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.
ilikebeans
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby ilikebeans » Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:01 am

auntgoodness wrote: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.

That's odd. We brought our printed receipt and got wristbands at the door of the Majestic for Karl Denson on Friday night.

Btw, that show seemed to go off just fine, but then again, there weren't six bands to deal with.

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby jjoyce » Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:20 am

A few thoughts as a music fan and attendee:

FMF is billed as a big deal with sponsors, headliners in significant venues and everything. People who pay for all of that aren't going to be crazy to hear "we're just amateurs doing this part-time" as an excuse.

The Wisconsin Film Festival's success is due, in no small part, to its volunteers who are EVERYWHERE, well-trained and visible. True, going to a movie isn't like going to a club to see a band, but going to a club isn't the same as going to a festival. There should be easily-identified volunteers in t-shirts at every venue to help iron out problems and serve the customers.

The disorganization doesn't only affect paying patrons, but also other performers. I was going with a pretty flexible plan with few expectations, partially owing to getting a gratis media pass, but did choose to miss certain bands so I could see others, only to have those others going on really late or switching venues unexpectedly. If enough people do that, then you have bands playing to really small crowds in one place with an empty stage in front of a packed house in another place.

An unrelated point: I think someone should bring the Amble Down bands to a raucous venue like the High Noon maybe four times a year. The rotunda is a beautiful space, but it's engineered to have people sit politely.

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby ForwardMusicFest » Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:47 am

jjoyce wrote:A few thoughts as a music fan and attendee:

FMF is billed as a big deal with sponsors, headliners in significant venues and everything. People who pay for all of that aren't going to be crazy to hear "we're just amateurs doing this part-time" as an excuse. The Wisconsin Film Festival's success is due, in no small part, to its volunteers who are EVERYWHERE, well-trained and visible. True, going to a movie isn't like going to a club to see a band, but going to a club isn't the same as going to a festival. There should be easily-identified volunteers in t-shirts at every venue to help iron out problems and serve the customers.


Respectfully, we'd never describe ourselves as "amateurs." We do emphasize that we can't afford to do this full time, year round, because people often assume that it is a full time job (as it should be).

We had great volunteers at every venue and we heard lots of feedback as to how helpful they were.

We are extremely grateful to our sponsors (all 7 of them, all of whom are completely local)-- but we are not wholly subsidized by sponsors, to say the least (I would estimate that sponsorship makes up about one tenth of our income). We thought about providing every volunteer with a tshirt; unfortunately it was an upfront cost that we could not afford.

As far as the further comments on disorganization, as preorganized as we were we could not plan for bands getting sick at the last minute or broken equipment, setting off a domino effect that we had to deal with in the moment. Based on what we are hearing now, attendees seem to think it would have been better to cut bands out of the lineup entirely rather than delay or move shows. If we had done that, would we be fielding complaints as to why certain bands hadn't had the opportunity to play, rather than why certain bands played too late or in a different venue? Probably. It's hard to say which decision would have been more appropriate, but we've definitely learned a lot from the conversations after the fact.

And once again, thank you for the constructive criticism, it will go a long way towards helping us build on our success for next year.

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby cloudy » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:15 pm

My experience of the fest was positive, even with the delays. I patiently waited out the delays at the awful Stage Door, and BLK JKS and Iran were disappointing, but the Fruit Bats were fabulous. Getting the wristbands was a minor but unnecessary hassle, and can't the ticketing be easier? I'd suggest that the organizers ask for more help and delegate more, but I'll give them my thanks for taking on the task and pulling off a pretty damn good festival.

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby Adam Powell » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:53 pm

You need to have a stage manager at each venue, and that person cannot be the sound engineer.

The fact that you didn't do this by puts you in the amateur bucket, without question.

I didn't attend the event, but if even half of what I'm reading is true, it sounds like the failure to manage each stage with dedicated personnel jacked up all the schedules and ruined a lot of people's evenings.

Musicians are some the flakiest people on earth. You simply cannot allow them to decide when they are going to play. This may be obvious to you in retrospect, but it should have gone without saying.

You guys let musicians call the shots at a festival with what, 100 bands? It's pretty hard to get three bands to play on a schedule at a single venue, and I speak with some experience there!

I wish you well for next year, though, and congratulations on booking some fine acts.

fakemeat
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby fakemeat » Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:29 pm

ra ra boring

LoopBo
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby LoopBo » Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:41 pm

fakemeat wrote:ra ra boring


ra ra divas

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby Uncle_Leaver » Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:21 pm

I wasn't able to attend, but the one thing I'm taking away from all this is that Ra Ra Riot should go Fa Fa Fuck themselves.

Incidentally, that's a shit band name. But I'm old and crusty and have neither the time nor patience to keep up with all these flashes in the pan, so what do I know?

In any case, props to the Aviary kids for proving themselves more mature and professional than the big buzz act. All YouTube evidence would point to their having had a great time despite the drama, and that there's how you rock 'n' roll, folks. You go, locals!

ForwardMusicFest
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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby ForwardMusicFest » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:04 am

Feel free to chime in here:
http://fmf09.com/forum

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby spinseuss » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:44 am

I wasn't able to attend, but have some other feedback as a local musician. If you approach a band to ask if they are interested in playing and decide not to have them, let them know. After emailing a couple times to ask if our time was set, we were told it was just a matter of finalizing the schedule. We never heard another word. The schedule was released and we weren't on it. Not playing is not a big deal, but a simple email saying, "sorry, won't work out this year" would have been better than nothing.

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby ForwardMusicFest » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:50 am

spinseuss wrote:I wasn't able to attend, but have some other feedback as a local musician. If you approach a band to ask if they are interested in playing and decide not to have them, let them know. After emailing a couple times to ask if our time was set, we were told it was just a matter of finalizing the schedule. We never heard another word. The schedule was released and we weren't on it. Not playing is not a big deal, but a simple email saying, "sorry, won't work out this year" would have been better than nothing.


That is great feedback and one of our major priorities for next year is streamlining the submission and confirmation process. Apologies for the dearth of communication. Hopefully we can make it up to you by putting you in a great slot in 2010.

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby swoon_queen » Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:07 pm

Uncle_Leaver wrote:I wasn't able to attend, but the one thing I'm taking away from all this is that Ra Ra Riot should go Fa Fa Fuck themselves.

Incidentally, that's a shit band name. But I'm old and crusty and have neither the time nor patience to keep up with all these flashes in the pan, so what do I know?

In any case, props to the Aviary kids for proving themselves more mature and professional than the big buzz act. All YouTube evidence would point to their having had a great time despite the drama, and that there's how you rock 'n' roll, folks. You go, locals!


In all honesty, Ra Ra Riot played a great show in spite of the fact that a few of them were ill (which is what prompted the lineup change; they wanted to rest up for the shows they had over the rest of the weekend). SITA had to play to less people than we would have hoped for them. However, both bands deserve credit for being gracious about switching spots, and Ra Ra Riot was, according to our volunteer coordinator who spoke to them just before the decision was made, extremely thankful, and not at all diva-esque. I'm not sure what the vibe of the venue was-- I was outside the High Noon when Ra Ra Riot started playing-- but if people were yelling at Ra Ra Riot, their anger was misplaced. After hearing all the feedback, I'm seeing now that when we realized just how delayed the showcase would be, we should have cut a band from the bill, in my personal opinion, and alleviated the whole situation altogether. Hindsight's 20/20 and all that-- a good lesson to learn for next year.

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby supaunknown » Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:40 pm

swoon_queen wrote:In all honesty, Ra Ra Riot played a great show in spite of the fact that a few of them were ill (which is what prompted the lineup change; they wanted to rest up for the shows they had over the rest of the weekend).
*snip/edit*
After hearing all the feedback, I'm seeing now that when we realized just how delayed the showcase would be, we should have cut a band from the bill, in my personal opinion, and alleviated the whole situation altogether.

If Ra-Ra was sick, and asking for a massive shift in the space-time continuum, they should've been cut that night. That's nice that the other bands were so accomodating, and RRR was suitably appreciative, but it's really not cool to jerk around the paying patrons like that. The bands and the organizers should know better.

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby wallrock » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:03 am

My $0.02:
Ra Ra Riot was the headlining act. While it was my intention to see Flatbear, Archie Powell & the Exports and Sleeping in the Aviary in addition (it was a great bill altogether in terms of my tastes), I'd say the vast majority of the audience were there for Margot and the Nuclear So and So's and Ra Ra Riot. After what constituted Margot finished their set, the crowd did have a restless feel to it, and I'd say that most people seemed happy that Ra Ra Riot came on next. I didn't hear anything from the crowd at that point, only later. Since the opening band was late, the whole showcase was pushed back. I'm not certain what exact time they went on, but it had to be around midnight.

Sleeping in the Aviary set up quickly afterward but didn't have time for a full set since it was close to bar time. I suppose I'm making the best of the situation but SitA destroyed, and I wouldn't think they'd have quite the same awesome drunken frenetic energy if they were in the opening slot. There wouldn't have been the same pack of die-hards up front moshing along. This is selfish on my part, but I'm happy I got to see it the way it turned out. The only thing that left a sour taste for me was the guy shouting about Ra Ra Riot during SitA's set. Whatever, I just thought it was uncool since there was still a couple of people from the band selling merch, and to their credit Phil and Elliott called the dude out on his shit.

Lastly, Sleeping in the Aviary has the craziest fucking website ever: http://www.sleepingintheaviary.com/. Check out the Pleasure Zone.

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Re: Forward Music Fest thoughts

Postby Uncle_Leaver » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:52 am

Oh ... so Ra Ra Riot had the sniffles?

Can somebody pinpoint for me just when it was that rock 'n' roll went all pussy on us?


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