Apr 072010
 
Authors: Kate Bennis

This weekend, concertgoers, music enthusiasts and 187 local bands playing 22 Fort Collins concert venues will flood the streets of Fort Collins. And all in less than 48 hours.

The event: the second-annual Fort Collins Music Experiment.

FoCoMX, the brainchild of the Fort Collins Musicians Association, begins Friday evening at various locations around town, featuring music ranging from distortion-heavy metal to melodic indie pop.

The idea for the music festival came to fruition after FoCoMA’s 2008 Peer Awards, where local musicians voted for their favorite northern Colorado bands.

FoCoMA co-founder Greta Cornett said the positive response from the public encouraged the non-profit, and leadership decided that the next year, 2009, they would hold a music festival before the awards.

“We wanted to give recognition to Fort Collins’ music,” Cornett said. “We have so much talent in Fort Collins, and we never have (events) down here.”

With a general idea of what they wanted the music festival to entail, planning began with the FoCoMA Board of Directors, which then expanded into sub-committees for booking, promotions and production.

The group’s efforts were well-received by residents, and the success the first FoCoMX gave organizers an abundance of helping hands, allowing them to nearly double the number of acts for this year’s festival.

“As an organization, we’d never done anything on this scale before,” said Kevin Micke, FoCoMA co-founder. “A lot of the bands that are playing this year –– 82 more than last year –– and have e-mailed us and asked if they could play.”

Featured musicians vary in age as well as genre, Cornett said. While middle-schoolers make up the Kinard House Band and are the youngest on the bill, 3 Twins, featuring members of the Subdudes, have been a part of the music scene for decades. Cornett herself will be playing with 3 Twins this weekend.

“The really cool thing about doing a festival is that you can be inclusive,” she said. “You definitely want to have your anchor bands that everyone knows, but you can put newer bands in front of them (on the bill), and it’s a really good way to get people listening to music that they might not have heard before.”

Music workshops will also be scattered throughout the weekend, a new event for the budding festival. Musicians and those interested in promotions and other aspects of the music industry can attend lectures on how to afford the rock and roll lifestyle as well as do-it-yourself marketing, Micke said. Those who have weekend passes will be able to attend free of charge.

“When FoCoMA first started, we really wanted to use the collective knowledge that some members of the community had to help make the entire community more knowledgeable about press and how to book a tour,” Micke said. “This was a reawakening of our previous education programs.”

Workshops for children will be held at Everyday Joe’s. The idea to include younger audiences came from Cornett, who used to be a preschool teacher, Micke said.

“(Cornett) definitely championed that cause. Studies have shown that music helps kids learn, and the younger the kids are when they get into music, the better it is for the music scene and the kids themselves,” Micke said.
In addition, the Lyric Cinema Cafe will host the classic silent films “Nosferatu” and “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” Saturday with music accompaniment by Ruth Anderson and Adam Bodine, respectively.

Venues are preparing for the weekend as well. Kim Pettit, owner of Surfside 7 in Old Town, anticipates a more-diverse crowd than the weekly regulars. The bar has five bands each lined up for both Friday and Saturday nights.

Because last year’s bands were not typical headliners, the festival brought in people who may have never frequented the bar, Pettit said.

“It gives people a chance to experience different types of music and maybe go to venues that they wouldn’t normally go to,” Pettit said. “It’s a good way to bring everyone together.”

Hectic priorities aside, both Cornett and Micke said they hope to be able to enjoy their share of local talent this weekend and are excited at the chance to expose thousands of locals to the music around them.

“Thousands of kids come here for college and don’t ever hear what’s in their hometown,” Micke said. “Helping to build that music culture here is one of the biggest things FoCoMX can do.”

Tickets are $15 and on sale at Rock ‘n’ Robin, across College Avenue from campus. For a schedule of events, as well as the participating venues, visit Collegian.com.

Staff writer Kate Bennis can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

FoCoMX map and schedule

2|days the festival lasts, Friday and Saturday

$15|cost for a two-day pass

22|venues used for the weekend

82|more bands from last year’s festival

187|local bands expected to perform

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