Pix666: Hey Lars, thanks for taking the time for this little interview. You are the president of Shadowplay e.V. – how did you come to this and how long have you been doing this for?
Lars: For as long as I can think….😉 No, just kidding … even if it seems to me that way! Probably since around 2007, but it feels like forever! 🙂 The official position as president only really manifested with the official foundation as a registered company in 2016, exactly on 29.10.2016 with the founders meeting. But basically, I’m doing nothing different than I have done since then, just everything with a little more bureaucracy.
Pix666: What was the reason for the decision to make the fan club an official club?
Lars: It was mainly because of the professional organization of events, publications like the fanzine or the production of “gimmicks”. Up until then there was a risk to do these things as a private person, but much safer as an “official institution” and registered club. That way you can also sign contracts for the club, keep accounts and also take out insurance for financially risky topics like events. This has proven extremely helpful with all the cancellations and postponements due to Covid-19. As a private organizer without a parachute, I would be afraid of getting bogged down… But for our club events, for example, we always had insurance that is effective in case of illness, pandemics or other catastrophes, so that in the end neither the fans nor the organizers are left losing money. Money is of course not the main reason, but unfortunately it is an issue that can break the neck of a volunteer… And of course you can protect this with a professional line-up.
Pix666: The fanclub is for fans of the bands Dreadful Shadows, Zeraphine and Solar Fake – bands of singer Sven Friedrich. How many members does the Shadowplay e.V. have by now and how much does it cost?
Lars: We now have almost 600 active members. The majority come from Germany. But we also have a potential large international membership. This is of course also due to the increased presence of Solar Fake at big festivals and concerts abroad which attract new people’s attention. We can now offer almost all content in German and English with a professional editorial team, i.e. internationally oriented. In view of the increased costs, the annual fee has remained stable at 25,- Euro (single membership) and 35,- Euro (partner membership). For members abroad, there is an extra 10,- Euro charge, since the postage costs are noticeably higher, unfortunately. But with the fanzine and the free gimmicks you actually get a lot back for your money!
Pix666: You just mentioned the fanzine that you send to the fans regularly. This magazine is top quality and extremely extensive. Since the number of members of the ‘fan club’ is constantly growing, I’m sure you will soon reach the limits of what is possible. How many people are regularly involved in the design? Can fans also contribute articles and photos to the fanzine?
Lars: We always welcome contributions, suggestions, photos and ideas from fans. This enriches the portfolio immensely and we are always grateful for useful input. So please go ahead! Otherwise we have an editorial team that takes care of the processing of the submitted contributions and the translation if necessary. Since 2007 I have been developing the content of the magazine as editor-in-chief and also take care of the selection of photos and the acquisition of editors and photographers. Since all this has become an enormous amount of work, I have been able to gain very competent support for the team for the next fanzine in 2020, who will now take over the typesetting and layout of the magazine for us. As is well known, a fresh breeze is sometimes good for you. So far I had this job, but I am very happy to welcome a new creative and professional lady in the team. I am very grateful for that! Thank you, Nana! 😉 You can all look forward to a very different and new and above all creatively designed Fanzine 2020!
Pix666: Once a year there is the Shadowplay e.V. live concert. This event already took place in different, great locations. Which was your favourite event so far? Will there be a ‘fan club concert’ again this year and are you allowed/would you like to tell us where it will take place?
Lars: First of all I have to say that the annual rhythm has crept in over the last 3 years, but unfortunately it can’t be guaranteed. We are always dependent on many factors, especially on the artists or other circumstances. This year the unfortunately current situation will affect us badly, as it does for many others, and it was already clear before that it will be difficult in 2020. After all this is over, we want to put together a programme that is particularly attractive in one form or another. And this is what we have now planned for 2021 together with Sven Friedrich and the other musicians. Therfore it will take place in 2021 and will most likely be in Berlin again, because it is also the easiest to organize. My favourite event is hard to choose, because many events were so different and special. The ship, the MS Havel Queen, was already very special because of the location. But also the event hangar in Werneuchen and the events in Bi Nuu had their special features. If you look further back into the past, Zeraphine Acoustic (2010) and Solar Fake Acoustic (2015) in the time-honored theARTer Gallery were also very special. In short, all events have something unique.
Pix666: As a club you surely have general meetings. What is the participation like? Are there also different positions in the club elected and how can you apply for a leading position?
Lars: Of course, this is actually required by law with the general meetings. We still hope that we don’t have to postpone this year’s meeting, which is planned for 25.04.2020. But the contingency plans will show whether such events will be possible again then. Otherwise we will have to postpone. Anyway… yes, we have positions to fill when they are vacant. It’s the same in every club. Currently we have a number of new positions to fill and are looking for support. And of course you can apply if you want. The prerequisite is, of course, that you are a member of our club, that you apply within the application period and of course you should have a certain competence for the position you would like to fill. After all, it depends on each individual and that’s where you are needed for the position.
Pix666: What arguments would you use to convince a Solar Fake Fan, who doesn’t yet know about Shadowplay e.V., to become a member?
Lars: Well, convincing or persuading is always a bit difficult. 🙂 But we rather hope that by word-of-mouth propaganda or by some flyer actions we can easily attract attention. We hope to get people interested in the bands and who are happy about a magazine, great gimmicks and special events to become a member. Because without the members, the valuable input and of course the simple financing of everything through the membership fees, the association could not be organized. Not to mention all the support of the bands, especially of Sven Friedrich. With this, the whole thing is formed into one.
Pix666 wishes you a lot of fun with your work – and above all, stay healthy.
Lars: Thank you! Especially at the moment you can only wish each other that! You too!
© photos: Ronny Zeisberg http://www.wieglas.de/ (Potrait); Shadowplay e.V. (Flyer and Fanzine Cover); Lars Borgfeld