The original festival was preceded in 2000 by a series of small local looping festivals but in 2001, Rick decided to put on a Bass Looping Festival as an excuse to showcase London solo bassist, Steve Lawson. Along with famed bassist Michael Manring, several other live looping bassists and several hundred audience members filled the brand new Rio Theater for a free concert.
This festival was followed by a 2nd Bass Looping Festival which was the beginning of the Y2K Festival the next year. From the Y2K2 International Live Looping Festival until the present day, the festival has grown and grown, bringing as many as 70 artists from 17 countries in 6 days in 5 cities in Northern California a year.
Hundreds of live looping artists have come to the festival from 20 different countries and the festival itself has inspired other live looping festivals in over 20 countries around the world.
Originally, The festival drew from the community that congregated on the daily mailing digest of Kim Flint’s website, www.loopersdelight.com.
In 2003, Walker sent a single e-mail to Loopers Delight’s mailing list, saying that he was coming to Europe to perform as a solo live looping artist and asking if anyone would consider hosting him while putting together a small looping festival where they lived. So many artists responded that within two weeks, he had a fully booked two month looping tour in 7 countries in the UK and Northern Europe.
Since that time, Rick has traveled to 15 different countries in Asia, Europe, the UK, Canada, Mexico and the US to try and promote the concept of live looping festivals.
A dedicated group of looping artists who had come and headlined the US festival spread the concept to their representative countries by creating their own looping festivals. They now represent and actively promote International Live Looping at www.livelooping.org, founded by Matthias Grob (the ‘Father’ of digital live looping technology from Switzerland), Nick Robinson (England) and Michael Peters (Germany). Other notable members of this original group of live loopers are Andy Butler (UK), Andrew Ostler (UK), Gareth Whittock (Wales), Per Boysen (Sweden), Bill Walker (USA), Ted Killian (USA), Leander Reininghaus (Germany), Michael Klobuchar (Germany),Hans Lindauer (USA, who did a series of early festivals called LoopStock, Bernhard Wagner (who produced the first pan-European live looping festival in Switzerland in 2005) and many others.
To this day, in that community, there is no style or genre of music associated with the movement. The only thing that links thousands of emerging live looping artists is a strong and supportive sense of community and a love for the concept of looping live in public.
In 2013, the Y2K13 International Live Looping Festival will expand to satellite festivals in London, Norwich, Paris, Berlin, Cologne, Sicily, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose and the main festival in Santa Cruz (always held in the third weekend of October). A much larger expansion of the festival is planned for summer/fall 2014 in East Asia and Europe/UK.
And in 2017, Y2K17 marked the first year of the festival as a registered non-profit organization.
Showcasing performers from 66 cities in 25 countries
Prague – Rome – Florence – Milan – Livorno – Brescia – Settignano – Pozzolengo – Castiglione delle Stiviere – Alicante – Paris – Chauvigny – Lyon – Arcueil – Fresnes – London – Norwich – Penarth – Cardigan – Belfast – Neunkirch – Zurich – Berlin – Cologne – Konstanz – Dresden – Munich – Vienna – Stockholm – Oslo – Helsinki – Dubai – Singapore – Bangkok – Manila – Laguna – Kuala Lumpur – Penang – Ipoh – Pentaling – Malacca – Johor Bahru – Denpasar – Ubud – Jogjakarta – Osaka – Guadalajara – Zapopan – Mexico City – Ciudad Satélite – Mexicali – San Miguel de Allende – Long Beach – Las Vegas – Portland – Ashland – Lincoln City – Seattle – Providence – Austin – San Antonio – Colorado Springs – Denver – San Jose – San Francisco
and the main festival in Santa Cruz
About Rick Walker – Festival Founder and CEO
After a 20 year professional career as a drummer/percussionist, Rick had begun the found sound/live looping portion of his career in 1995 when the Lexicon Jamman was first released to the public in a live looping trio called ‘Third Wave’ with fellow loopers, Gary Regina and Bill Walker (Rick’s brother).
Y2K Board of Directors
Bob Amstadt – Executive Director
Bass player, Looping inventor: drawn to bass guitar 30 years ago, and the new wave/punk/post-punk (now termed dark wave) musical styles before that, Bob was intrigued by what could be done with the early looping technologies. In 1994, he decided to create his own looping technology based on his own needs. This is now known as Looperlative.
George Demarest – Treasurer
George Demarest earned degrees in trumpet performance and computer science from the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, studying trumpet with Raymond Mase of the American Brass Quintet. He has performed with the Cincinnati Ballet, Carmen McRea, the Santa Cruz Symphony, Ensemble Monterey, New Music Works and many others.
He regularly records and performs in the San Francisco Bay Area as a freelance trumpeter, vocalist, wind synth player, keyboardist, live looper and electronic musician. He featured in the inaugural Y2K festival as well as Y2k festivals in 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
A multidisciplinary sound, visual and word artist, enticing inspiration from fortuity and improvisation and assembling them onto paper, photo, video and sound recordings. Rejyna’s lyrics, drawings, songs and stories are the foundation of a dozen releases by prog folk/symphonic metal band, Citadel. She’s an endorsed DigiTech artist, referred to as a JamMan guru due to her advanced utilization of sonic gadgetry, and a hyper-tutorial ethos. “I’m not a magician guarding illusionary secrets, I’m a muse-cartographer – aiding seekers with willowy maps into forests of creativity.”
Rejyna has been performing at loopfests since 2013, including Seattle, Portland, Santa Cruz and Long Beach. She is building a looplab in Burbank to showcase group looping using 360 video. She teaches, produces and collaborates, doing shows when time allows. She currently works at the largest localization studio in the world, adapting movies and television shows into every language and access service, where she recently coordinated adding sign-language into cinema using tablets and AR glasses.
Bill Walker is a guitarist of uncommon stylistic range who blends a world of influences in to a unique and lyrical personal voice. His solo performance creates a rich tapestry of layered sounds, blending electric and acoustic guitars, lap steel guitars, and percussive guit-boxing techniques, with state of the art live looping techniques and sound design. A gifted composer and instrumentalist, Bill’s music has been described as cinematic, adventurous, and innovative.
Recently featured in Guitar Player magazine for his collaboration with musician/composer/producer Erdem Helvacioglu on the critically acclaimed CD, “Fields and Fences”, Bill’s Solo Cd “Sanctuary”, also produced by Helvacioglu received a a top 10 pick by online zine Guitar Modern released in 2013. Recent collaborations include work with Hindustani slide master Debashish Battacharya, percussion and table master Subhasis Bhattacharjee, Guitarists Henry Kaiser, and Stephen Thelan of the band Sonar