“The Best Festival In NYC this Summer is on a Yacht” Interview with Gillian Orwoll on Brooklyn’s Get Carried Away Festival

I’ve been looking for a music festival to go to this summer that wasn’t going to hurt my wallet.  Gov Ball is great, but do I really want to spend $300 dollars for “the festival experience.”  When I heard about Get Carried Away I feel like my prayers were answered.  Gillian Orwoll and her team have booked amazing bands, found an incredible venue, and might just have founded Brooklyn’s hottest new festival.

I was lucky enough to talk to Gillian and get some more information on Get Carried Away.

Where did the idea of Carried Away Fest come from?  Why did you decided to do something like this on a yacht?

I’ve thrown this festival for the past two years on a much smaller scale – once in a nightclub downtown & then on a rooftop in Brooklyn. A few months ago, I was getting tipsy at my local jazz club where I met a man with a captain’s hat. We got to talking & I asked if he actually worked on a ship or was just wearing the hat as some sort of hipster fashion statement. He did in fact work on a boat nearby & I instinctively asked if he ever threw parties on it. Everything kind of snowballed from there & I eventually had to invest in a larger vessel as the festival started to gain more traction.

What advice would you give someone who is trying to throw their own music festival?

From a broader, less granular perspective, “bite off more than you can chew then chew like Hell” – alternatively, “jump in the deep end & then learn to swim.” Find people who are better & smarter than you. Take every step with integrity & honesty. Treat everyone involved – musicians, volunteers, vendors, sponsors – with gratitude & respect. Also there’s something very romantic about drinking coffee at night & burning the midnight oil- & it’ll make you productive as fuck.

 

What can festival attendees expect besides amazing music?

Amazing views, local food, jewelry, clothing vendors, innovative brand partnership experiences, art installations, VIP benefits, alcohol, diverse & inclusive vibes, stories to tell friends, great content to up your Insta game (cruising past the Statue of Liberty at dusk), wacky games & prizes, cool, local, hip, artsy, attractive, young people, water cooler chatter for when you’re back in the office begrudgingly the following Monday, the precursor to a massive hangover, probably some bad-decision-making & some unforgettable memories.

 

Tell us a little about some of the bands you’ve already booked?  Who are some of the one’s you’re personally most excited for?

So I searched through hundreds of “Best Of” & “Top 10” lists in local music blogs & cold-emailed my favorites, most of which aligned with our focus on diversity. This is going to sound lame & cliched, but I’m personally excited for every single act- each one was hand-picked from thousands of other talented, local musicians & they all span a variety of genres, without diverting too far from each other stylistically.

 

I know that this festival’s focus is on female musicians and artist, what have you learned while booking this festival?

It’s a lot harder to find female performers online than male. I believe it’s due to lack of coverage, lack of opportunity, lack of encouragement… certainly not lack of talent. Diversity needs to translate from conscious thought into intentional action before we can create real change. Also the general reaction to our mission of inclusivity (inclusion? Inclusiveness? Why are there so many words for the same thing??) has also been very positive and reaffirming, not just of this event but of how society at large is changing.

 

How do you feel things are changing for women?

I think we are living in the best possible time for women that there’s ever been. Not the best it ever will be or the best it should be, mind you. But the winds have changed drastically, especially in the past 8-9 months. It feels like the start of a Magnificent Social Renaissance that’s been so inevitable it’s shocking it took so long- the future is female.


What can men do to continue to be allies?

Listen. Phrase their disagreements as as an effort to understand the opposing view. Speak up- especially in front of your male friends when no women are around.

 

What advice do you have for women who are trying to make music today?

Don’t be scared of anything or anyone. We have to work twice as hard to get half as far, so there’s no time to waste on self-doubt in a society that instills and profits off our insecurities from the day we’re born. Demand respect & state your worth unwaveringly. Don’t apologize or be embarrassed about anything ever.

Check out the Battle of the Bands to see who else gets to play Get Carried Away

https://www.facebook.com/events/215249105895424/

You can buy tickets here:  https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1692979?utm_medium=bks

Get more information about the Festival here: www.getcarriedawaymusic.com

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