Philadelphia, Pa- Hear ye, hear ye….members of the Philadelphia area-the 1st Annual Liberty Music Fest is in full swing. This year’s festival hopes to be a lot of fun for music enthusiasts and aspiring artists alike. It should educate people about music through panels and key note speakers as well as networking with producers and music label representatives. A huge contributor to the success of this event is booking agent and promoter Jim Thorpe. “The whole process was amazing from the initial idea and brainstorming on how a conference/festival could work. After 10 years and going at the Dewey Beach Music Conference, I really hope it lives up to that. The lineup we have for the Liberty Music Fest is probably one of the most talented lineups I have ever been involved in since I started in this business.”
Mr. Thorpe has been a fan of music at a very young age. He started playing drums as a child, and his grandfather who played saxophone would jam with him. He later played with a few bands in the early eighties. It was around the early 90’s that he began getting involved with managing and booking shows at various clubs in the city. He has done work with such venues as Middle East, Brownies 23E, Puck Live, WCI, The Grape Room and Triumph Brewing. In 2001, he went on to join the Dewey Beach Music Conference. He feels that this event will benefit local aspiring artists in the Philadelphia area by exposing them to various aspects of the music industry, such as publishing, licensing, effective touring, marketing and PR. “The key to any festival is to network, if you don’t talk to people you’re not going to get as much out of the event if you just attend and listen to panels and bands. Meet new people…” One particular keynote speaker will be Lou Plaia from Reverbnation, who will be coming to show the artists show to optimize Reverbnation to help their band succeed. When asked about the best method of promoting various events/festivals, he simply replied, “By constantly beating down doors. The main thing is to offer something that will attract bands and fans. The bands that are selected already are promoting it, which is awesome. With everyone’s support, this is going to be a huge event to honor the clubs ‘Legendary’ status. Hopefully with all our promotions, people will check out these bands and say “Oh my god! They all kick ass, I have to go…”
The Legendary Dobbs is a popular venue for live music in the city of Philadelphia, and it has been for quite a few years. Formerly known as “J.C. Dobbs”, it was founded in the mid nineteen seventies by Joe Garrison, John Travis, Donnie Tedesco and Kathy James. Many big names have played some of their first gigs here, such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Oasis, and Sara McLachlan. This venue has two floors where the bands perform. The downstairs looks right over South St. and features a fully-stocked bar, a dance/spectating floor area, and a stage. The walls are all covered with memorabilia and wall hangings with flyers from various shows/artists, framed autographed instruments, bumper stickers and the like. With both its convenient location and its historical significance, it is one of the more well-renowned venues for live music in Philadelphia.
This festival should really allow new and upcoming bands/artists to become noticed and give more popular bands a chance to let fans hear any new material that they may have to show. The lineup for this event should be jam-packed, consisting of various bands/artists that are upcoming and yet to be discovered. Names such as The Jackson Rider, Open Road, Frank Viele & the Manhattan Project, and Kid Felix will be kicking off the event on the main stage. The second stage will be featuring various other acts such as The Nomad Clientele, Deadbeatz, Inc., Lost in Company, New Sweden and Dan Collins.
Bands such as Kid Felix, Nomad Clientele, and Frank Viele and the Manhattan Project have all put their music on Spotify, an online music engine similar to Napster or Rhapsody. It allows you to search and download unlimited songs, and is very popular among teens and young adults. It is, in my opinion, an excellent way to get your music out to a large demographic of users who use this program. Lukas JP & the Nomad Clientele is a local alternative/ska type band out of West Chester. Its members consist of Lukas JP, Larry Everett IV, Benod Durham, Ryan Estrada, and Dave Warton. Their sound is sort of like Sublime, Hoobastank, and The Dirty Heads. Another popular band is Kid Felix, who formed in May of 2011 from Laurel Springs, New Jersey. They began making their mark on the Philadelphia music scene when they became the featured artist on WMMR’s Local Shots. They have a sound/style similar to such bands as Kings of Leon, Airborne Toxic Event, and Fuel. The band consists of members Jake Falana, Brett Hagen, Julian Ungerer, John Ambrutis, John Szachewicz, and Ken Baxter.
The Liberty Music Fest will be held from August 16-19th and will run all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The bands play from 12:30 to about 1 AM. So if you enjoy live music, then head on down to South St. and check out some of the bands at The Legendary Dobbs, where the drinks keep flowing and the tunes keep on rockin’.
Official Site: www.LibertyMusicFest.com
by Brian Hanshaw