We need to raise $2,000 in the next 2 weeks!
rafael anton irisarri
Seattle, Washington
United States
1 Team Member

**This is a critical fundraiser for Substrata 1.3.** 

In 2011, I launched Substrata with the intent of creating different/meaningful interactions and dynamics between audiences/performers. I organized this event with a similar style and format to some of the art festivals I've played in Europe. My goal was/is to create a community in Seattle interested in music and art outside the mainstream - think all those big summertime festivals (some are blatantly by-products of corporate marketing campaigns) - not so much about the music, art or even the audience's experience.

Some very kind people have praised our last two editions and complemented our collective efforts:

• “Substrata 1.1 was the inaugural edition of a concerted effort by curator and creative director, Rafael Anton Irisarri, to bring noise, subtlety and aural immersion to the forefront. Featuring an international lineup of artists who defy any concrete classification, the two performance days were an engrossing dedication to musical detail and sounds often overlooked.” - Mike Reid, Resident Advisor (UK)

 “Substrata is a small-scale, DIY, experimental/ambient music festival founded by Seattle musician Rafael Anton Irisarri, who records gauzy, obliquely guitar-based music as the Sight Below…Substrata not only elaborates on Irisarri’s minimalist sonic aesthetics, it also represents a radical idea of what a small-scale, experimental music festival might look like, from its 150-capacity main events at the Chapel Performance Space in Wallingford on Friday and Saturday to the 15-person day hike on Sunday, July 17, during which participants will make field recordings of the natural environment." - Eric Grandy, Seattle Weekly

• "What sets Substrata apart from other festivals is that a select cast of 15 attendees will be able to join the performers on a trip to the Cascade Mountains for "an auditory field trip... [during which] a small group of participants will spend time with the performing artists while capturing environmental recordings." - Dave Segal, The Stranger

If you'd like to read more, here's a in-depth review (and very kind words) of our second edition fromRedefine Magazine (USA):


In order to create this intimate, different atmosphere, we organize the event at a small - but gorgeous - non-profit venue. This is just about the opposite of all the big outdoor summer festivals. The collegial, intimate atmosphere is part of our aesthetic. That however comes with a flipside:Substrata has no corporate sponsors like those big summer events (and we don't seek those either). We do not have city funding unfortunately, as many of our European counterparts enjoy (hey, it's America – our money goes into drone-bombing countries we can barely pronounce right?). We relay solely on ticket sales and some limited, but kind donations, which make the bulk of our small, shoestring budget. Of course, as you can imagine, organizing a quality event like ours - filled with international artists - under these conditions is a challenge.

So, you may ask, how in the world did we pull two successful editions so far?

For the past two years, we've done it thru the kindness of all the artists involved (my own peers for the most part, who in some cases even donate their talent), the wonderful people who run the Chapel Performance Space venue, and the amazing audience that have supported our DIY event with their donations and devotion.

I pay myself $0.00 – I'm not doing this to make money. I do however work very hard, putting countless of hours to make it all happen. At the end of each edition, I've paid everyone else involved with the production, except for myself. And that is fine – as long as I can meet our budget needs and organize such a fantastic event, I'm perfectly OK doing it pro-bono. I've been blessed with the ability to make a modest living from my own music, and in the process making lasting connections with artists and listeners all over the world. With Substrata, I want to share some of the experiences I've lived while performing at similar events in other parts of the world. My concerns are curating a quality event filled with groundbreaking artists, creating a meaningful experience for the audience and artists participating, and been able to meet the financial commitments I've made to each person involved.

This year I would like to continue on our path and bring again an international line-up of artists to perform at our festival. Our plan this year is to expand our performance program to three days and have again a varied but focused program.

What We Need & What You Get

We need to raise $2,000 in the next two weeks in order to confirm two international acts for this year's festival.

We are offering some really nice perks in exchange for your support - please take a look!

I'm happy to answer any and all questions you may have about these things via email, substratafestival@gmail.com.

The Impact

A while ago, I posted on my blog a little rant about the importance of paying for music and what it means for both the listener and its creator

Substrata is an all-ages event. That's one of the things I love the most about it: it allows younger generations to hear sounds which you would not normally find on our radio waves or at other live events. I was very happy to have younger people listen live artists like Biosphere, Oren Ambarchi, Nils Frahm, Scanner or Tim Hecker in year's past. I certainly had somebody show me music like that when I was young too, and it really had an impact on me. It’s a wonderful thing when you discover something deep/meanigful at an early age ― those things will last much longer in a kid's musical formation than say something trendy (like all this “edm” craze happening now)… I want to make people step out of their comfort zone, slowdown, think and explore a world of sonic possibilities.

I thank everyone who's contributed in the past, everyone involved with the festival organizing, all the artists that have performed or contributed, and most importantly, to all the listeners who over the years have supported my lifestyle choice.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you’re unable to support this campaign financially, I would greatly appreciate any other help you might be able to offer, for example:

• Posting a link on your Twitter, blog, vlog, Facebook, website, Skype ‘away’ message, Instagram? You probably know the internets better than I do, so go ahead and post to that new place I don't know about and everybody is raving about!

• Using the ‘share’ tools on this very page to tell your friends & acquaintances about this effort.

Find This Campaign On
raised in 15 days
103% funded
No time left
$2,000 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 22, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $15USD
    Festival booklet + stickers

    I'll send you 3 weather resistant stickers + a handwritten thank you note + a festival booklet signed by all the artists. *please add $5 if based out of the USA.

    5 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $20USD
    Mixtape by Markus Guentner

    An exclusive digital mix by the German pop ambient maestro. Comes with exclusive PDF artwork signed by the artist.

    10 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $35USD

    A copy of the festival's booklet (signed by all the artists), along with a handwritten thank you note, three (3) Substrata stickers and a digital mixtape by Markus Guentner. *please add $5 if you want shipped outside the USA.

    4 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2013

    Signed Loscil vinyl

    (1) signed LP copy of Loscil's new "Intervalo" album. This collaboration between Scott Morgan and pianist Kelly Wyse was commissioned for the Substrata 1.2 edition. It was later recorded in Seattle and press on LTD edition vinyl. Must have item! *Please add $20 if you want shipped outside the USA.

    10 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $50USD
    Signed poster

    A 36" X 24" Substrata 1.3 poster signed by all the performing artists + an exclusive digital mix by Markus Guentner. *please add $10 if you want poster shipped outside the USA.

    0 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $85USD

    A 36" X 24" Substrata 1.3 poster signed by all the performing artists, an exclusive digital mix by Markus Guentner, a festival booklet (signed) + three (3) stickers. *please add $15 if you want poster shipped outside the USA.

    0 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $350USD
    Join us!

    Be one of the pack and come hang out with us the entire weekend: get a full-access pass (which includes a Sunday field trip with the artists), acknowledgment on the printed Substrata booklet (Substrata Festival made possible by the kind contributions of "INSERT YOUR NAME") + (1) Substrata 1.3 poster + (1) Substrata hardbound book + Substrata CD compilation + digital mix by Markus Guentner.

    3 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
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