So there are a lot of music festivals lately – have you noticed? And they’re getting bigger; much bigger. Ten bands in one day used to qualify as a “festival”. Now SXSW has 1000 bands and lasts 6 months (I think). With all these festivals popping up, surely there’s one out there with allure past a few interesting headliners AND doesn’t cost $300. Maybe? No? Bummer.
SEGUE into obvious counterpoint: yes, such a festival exists and it’s called Total Bummer, happening this weekend in Orlando. Unless you’re pretty actively seeking out music, the lineup, which spans 4 days (Thur-Sun) probably looks unfamiliar. Let me promise you that this roster is somewhat of a triumph of promising, under-the-radar artists. Certainly a triumph by Florida standards. While other festivals feel like an exercise in market targeting, Total Bummer looks like a curated collection of artists that have been earning nods from music geeks, Bandcamp scouts, and tumblrerers. It’s a sign that maybe self-publishing music – and, in many cases, sharing it for free – is the new way to connect with listeners, build a fan base, and perhaps even make a living out of creating music without getting pimped around by a label.
Total Bummer’s artists range from dance floor sensations Pictureplane and Teengirl Fantasy to performance art to unapologetically subtle instrumental acts. In between there dozens of Florida’s most promising new(er) acts, including a showcase from Tiny Waves.
Total Bummer 3D: Dance Mix
In total there are 103 bands. And because the majority of the artists aren’t reined by mid-major labels, the price is low. Very low. $30 gives you a weekend pass. Radical!
Here’s the full line-up:
Unstoppable Death Machines
Tiny Waves Showcase
Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt
Obvious conclusion: I genuinely recommend making it out to this. Support Florida bands and self-supported musicians/artists*
*that are inventive and talented. don’t support the other ones, someone needs to wait all these tables