to booking women and non-binary artists?
Honestly, that is a very good question. There are so many talented Finta artists out there. Some festivals are trying to develop themselves in a better direction, like Dockville, Fusion or Southside Festival, but some other big ones like Rock am Ring and Splash are still very slow. So maybe the only way is to make a rule of women´s quota at festivals – not only on stage but also behind the scenes!
What are your future plans for the festival?
My future plans are to host more FINTARE festivals in Hamburg. With the support of musicHHwomen this can actually happen. So, stay tuned on my Instagram and come to the festival on 3 May 2022.
*Finta: Stands for Frauen* (women in German), Inter*, nicht-binäre (non-binary in German), Trans* and agender
Tickets for FINATRE Festival can be purchased here. See the poster below for more information.
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