PLAY:stl | 2007-2010
Laura came home from having been to a festival out in Oklahoma sometime in the first few months of 2007.
WHAT WE DID: Creative direction, operations management, artist booking, arrangements, advertising, sponsorship, venue negotiations, volunteer wranglers, design of all materials, t-shirts, negotiations, logistics.
She practically glowed as she talked about how something like this should take place in St. Louis. We had traveled to South By Southwest for years and had been impressed by the Midwest Music Summit in Indianapolis and the South Park Festival in Fairplay, CO. We had just finished publishing PLAYBACK:stl, which had done our bank account and waist lines no favors. We knew better about jumping into projects that we swear will only take up a small part of our lives, yet, just four months later we were taking over venue space in one of the coolest music districts in St. Louis — The Loop. PLAY:stl was born.
We put together year one in just a few months. In those months we figured out the staging and had graphic help from Karl Eggers who produced our first poster. Laura, utilizing her super human organizing skills recruited a little over 100 bands to play across the four days of the festival. You might think organizing bands and scheduling them is a matter of a good phone and address book, but she reached out across the land and brought together a fair amount of amazing bands, including our headliners Margot and the Nuclear So & Sos. We had 12 stages and a very large outdoor stage which we put on the street to the right of Vintage Vinyl.
2008 built on that success and we consolidated our stages down to 10. We made deals with several festivals across the country as well as Paste Magazine. Once again our band count was over 100 and featured the amazing Semi Precious Weapons, who went on to tour the world with Lady Gaga.
2009 featured a sharp rise in the grade of artists we attracted – bringing in the Hood Internet which, at the last moment had to be shifted from an auditorium in a former synagogue to Cicero’s much smaller venue. It was a very packed house, but a very great show.
2010 saw dozens of truly breathtaking shows, including Samantha Crain at Riddles in The Loop, California Wives at the RAC and North Carolina’s Red Collar at several locations around the festival.
11 Nov 2013 / jimdunn / 0