1 June 2020

Surprise gift of music 

Having your birthday in times of Corona is strange. No visiting friends or family. No party. No fancy dinner out, or tickets to a show. Even buying presents for a close friend or family member is a challenge, now that physical distancing is required and we all stay home to stay safe.

I was so happy to see that Alejandro Rivas Cottle managed to come into play, when someone contacted us at Culture on Demand to tackle these issues, through one simple gift; a surprise concert in the back garden, for a friend with a birthday. The lady in question didn’t expect a thing and thought she was just drinking a glass of bubbles in the garden, catching up with friends via Zoom. Imagine the look on her face when a Bolivian gentleman, holding a guitar, casually walked into the garden, sat himself down on a bench – conveniently placed at a safe distance from the party people – and started to play his own wonderful , soulful songs in spanish from latin america.

Another moment in which I realized that this project brings more than culture, it brings warmth in times when a hug is not possible, but needed all the more…

Andrej Krocker

Founder & Captain of Important Stuff

P.s. When you decide to book a private concert for a friend, family member, your hard working colleagues, your grandma in a home, or for yourself, use the wonderful tip from this experience and invite all of your friends to join the concert via zoom/teams/facetime or another video platform. That way, you keep the safe distance, you don’t break any group gathering rules and can even have friends from abroad enjoy this project, that may not be available where they live!

22 May 2020

Culture on Demand première

What a great start to the project to bring culture back to our lives!

On Wednesday 20 May, Culture on Demand had its first concert-at-a-distance event. A lovely family, with something to celebrate, invited us, but more specifically, Shelby Ouattara to come to their home, for a private concert, at the end of the short working week. The sun was shining, the street setting was very social-distancing friendly, and the bubbles were chilled. Even a train-breakdown did not manage to stop this evening from becoming special for all of us.

And to be honest, when you experience Shelby, with her calm and friendly nature, you could not be prepared for what happens when she starts singing. Wow! What a voice! Amy Winehouse, Brazilian/Portuguese songs and even her own creations, one even more touching than the next. 

At the beginning, we all felt a little bit uncomfortable, with the strange situation. No greetings, no concert space filled with people. But after the first song, that was all forgotten. The birds tried to sing along, passing cars drove by slowly, appreciating the music with curiosity and neighbours all over opened their windows to find out where this music was coming from.

One of the most important reasons for us to start the Culture on Demand project was to bring the audience back to musicians, who had to go without for so many weeks. You can therefore imagine the good feelings we got, when Shelby mentioned that, although the situation was a bit bizar – playing in the front garden of a seemingly random house – it felt so good to play in front of real people again, seeing them enjoy the music. And, also the family who booked the concert seemed to agree with our wish to bring cultural experiences back to people, as they decided to book another concert straight away!

To all of you, thank you for this amazing kick-off of the project Culture on Demand and we already can´t wait for the next concert, tomorrow!!

Andrej Krocker,  Captain of Important stuff & Founder of Culture on Demand

10 April 2020

Culture on Demand goes online

How did it get to this?

Already for a while, the idea of providing special experiences for extremely small audiences has been floating through my mind. It took many forms and might still be the direction I will go in, in the future. But until today, my head was the only place this idea took shape (ok, perhaps also some dinner tables, or – an event that seems a distant memory – a café with friends). But then came Corona…..and this changed everything. 

Not just for me, but for everybody. I work independently and most of my projects for the year were cancelled, from one day, to the next. After the first panic over health, income and my future receded, I realised I could try to see it as an opportunity, as suddenly I had a lot of extra time on my hands. I realised I wasn´t alone, artists and musicians were in the same boat. They used their newly available time, to think of alternative ways to bring their music to the crowds. Live-streaming shows and concerts became a new trend. But…that was not quite the same. It allowed some to find ways to continue to play and sing, and perhaps even earn back a little of the lost income. However, it seemed the worst thing they lost was their audience...and that`s when my idea fitted perfectly together with a new project of a friend (Kultursendung): bringing artists to your doorstep, with d-i-s-t-a-n-c-e.

And today, it is time to publish the website of my new Brussels project: Culture on Demand! We start with a small, but exquisite, selection of artists and athletes and a handful of potential customers, but most importantly, with the feeling to do something good in these uncertain times: bring culture back to the people of Brussels and bring the audience (and a little income) back to musicians!

I cannot wait to share our experiences!

Andrej Krocker, Captain of Important stuff & Founder of Culture on Demand