Charleston ‘Major Festival’ Scene: It’s Hilfiger, Not FUBU

You are not signed in. Login or Register

Back to Music Festivals

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Charleston ‘Major Festival’ Scene: It’s Hilfiger, Not FUBU
  • 4
    #6289
    Indigxld
    Participant
    Rank: Bag of Ice
    Points: 733

    If local artists, musicians, music venues, businesses, creatives, etc banded together and used our black book of resources-we could successfully throw our own major annual festival that pays homage to the growth of the local entertainment community, generates funds the city, highlights small/local business and is FOR THE PEOPLE.

    I will NOT mention names (you can hit me personally and ask), but 75% of the prominent festivals in Charleston are in it for the money and the name, it is not to harness the culture of Charleston arts and entertainment. It is not to harness and influence local business. It’s not for the inclusion of Charleston as a whole. They seem secular and targeted (which is the name of the game). They are soley meant to attract the demographic (socially, economically, even racially) that they feel will pay the most money for a ‘particular experience’ at a niche music festival.

    When these huge local events started, they were exclusive to the arts, entertainment, food, and business of Charleston. They began to draw notoriety and engagement from ‘bigger’ names that wanted a piece. They began to use the recipes of other renowned festivals as their blueprint to run locally. Now that has become the focal point, which in turn reaps more exclusion, higher prices, and less propagation of local Charleston cultural arts and business. The scene and city is culturally divided and the harsh reality is some people like it that way. But my experience has shown me different. Everyone is curious. The spirit of collaboration is at an all time high.

    I know there’s ‘red tape’ for things like this- but I feel like between 4-5 different local music venues, a few breweries, sponsors, local businesses, artists, bands, promotional groups, vendors, etc we can come together and put together a major festival with all the amenities for the, (let’s be real) bourgeoisie of Charleston, the average music fan, the families, supporters of the arts…just bit of something for everyone in a cohesively coexistant environment without charging $100 for a standard ticket, $300-$500 for ‘VIP’ and $10 for a 32 oz NON alcoholic beverage. Just to end up being a huge inconvenience- because while these events worry and focus so much about the money to be made, they lose traction by not taking care of the people spending it, by not having adequate security, licenses, guided/clear entry and exit points, fair prices, and access to the promised amenities.

    Then the music isn’t even a representation of the city. There’s no real versatility in the sound and type of music and it’s the same bands every year. The same format. Now, to be clear, I’m not speaking from the stance of hip hop- I’m talking about in general as a lover of all live music and local festivals. There is no city, even statewide inclusion with these events. MULTI-GENRE music and arts. Local business. Local food. Local art. Local libations. If the ‘Local’ was truly able to come together and conjure up a major, big name festival that generates funds for the city and the entities involved, without tapping peoples pockets for a 5-10 hour day. I have a ton of ideas. Tap in

    2
    #6292
    Ravenel_Fridge
    Plugged In
    Rank: Droplet
    Points: 21.75

    Charleston has become a playground for the rich and retired. Whenever a corporation gets involved, it sucks the life out of everything that was once cool. It’s all about the money right now and it’s a big problem for the arts in general.

    You don’t name festivals but the experience you’re describing is universal. The events have gotten too big and lost track of what made them special. The discussion on this forum about High Water showed this, and so did the fact that Shovels & Rope backed out of the festival they helped to found.

    Another problem is that Charleston stands on shaky foundation in the first place. The community needs to be built from the ground up, with genuine connections made between real people who live here and experience this city.

    I think you’re right that many people in positions of power would like to maintain the status quo. They are not interested in change, growth, or community. There is definitely a grassroots movement bubbling up as you say. Extra Chill is participating in this for sure.

    Here is a satirical video from the local comedy group Nameless Numberhead, which pokes fun at Spoleto.

    As for coming together to create a large festival, the biggest barrier to that, unfortunately, is the money. It simply costs a ton of money to put one of these events on and the reality is that only corporations can truly afford it at this point in time. Banding together with the community is an intriguing idea but it is easier said than done. I think a lot of small business owners in Charleston are just trying to make ends meet right now.

    2
    #6300
    Indigxld
    Participant
    Rank: Bag of Ice
    Points: 733

    Big facts! Funding and the current status of small businesses staying a float are major factors. However, I don’t think that corporations are the only source for being able to afford to throw sizey festivals. Ideally, there must be a way to do it locally. I know the financial backing is thing, but with sponsors and enough small businesses behind it-it can happen. May take a few years to grow but we can start somewhere and I think that’s with the people, patrons, supporters, and those involved with the Charleston music scene. We don’t have enough people that view it like that. Unfortunately there’s more people in Charleston here to retire, vacay, and spend money-than there is people that actually care about what’s going on with the city. Curmudgeons.

    I feel the community has grown alot, however there are so many pinnacle musicians and bands that are uprooting post Covid so it’s far from consistent enough to make a change how we need it.

    ahhhhhh I just hate it. Too much potential in the city. Laid to waste by the Charleston debutante society and the money grubbing  top hats of the city.

    1
    #6316
    Indigxld
    Participant
    Rank: Bag of Ice
    Points: 733
    1
    #6318
    Ravenel_Fridge
    Plugged In
    Rank: Droplet
    Points: 21.75

    In order to sell a lot of tickets, and get a lot of people to show up, the event would need to have several big name artists. These artists demand huge guarantees and they aren’t going to work with a grassroots movement like this unless there is cash to back it up. They have management teams that make all of the decisions for them about which shows to consider and even present to the artist. These management teams take a percentage of tickets from every performance.

    The community has grown a lot in terms of infrastructure and organization, but it has shrunk in terms of fans, and exciting up-and-coming names. There are many, many undersold events and talented bands playing to empty rooms happening in this city.

    This is not to knock any of the talented artists that do live here, and do contribute, but it’s a fact. The big shows are all catering to the demographic you described — the people who do not care, and who just want the social hour and the party. Even the local bands who have these big shows have become insulated from the community due to management and business.

    In order to attract sponsors, the organizers would need to present a guaranteed return on investment. The people would have to show them that if they put up the money it will be put to good use, and make them lots of money in return. This can be done by having a big name artist already attached to the event before approaching sponsors. It can also be done by presenting data from past events and statistics about expected turnout, etc.

    Speculating about this stuff is fun, but when you get down to the nitty gritty of it, the logistics are a huge hurdle. Of course all the local artists want to be part of it, but what is needed is people who would actually buy the tickets. The simple fact is that most local artists struggle to get even 50 people to show up at a concert and for this to work multiple thousands of people would need to buy tickets and show up.

    1
    #6321
    chubes
    HMFIC
    Rank: Frozen Foods Isle
    Points: 10390

    I’ve been trying to build what you describe for years with Extra Chill Fest. Getting the local support in terms of ticket buyers has proven to be extremely difficult, but it has certainly grown. I have not tried much for sponsors since the first year (2018). Back then I had a friend who was the local PBR rep, and another friend who was helping me stay organized on the production / budget side of things. Both of them have since moved away.

    Not saying that I don’t think it’s worth trying, but I don’t even know where to begin. Those connections made it happen.

    I am obviously very interested in hosting a large scale event of this kind. It has been my dream to host a giant music festival with all genres and lots of awesome art and local collaboration. My plan was to just find a way to become wealthy first and then put up the money myself to buy property and build the festival grounds. That has also proven to be difficult, lol, but I still believe in it.

    I think working with people who see this kind of community vision is the best path forward. Things have been frustrating for me lately but I’ve come to understand that what we’re doing is good and it is working. We’re just fighting an uphill battle in a city (and a state) that does not embrace its home-grown artists like it should.

    Ultimately, getting people to band together and understand that their presence is more than just a fun night out on the town. Or maybe it’s a matter of properly marketing our events as just a fun night out on the town. Either way, we need to find a way to get and hold the attention of the mainstream Charleston audience (i.e. the people with money to spend). Because I don’t think we’re going to see any change for the better in terms of cost of living, talented artists moving to town more than they move out, and things like that anytime soon.

    We’ve gotta work with the hand we’ve been dealt in this case.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Users Currently Online: 0

Most Ever Online: 8 on 02/06/2024

Total Members: 223