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.
SOS
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby SOS » Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:54 pm

supaunknown wrote:Or do all the inflated/sensitive egos involved in dealing with bands require there be some don't-fuck-with-me-mutherfucker with a nametag that says "Stage Manager" running the show?

/Yes.[/quote]

Sad... but... apparently true.
Last edited by SOS on Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TheDean
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby TheDean » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:08 pm

ForwardMusicFest wrote:As for the Dane101 article, consider the source and the previous relationship. Very sad and disappointing that it has come to that.


The "source" for the Dane101 article is a professional journalists who writes for various publications across southern Wisconsin. Maybe you would care to explain exactly what you mean by your comment.

ForwardMusicFest
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby ForwardMusicFest » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:14 pm

I think anyone who paid attention to festival coverage on Dane101 last year vs. the coverage this year is able to make their own determination on bias. No sense arguing here.

mocofirst
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby mocofirst » Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:02 pm

ForwardMusicFest wrote:
supaunknown wrote:Isn't the venue's sound person kind of the stage manager?

Yes.
supaunknown wrote:Or do all the inflated/sensitive egos involved in dealing with bands require there be some don't-fuck-with-me-mutherfucker with a nametag that says "Stage Manager" running the show?

/Yes.


No way does the house sound guy have the time to do his job properly and organize a bunch of bands who aren't used to working together. that might work for a club show with bands that tour together but not a festival.

mymansamson
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby mymansamson » Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:42 pm

ForwardMusicFest wrote:
supaunknown wrote:Isn't the venue's sound person kind of the stage manager?

Yes.


Dude, if you really think that you shouldn't be running a citywide music festival. I feel sorry for all of your sound guys this weekend.

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby Logjam » Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:45 pm

I guess I lucked out, the only show I took in was the Cougar/El Valiente showcase at the Capitol Theater and it ran mostly on time.

The Capitol Theater is a fantastic room and I wish more shows would get booked there, especially now that I have my $3 sippy cup. One 20-something dude was bitching at the bartenders about having to buy the sippy cup and all I could think was he should have known better and brought a flask. What is wrong with kids these days, they don't even know how to sneak a drink at a swanky venue?

Anyway, the room was maybe a little big for El Valiente, or they could have been louder, but they played a kick ass set and went the extra mile and brought cool video footage along. Good thinking.

I was kind of digging Collections of Colonies of Bees but my companion would have none of it so we sipped our sippy cups in the lobby for most of their set.

This was my first time seeing Cougar although I have the first album and was looking forward to seeing them. Although they didn't fill the room (and the balcony was closed all night, I think) there was still a good turnout and more people than I would have thought for an instrumental post-math-rock whatever-it-is band. I thought they would be more guitar-centric but its clear that this band is very rhythmically driven. I suppose I'm whining a bit but I could have used a couple of face searing guitar solos. They were loud enough for my tastes, I don't know if that was due to them having twice as many members as El Valiente or the sound person just turned it up. Either way, they played a great set and even had a few people dancing. I picked up their new album and will try to see them anytime they come through town.

Couldn't stay for Atlas Sound so I don't know anything about them but kudos to the folks that put together this showcase.

While I'm 100% in support of the Forward Music Fest in general I'm not exactly the target audience. I didn't attend last year and 2 or 3 shows is probably my absolute maximum on any given year. Offering individual tickets for this showcase was perfect for me so hopefully that occurs again in the future.

As a general comment to the organizers I would say there is nothing wrong with paring back a bit in the future in order to keep everything on track. Its better to keep things organized as best you can and if a band is missing their drummer at set up time let it cut into their set time. Tough luck for those that can't get their shit together. Then again, I'm more cranky old man than rockin hipster so maybe I should just shut the hell up and enjoy my sippy cup of whiskey.

defactobrigade
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby defactobrigade » Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:45 pm

ForwardMusicFest wrote:As for the Dane101 article, consider the source and the previous relationship. Very sad and disappointing that it has come to that.


Are you serious?! It's come to what? Telling the public how horribly you set up and ran this festival?

You're going to bitch about scrutiny?
If you decide to run a festival you have to be open to the praise AND the criticism comes with it. And I'm sorry, but with the way this whole thing was run and operated, you deserve every bit of criticism that flies yr way.
They aren't the only people who bitched about this either, I was at the Willy St. Fair, and I heard from MULTIPLE people what a clusterfuck this whole festival was.

Shows were also moved around days before the events, without ever notifying the bands of the move. I can't believe you wouldn't take the 5 seconds to e-mail the bands and tell them where the shows are - not to mention that after the band takes their time to e-mail you, you tell the band that the show has been moved for close to 2 weeks??!?!

And the way you handled wristbands for the bands was atrocious as well. I heard from multiple people that you wouldn't respond to their e-mails about where or how to get wristbands, and that's just plain old ridiculous. Those locals were playing for free, and now you're going to shaft them by not responding to their inquires about wristbands, but you somehow manage to answer every fucking question on the Daily Page Forum concerning the festival?!? Way to alienate the local bands and make them feel like this festival is only about the outta towners coming in...which is obviously what it was about for you guys...

There are plenty of people in this town, myself included, who would have gladly helped organize, PROPERLY promote, pick a DIVERSE lineup (not a plethora of Indie bands getting booked at all the good venues/times) had someone notified the scene that help was needed (Maybe I missed the wide e-mail, but i didn't hear from anyone you guys were looking for help) A sob story after the fact about how understaffed you were really doesn't help that at all....it just makes you look more pathetic.
Last edited by defactobrigade on Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

defactobrigade
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby defactobrigade » Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:59 pm

ForwardMusicFest wrote:
supaunknown wrote:Isn't the venue's sound person kind of the stage manager?

Yes.
supaunknown wrote:Or do all the inflated/sensitive egos involved in dealing with bands require there be some don't-fuck-with-me-mutherfucker with a nametag that says "Stage Manager" running the show?

/Yes.

Wish I would have seen this before I responded as well.
This just shows how much you know about booking a single fucking show LET ALONE a whole festival....leave it to the professionals next time (not saying I'm one...but maybe you need to get someone from this town involved that actually has booked shows more than once a year...and booking for WUD doesn't exactly count considering you've basically got UW-Madisons' money to get whatever band you want in that case). Money does not = solidly booked/run festival.

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby ShaneDog » Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:21 pm

I wasn't there so I have no way of knowing how smooth the logistics were but it seems like that could be something that could be focused on more next year. Calling it a disaster because of scheduling issues seems kind of inflammatory though.

Even at full-scale festival events like Bonnaroo and Coachella, which are known for almost-flawless logistics, there are always unforseen things that come up, shows that get moved or schedule changes that go unanounced. I'm sure the FMF organizers will look at some of the problems that happened this year and address them next year.

mocofirst
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby mocofirst » Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:24 pm

ForwardMusicFest wrote:I think anyone who paid attention to festival coverage on Dane101 last year vs. the coverage this year is able to make their own determination on bias. No sense arguing here.


I suppose the writers at 77 Square and The Onion that had the same complaints have personal grudges against the festival as well.

ForwardMusicFest
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby ForwardMusicFest » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:45 pm

As mentioned, at each venue throughout the day we had 2 people on duty, one as a venue ambassador outside of the venue and one inside of the venue as a stage manager. Bands were met at the venue by a representative who gave them their wristbands, went over the order of the evening and went over any questions they had and relayed those to us if they didn't know the answer. Far from a sob story, but this is one of the few forums we have to convey to a wide swath of our audience that we are aware of what happened this year and that we plan to address those concerns in the future.

We're not opposed to scrutiny, and in fact we welcome it with our presence here, we just want to be able to explain ourselves and try to garner some constructive feedback about what we can work on in the future. Did we bite off more than we could chew? Of course. Was the excess worth it? Maybe for some. But one thing is for certain, we learned that we definitely won't be able to maintain that much of a bloated lineup again next year and expect to keep our audience happy-- as much as we loved the idea of excess in theory. Part of the learning/growing process.
Last edited by ForwardMusicFest on Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

defactobrigade
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby defactobrigade » Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:06 pm

I appreciate your honesty, and I hope you work this shit out next year. Please don't forget to be fair to the local bands and get back to them on time. That should have been a top priority from the get-go, but hopefully next year you will take it to heart.

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby swoon_queen » Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:58 pm

Speaking as myself (one of the FMF09 organizers) rather than under our collective FMF moniker, I just would like to thank everyone--local musicians, national acts, media representatives from all the local outlets, and fans and sponsors-- for the good moments that happened this weekend. There were plenty of them- and since these are nuances that aren't often reported, I hope you don't mind indulging me as I touch upon some of the high points.

Pale Young Gentlemen greeted a near-capacity crowd at the Overture Center by casually saying, "It's great to be back playing at Overture Hall." It was beautiful to see the entirety of Low at rapt attention backstage at Andrew Bird. It was likewise heartening to see the awed tweet by The Antlers ["Low was amazing. Cannot believe we had the honor of playing with them. wow."]after they finished their set opening for Low. Das Racist met my young daughter in the hotel lobby and taught her how to rap. Maps and Atlases, Decibully, Filligar, and even Andrew Bird himself all had parents in the audience. Some of the stellar poster artists from The Great Flood drove hundreds of miles to enjoy the weekend and sell their posters at the shows. Jona Bechtolt donned a white suit and shimmied across the Orpheum Lobby well after (something that the media hasn't picked up quite yet) the third band on Friday night's Lobby bill generously hooked up their own PA and did sound for the rest of the night to improve the quality. Mikael Jorgenson of Pronto (and Wilco) laughed upon picking up his wristband at the fact that his last go-round in Madison was playing Overture Hall itself. Bradford Cox chatted with us as we peered down at him through the neon lit Overture Rotunda-- Collections of Colonies of Bees, Cougar, and El Valiente made the huge Capitol Theatre seem like the perfect size for their epic anthems.

I do think that we have much to work on but I also think we have so much to work with. The local bands in Madison and throughout the region more than held their own and impressed quite a few people. The volunteers we had were diligent and quick to react. People like Lindsey at Ground Zero, Robin at Heartland, Chris at Furthermore, Andy at Ian's, and Brendon at Willy Street Coop went out of their way to ensure that bands experienced true Midwestern hospitality. And the venues in Madison, with staff that truly seemed to care about the success of each night, were for the most part completely awesome to work with.

I hope that everyone can realize that although we may not be able to dedicate all of our time to this venture and, because of that, things unfortunately and sometimes disastrously fell through the cracks, we really do see ourselves as being uniquely by and for true music fans. It's our second year, and there are kinks to work out, but we hope to fix it by being flexible and open to criticism and praise alike.

thank you!

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby boston_jeff » Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:21 am

The only show I attended was RRR at HNS. I was thrilled that the band was allowed to go on early (nothing against SITA). We sat through delays and extra bands added to the announced bill, enough was enough. That show was packed for a reason, and it wasn't because FMF crammed so many extraneous bands onto the bill. I would have preferred to see SITA, but honestly with the delays and the SIX BANDS on the bill, the show was too damn long and running way too late. I was pissed enough when 5 bands were on the bill, then another was inserted, then the lineup flip.

Locals will blame RRR for insisting on playing their set when they were "supposed" to, and maybe deservedly so, but if there were a more manageable number of bands on the bill in the first place and things started on time, maybe it wouldn't have been such a shit show. My advice is to stick to the bands that are in the touring group of the headliner, maybe add ONE additional act. This cramming of extra bands business obviously does not work.

BTW, I enjoyed Princeton and RRR immensely. Both put on excellent shows. Will have to wait until next time to see SITA.

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby auntgoodness » Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:40 am

Maybe this was already covered, but I gotta say even though I thought I was super prepared for this thing (printed my schedules, bought tickets in advance, followed FMF on twitter) I had NO IDEA I couldn't pick up my wristband at the venue like last year. The tickets said "Please PRINT THIS RECEIPT and bring it with you to the event entrance." I didn't know that the "event" entrance was not the venue entrance.

That sucked. I went to the Majestic all excited to kick off the weekend but then unexpectedly had to hoof it over to the Overture and missed most of the opener for Buckner.

Also, PS. the Stage Door is a crap venue. I'm not sure why there are shows there, or why I go. Not your fault, FMF, but maybe if a venue had to be axed next year....

I would also suggest someone announce each band. Sometimes I didn't know who I was watching and that was weird.

This is probably one of my crankier posts, so I want to add that I really did have a good time seeing Buckner and Low. They were good shows and worth the money.


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