There’s No “Lubbock” In Lubbock Music Fest
Have you noticed anything missing with the "Lubbock Music Fest"? Uh, Lubbock Music. Performers are brought in to insure some okay crowds and a few bucks for the promoters, while Lubbock Musicians are stuck playing the same old crappy gigs they always played. At FMX we give local bands a lot of opportunities to play on the 'big stages' before national acts, but the folks behind this festival "talk a good game' but do not deliver. More after the jump.
What do Grouplove, Shiny Toy Guns, or Cody Canada have to do with "Lubbock Music"? The answer is absolutely nothing. Would it have been that much of a problem to have a 'local stage' with local bands between sets? You bet it wouldn't, we've done it a number of times. I understand that the local scene is a bit dry right now, but we could have a least given a few of those bands playing their regular bar gigs a chance to be seen by a wider audience. Now, don't throw "Joe Ely" or "the Crickets" at me, at this point those artist have spent at least twice the amount of time they every lived in Lubbock, living elsewhere.
I have to quote Will Ferrell's character in Zoolander each time a different incarnation of a "Lubbock Music Fest" comes around, "I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS'. I can't believe anyone buys into the hype. The organizers speak this mantra of LUBBOCK MUSIC, LUBBOCK MUSIC, LUBBOCK MUSIC, to tug at your heartstrings and then book pretty much anything but LUBBOCK MUSIC. Make no mistake, this is all about making money for the Cactus Theater crowd and the former Lubbock musicians who play Eagles covers for the over 60 crowd. Now, I want to clarify something; there needs to be a word for someone who plays nothing but covers (and I was one of them). Musicians create music, people who play nothing but covers are just 'players'. Now, if you think I'm getting off topic, you're wrong, and here's my thinking: Lubbock Music Fest gets a lot of it's publicity by lumping themselves in with Lubbock Walk of Fame Inductions. They USE other peoples originality in the past to promote the festival. It gets better-the people behind the Lubbock Music Festival make a living not supporting original local music, but by playing and promoting "tribute nights' at the Cactus. Am I the only one who sees how messed up this is?
You wanna go one better? Do you know how easy it would be remedy this? Just give 'em that fifteen minutes between the larger artists sets. Or for about $300 you could rent a p.a. and a flatbed truck and let 20 local bands play all day. It's that easy and that sad that no one does it.
Now at this point, some internet troll is thinking 'if you don't like it, don't go". Well I don't go and I don't support it. My problem is that these people seem to have a large segment of the population thinking you are doing something for Lubbock or Lubbock music by attending. I thoroughly object to the use of the word "Lubbock" in the name. If it was Depotpalooza or something like that, I wouldn't be writing this article.
Now a few years back Lubbock musicians were integrated into the various incarnations of the festival, but now the festival just piggybacks off their legacy. A great example is the "Jessefest" portion of this years festival. If you don't know, the first "Jesse Taylor Tribute" was so successful, it OUTDREW the Lubbock Music Fest (or whatever it was called that year). So now they tried rolling it in with this years festivities, with only marginal results.
There is a very striking parallel here between this festival and the 'district' in general. Two of the largest live music clubs were torn down to make room for one sad, lonely statue. The term "Lubbock Music" is being torn down so a few sad individuals can make a buck.
In short, enjoy all the live music you can, it's good for you. Just don't think you are doing anything for Lubbock or Lubbock musicians by attending.
p.s. I really like how Joe Ely "put it in the face' of the Walk Of Fame Crowd. He made a subtle statement about the 'politics' of the town and induction, in effect, slamming the hypocrites for not recognizing the towns biggest star, Natalie Maines. Sorry knuckleheads, look up album sales-the Dixie Chicks outsold Buddy Holly.