The National and Bon Iver announce PEOPLE festival line-up

A host of new names have been announced for the Berlin event

The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner together with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon have today announced the line-up for their forthcoming PEOPLE festival.

Taking place at Funkhaus, Berlin, from August 18-19, the event will see over 150 artists perform across the two-day festival, including the Dessner brothers themselves. This is the second instalment of the festival.

Feist, Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner, Jónsi & Alex Somers are just some of the acts to be announced.


An artist-led collective, the festival describes itself as being about “new material, collaborations, unique arrangements and dissolving borders.”

Previously, the festival announced on it’s website that there “will be no line up,” adding that audiences “won’t know who you’re going to see until the artists come on stage.”

It also said that all artists meet just one week prior to the festival to “rehearse and create new ideas and perform them for the first time.”


Speaking to The Creative Independent, Bryce Dessner said they wanted to create a festival with a difference.

He said: “It was more focused on work and process and collaboration and having no plan. It was the opposite of a normal festival – there was no set schedule, no program, no headliners, no artist fees. Even down to the last minute, there was no guarantee of who was going to play with whom.”

“Basically it allowed for musicians to come together with the least artifice and just be themselves. There was none of the baggage that comes with heavily promoting something. We were able to get in the room with each other and just make stuff.”

His brother Aaron added: “The hope is that the PEOPLE experience becomes something like the experience of digging around in a record store, like people used to do, looking for something interesting.”

“Then, as far as the community itself, it becomes a place where everyone remains linked to everything they work on and it’s very easy to discover things, and to travel through recordings.”

“The goal is for everyone to be connected in this way that you don’t really see on streaming services, which are much more two-dimensional, because there’s just so many artists there.”

Founded by Vernon, the Dessners and Tom and Nadine Michelberger, the event sees all ticket proceeds go towards staging the event.

PEOPLE also launched a new beta version of its digital platform recently and includes new music from Vernon and Aaron Dessner’s group Big Red Machine who revealed that their new album would appear via instalments this summer.

The full line up for the festival can be found here; you can buy tickets for the event now.

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