FoCoMX to amp up Old Town

Apr 082009
Authors: kelly bleck

More than 100 bands will pour into the city this weekend as Fort Collins Music Experiment ups the decibel level, introducing new arrivals and celebrating old names in the Northern Colorado music scene.

A total of 106 bands performing in 12 venues Friday and Saturday will celebrate Local Music Appreciation Month with a mixed genre of bands gathered by the Fort Collins Musician’s Association.

In its first year, FoCoMX strives to provide a foundation for talented bands and artists, creating venues for each to stand out and prove their talent.

The idea for the festival was dreamed up last year when FoCoMA put on Peer-to-Peer Review, wherein musicians voted for each other as a way of recognition.

“That event really opened local artists eyes,” said Greta Cornett, FoCoMA president, co-founder and local musician. “Most had no idea there were so many bands and artists in northern Colorado, and they wished they could have seen some live,” Cornett said. “So we started brainstorming a small showcase for this year, with a few venues and maybe 10 bands.”

Cornett added that after brainstorming a smaller showcase for this year the organization started questioning how large of an event they could feasibly create.

“It’s ended with what we have now,” Cornett said. “Truly (FoCoMX) is an experiment. We all care about it a lot, but we’re not a professional organization. We’re just musicians and people within the music scene.”

Bands were selected from the members of FoCoMA and span all genres. Cornett said FoCoMX is trying to uncover the underground parts of the music scene, the “really cool stuff that’s hidden in the scene.”

Concerts begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday with up to six or seven bands per stage each night. Venues include the Aggie Theatre, Alley Cat Cafe, Avogardro’s Number and other venues that usually host live music.

“We’re trying to minimize each band’s set to one hour, but it really depends on their style of music,” Cornett said. “If it’s punk it could be 40 minutes, while a reggae or jam band will have a longer set.”

Because it is a nonprofit, FoCoMA will charge only $10 for a two-day pass or $10 for Saturday. Of the proceeds, 20 percent will funnel back into FoCoMA with the rest going to the performers.

“It will go toward workshops, new talent showcases, different events like that, including our once-a-month Friendraiser,” Cornett said. “But the rest will be split between the bands. We want to make sure the bands are getting paid and compensated for their time.”

Created to provide support and social networking for local bands and artists, FoCoMA boasts approximately 400 strong from all genres.

“We started the association for a lot of reasons but really to unite all the arts of the music scene and put a really solid foundation underneath it,” Cornett said. “We wanted to get it organized and do what we could to make it a viable scene, not only in Colorado but around the nation as well.”

Visit for a lineup of bands, venues, information and how to purchase passes for the first annual Fort Collins Music Experiment.

Staff writer Kelly Bleck can be reached at

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