We are badgeless and wristbandless, and take in 4 days of “day parties” which sometimes happen at night. There are literally thousands of bands/artists… not sure of the count of bands officially playing (about 2,000 I think), plus the unofficial ones who travel in for gigs that week plus the who-knows-how-many that live here and are not on tour elsewhere. The day parties/side parties typically go from noonish to 7-ish with live music, free beer, sometimes free food. Record labels, Instrument-makers, PR firms, clothing people, regional music organizations, radio stations, magazines, breweries and other drinkmakers – have parties… lotsa parties, hundreds. There’s no one source with ALL the party listings, but this is one that I find the most helpful. The real madness begins around Monday, the 15th and goes for a week. Noooo, I haven’t heard of most of the bands either, but I think that most of them are worth hearing. Even if they aren’t your cup of tea, if they’ve made the cut for a showcase (or a party, for that matter), somebody thinks they are worth a listen. I get a real kick out of some of the party names, and but I love reading the band names! How about these with a shit theme?
Expensive Shit, Shit and Shine, Shitty Carwash, Shithawk, Bad Shit, Bubblegum Shitface Experience, Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger!, Psychedelic Horseshit, The Bassturd...and I noticed while searching for that last one that "Saturday" has a "turd" right in the middle of it.
I like to just create a listing of preferred events, work up a loose plan, and see what happens when the day gets here. We will see people we already love and also discover some new ones.
One thing I love about this festival is that I am not working during it. I take a few vacation days from the day job, and my side job (related to the music industry) has shrunk down quite a bit (intentionally on my part) so that I am now just frantically trying to plan a schedule but not doing that in addition to getting other people (those who ARE working it) ready for their shows.
Here's a pretty good post from a writer from IndyWeek.com, whose situation and reason for going is different from mine, but he hits the nail on the head quite a few times. [LINK]
Click here for my past writeups (back to 2006) of this Mad March festival.