The Don’t Block Your Blessings Festival, produced by Erez Safar, is a one of a kind virtual music festival that will be held on Valentine’s Day 2021. The festival will feature musicians, artist, and healing. Attendees will be able to enter different virtual rooms attending talks, musical performances, or watch live art creation. The Knockturnal spoke with Erez Safar about the festival and what attendees can expect to see.
The Knockturnal: What inspired you to create this festival?
Erez Safar: I lost my mom two months ago to cancer and I wanted to turn that pain and darkness into light and bring the inspiration she brought to me into the world. So I put together this project called Don’t Block Your Blessings. At first it started as a movement to share videos and stories of personal transformation, both from myself and countless others. Whether it was an aha moment someone had or an arduous journey in their lives that shifted their perspective to positivity, I wanted to share it with the world. The goal of the project is to collect and present an online living library of light and love to a world in need of healing.
Doing a live-stream festival came about because a few months back when I was stuck and unable to perform live shows, like so many other artists, and my album was coming out, I wanted to still do a big release party. I put together a page on my site and create interactive rooms and filled them with musicians and live painters from around the globe to do their thing in celebration of the album I called it Lo-Freq Fest and it was featured in Billboard and came out incredible!
After my mom passed and I started the “Don’t Block Your Blessings” (DBYB) project, I wanted to engage as many people as possible who needed to hear others’ stories. The DBYB Festival idea came from that impulse, and I decided that using this online venue I would add a virtual room dedicated to live-streaming some of the most innovative minds in self-growth and healing. The first DBYB festival which I put together with only a few weeks’ lead time brought in 25,774 viewers and with the upcoming one I am adding a lot of talented presenters with even more impressive followings. I am hoping it reaches over 100k viewers and participants. The first festival featured my favorite DJ (DJ Qbert), some incredible musicians, MOONZz, Psychic Twin, Mikey Pauker, Sounten, Ada Pasternak, and the healing room was packed with programming including a session by Heather Prete (from The Den Meditation and UCLA) and David Sacks (writer of The Simpsons).
The Knockturnal: Is there any special virtual tech you’re using for this event?
Erez: Yes, I use various live-streaming platforms and incorporate the feeds into the portals we built on the DBYB website. I think it’s a first of its kind live-stream festival to feature musicians, artists, and healers in this way, sort of a Coachella meets wellness retreat. To give you an idea, we built out three interactive rooms on our platform and festival goers to jump from room to room attending talks and sessions, accessing musical performances, and viewing live art as its created.
The Knockturnal: How did you choose the artists?
Erez: I am a fan of a lot of artists and healers, so I of course reached out to the people I love first, from there people just kept connecting me to more and more presenters and it just kept growing. I also host a Don’t Block Your Blessings room on Clubhouse every weekday from 1-2pm and that has been getting a lot of traction and has also been very healing for a lot of people. The room is called “#CheatCodes to Happiness // Don’t Block Your Blessings”.
The Knockturnal: Tell us about yourself and your career?
Erez: I’m based in Los Angeles, music has always been my biggest passion, I have a label and production company called Bancs Media, a music promo company called Slay Sonics and world music festival called the Sephardic Music Festival which has been profiled in The NY Times, Wall Street Journal and on NPR. I am also very much in the healing space, I developed a Telemedicine app called Elemental Treatment and a sister platform called Guru and You.
I produce music under the names h2the and Diwon and have two bands, Bonhom (mostly music for TV shows and film) and Dreams in Static.
The Knockturnal: What else have you been up to during the pandemic?
Erez: A lot of this, managing my employees at my marketing firm, The Coup, and studying a lot of Kabbalah.
The Knockturnal: Who are some musicians that inspire you?
Erez: Coltrane is my favorite, I could hear one note from his sax and I know it’s him… of course, I can’t leave out Miles Davis in that regard, he re-created music genre many times over, a brilliant sonic revolutionary. I also love the Beastie Boys for similar reasons, they tossed out the idea of a genre and blended so many of their favorite influences to make some incredibly inventive songs and the fun they had while doing it comes out in all their music, so it’s a bit infectious in that regard. I’ve been super into Run the Jewels recently, El-p is an incredible producer and a witty rapper and Killer Mike is one of the best to do it, I love that they bring this sort of Rage Against The Machine intensity to hip-hop. I’ve mostly been listening to chill music because I’m in the one year mourning period from losing my mom, so a lot of Jose Gonzalez, Eviatar Banai, Novo Amor, Zusha and other ethereal type of artists.
The Knockturnal: Who would you like to collab with one day? (can be anyone)
Erez: Artists that have created their own sounds and universes that I feel like I super vibe with sonically, Bon Iver, TV on the Radio, Banks, Diplo and Vampire Weekend.
The Knockturnal: How can people attend the festival?
Erez: The festival and all its rooms stream live on the website, www.dontblockyourblessings.org
The Knockturnal: Final thoughts?
Erez: Just that I’d love people to join the movement, whether its presenting at the festival, joining our Clubhouse room sessions or sharing their stories (which they can see examples at https://dontblockyourblessings.org/your-stories).
The next Don’t Block Your Blessings Festival will be free to participate in and free to attend virtually, and is set to take place on Valentine’s (Sunday February 14th), between 6-9pm PST.