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Forward Music Fest thoughts

Who's making noise in and around Madison? What's new in the business of making music around town? Review shows and CDs here. Please keep all hype in Hype Exchange.

Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby Stomach » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:01 am

It seems to me that most of the blame and bitchiness should be pointed at the band that didn't show up on time and perhaps the person(s) that allowed that incident to f'up the rest of the evening. The opening band should have been shit canned or told they could play at the end of the night if there was any time left.
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby boston_jeff » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:46 am

Yup. I was there and no one was complaining when RRR went on "early." If it wasn't for the shoehorning of 4 other bands (was supposed to be 5 except SITA switched) in before them this would not have occurred. Add the very late start time, and the fact that RRR's set may have been cut short if yet another band was squeezed in ahead of them, and you have what I see as a very good decision. We were there to see the headliner. I've been to shows where bands never even showed up or crucial band members sat out--no refunds. I've heard of shows where headliners make the fans wait two hours or cancel at the last minute. These guys made a simple request, it was honored, 99% of the audience was happy. A couple ding dongs weren't. Wah.

Shows I have been to in NYC in the past had the headliner play second to last because of late start times and the 4 AM bar time, this reminded me of that. People start to leave early because they are drunk or tired. My wife was pretty tired at that point so we were able to get home early, though I was bummed to miss SITA. I get the "locals rule" vibe here and I am all for that. I think its important to support the local scene, but honestly no one was complaining when RRR played. They blew the doors off of all the supporters I saw.

Here's a question: is the goal of FMF to get local acts to support national touring acts? Most of these tours have support already and if left alone would have played their sets on time and not have to worry about being swapped, shortened or otherwise messed with. Happy bands, happy audiences. Maybe add one local band to the opening slot. But 6 bands is way too many especially if said bands are late and/or break up before their set. Have a local bands showcase at a smaller venue as well.

I will probably stay away from FMF shows next year if 5 or more bands are on the bill. The RRR set was great, but the waiting was brutal, and the aftermath seems unnecessarily caustic.
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby swoon_queen » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:04 am

Here's a question: is the goal of FMF to get local acts to support national touring acts? Most of these tours have support already and if left alone would have played their sets on time and not have to worry about being swapped, shortened or otherwise messed with. Happy bands, happy audiences. Maybe add one local band to the opening slot. But 6 bands is way too many especially if said bands are late and/or break up before their set. Have a local bands showcase at a smaller venue as well.


Agreed. That is one of our goals, but we were overly ambitious with the Ra Ra Riot lineup and things would have went much more smoothly (and all of the bands would have been happier) had we kept 5 bands (or less) on the bill that night. The local band additions didn't present problems on other stages, but as a rule of thumb, we will probably keep all of our showcases at 5 bands or less in the future.
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby SOS » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:21 am

What's done is done... and it looks like lessons are learned and ideas are growing for next year.

For the record, SITA isn't really local anymore. Half the band drove 5 hours from Minneapolis to play. The other two are moving there this month. Not trying to add any salt to the wound, just sayin'.

Let's move on!
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby boston_jeff » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:29 am

Werd, I hope to see SITA sometime soon. Heard they wuz good. The wife and I unfortunately are not as rock and roll as we used to be.
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby LoopBo » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:34 am

A couple observations:
- RRR did not announce that Sleeping in the Aviary was playing next, prompting the majority of the crowd to leave.
- RRR were apparently feeling well enough to work the merch table after their set.
- RRR were incredibly boring and derivative
- boston_jeff possibly thinks local bands aren't as good as national bands because they're "local." I'm not totally sure of this, but that's the feeling I get.
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby boston_jeff » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:01 pm

You are entitled to your opinion. I am not really interested in justifying mine.
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:26 pm

Just my two cents in general:
5 band bills suck.
4 band bills suck.

3 bands is the most that should ever be on any bill anywhere.
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby SOS » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:40 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Just my two cents in general:
5 band bills suck.
4 band bills suck.

3 bands is the most that should ever be on any bill anywhere.


Well that's not very FESTive. :lol:
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:38 pm

SOS wrote:Well that's not very FESTive. :lol:
Hence my reputation as a no-good curmudgeon.
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby Uncle_Leaver » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:44 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
SOS wrote:Well that's not very FESTive. :lol:

Hence my reputation as a no-good curmudgeon.

Don't sell yourself short, Wags. You're a great curmudgeon.
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby jammybastard » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:45 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
SOS wrote:Well that's not very FESTive. :lol:
Hence my reputation as a no-good curmudgeon.


me too.
4-5 band bills are lame.
Unless it's on Halloween...or the night before.
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:50 pm

jammybastard wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
SOS wrote:Well that's not very FESTive. :lol:
Hence my reputation as a no-good curmudgeon.

me too.
4-5 band bills are lame.
Unless it's on Halloween...or the night before.

Nice save. :D
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:50 pm

Uncle_Leaver wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
SOS wrote:Well that's not very FESTive. :lol:

Hence my reputation as a no-good curmudgeon.

Don't sell yourself short, Wags. You're a great curmudgeon.

And a tremendous slouch, to boot.
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby DrAwkward » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:07 pm

Hi guys,

Drove out from Milwaukee to catch some bands on Friday and Saturday and cover the fest for fan-belt.com. First off, it's awesome that the majority of the people levying criticism are doing so in a positive way. I think overall everyone is rooting for the FMF to survive to fight for many years to come.

I saw the show at the Orpheum lobby on Friday and was surprised to walk in at 7:30 and see Pezzettino playing. A positive surprise for me, but not for those who had to wait, i'm sure. But everyone else has been talking about the delays. If i could bring something else up, it's that next year, bands HAVE to be better matched with venues. I understand that this is asking a lot with so many bands to slot in different shows, but here's what i'm referring to:

The New Loud (who, full disclosure, are pals of my band, IfIHadAHiFi, and i) played after Pez at the Orpheum, and the lobby did NOT have the requisite power to supply to all their equipment. Every time the band got loud, their synth player's keyboard would shut off and then restart once the volume dropped. This wasn't the band's fault (i talked to them afterward and they insisted up and down that nothing was wrong with their gear), they just got stuck in a inadequate venue (to say nothing of the awful acoustics) and ended up having a negative experience overall. Orpheum Lobby: great for quieter, folkier acts like Pezzettino, not so much for a full-on loud rock band.

Also, and this is totally self-serving, i want to vent a little frustration at not knowing even how to submit my band for consideration for the fest. I think in the last few months i was given about three different email addresses, all of which i tried, but i got no response about playing (although i eventually got a response about a press pass so i could cover the event, and thank you guys for that! Once i was pointed to the website where i could register, it was very easy). I asked no small number of people this year, "who do i have to blow to get my band on this thing?" I get that tons of bands were probably asking, and tons probably got rejected, and we're no more special than any of them...but, i will toot our horn for a second and say that a Milwaukee band that's been playing regularly in Madison since 2001 and put out a release with a Madison label in that time period could probably bring a lot to this festival (including diversity--the fest sure was chock full of Pitchfork-approved indie-pop this year, wasn't it?).

I know lots has been said about the lack of communication, and the organizers have expressed a desire to make improvements next year, which is awesome. I just wanted to add my voice to the choir on that issue.

Overall, though, i have to commend you guys for even pulling this off. Good luck on next year--i'm sure things will only improve the longer you guys keep at it. I'm sure i'll be back next year, regardless if we actually get to play or not!
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