Contemporary music festivals are a neatly packaged way of encountering a variety of new and recent pieces, where someone else has done the hard work and chosen them for you. In our online/streaming life, rather than surfing Bandcamp or similar and following our own predilections, these festivals, in a healthy way, force you to confront your musical barriers and to harmonise your prejudices. In the UK and Ireland, Ilan Volkov's Glasgow Tectonics, Eamon Quinn's Louth and Graham McKenzie's Huddersfield seem to me the most interesting at the moment. There are, of course, other useful and enterprising festivals: some are a mixed bag of old and new, some are composer-led or have other agendas, so they have built-in filtering – in other words, prejudices. Festival directors have their likes and dislikes too, I guess, but the evidence from the three mentioned above demonstrates an openness and a researched risk-taking: Huddersfield, with McKenzie in charge, is more open than most, presenting quite a range of different genres and media.