Kyle Motor wrote:Now if the Forward Fest is resoundingly successful for some years, then sure it'll change things, maybe put Madison more on a national map for being a music city. I'm all for that. But won't be some big shift in the way things are Sunday morning when the fest is over.
I think that is an important point. No, this one festival will not transform shit, but it is a beginning. However if this can be pulled successfully as an annual event that expands into more days, more venues and larger amount of bands it will snowball on word of mouth. The primary organizers wisely chose to limit the size and scope this first year. In the spirit of being overly ambitious could be too much to take on, fail utterly and prove to the naysayers that such a festival would not be able to take place in Madison.
That's why I think its important for live music suppporters to come out for this. This basic concept of a venue hopping extended weekend of diverse performers in venues throughout the downtown is beautiful and I want to see it get bigger next year. But people need to buy wristbands for organizers being willing to put something this complicated together again.
Madison does have geography in its favor as to why such a festival can work in this town. Location on an isthmus tends to have the music venues concentrated on the downtown strip of land between the two lakes making them largely within walking distance of one another. Also being located within reasonable driving distance Twin Cites, Chicago, Milwaukee and pockets of midwesterns with advanced musical tastes living in surrounding rural areas, we got lots of potential attendees to draw on outside of Madison. It is ridiculous to even talk about comparisons to SXSW which is simply huge and Madison does not have the associated music infrastructure of a town like Austin. However modeling on something more regional and modest like say North by Northeast in Toronto
could be a reasonable and valid goal that would have to pay some dividends to the local live music scene in the long run.
I know a couple tangible goals and hopes I have this first year is too maybe get people who don't go to tons of shows into our wonderful venues and possibly create return customers. Also maybe get some undergrads to check out FMF and likewise return later in the year for 18+ show opportunities benefiting performers and venues in the future. Or so I hope.