Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Best kept secret in bluegrass

A few weeks ago I heard from Roger Moss, the promoter of the Podunk Bluegrass Festival in East Hartford, Conn., wondering why Festival Preview is focused on a relatively few number of major festivals. It's a valid question that deserves a good answer.

But first let me give some attention to Moss's outstanding event, now in its 11th year. The lineup for the 2006 Podunk Festival, to be held August 3-6 in Martin Park in East Hartford, includes Del McCoury Band, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Sam Bush, Cherryholmes, King Wilke and plenty more national bands. That's a schedule that competes in star power with most of the festivals tracked by Festival Preview, and it highlights the irony in the festival's unassuming name. Visit here for all the details of the festival that calls itself "the best kept secret in bluegrass."

And now to Roger's question. Festival Preview is in its first fledgling season as a guide to bluegrass and roots music festivals. We never expect to become a comprehensive guide, since it is probably not possible to accomplish that mission successfully. Some other print and online businesses have attempted to establish themselves as portals to the whole world of festivals, but they have proven to be neither complete nor very rich in the depth of content about any one festival.

It is Festival Preview's goal to provide rich, useful content for a selection of what we consider to be the most important festivals. We think that festival-goers want to learn as much as possible about the artists scheduled for an event before they go or decide to go. That's why we provide interviews, analysis, and artist downloads, instead of just the factual information provided by other festival guides.

Of course, we have limited resources to devote to this project, so we have had to compromise by selecting only a small number of events to cover in 2006. We hope to be able to expand our coverage in 2007 and beyond, both going deeper into the bluegrass category as well as broadening into related genres of music.

There are no shortage of worthy events, as the Podunk example clearly demonstrates. And while we won't give them equal coverage on the main site, I will post items on the blog pointing to other festivals you should know about. And if you are an attendee or promoter of an event you think Festival Preview readers should know about, don't hesitate to contact us by email.

1 comment:

Roger Moss said...

I thank you for the opportunity to have people learn about Podunk. I fully understand your desire to keep your focus and highlight a select few events. However these large events are known near and far and have very large followings. An event like Podunk can not compete with the marketing power of such events. We rely on people taking a chance and come to our festival to learn what a great location and festival we are. I have attended Grey Fox and worked it the past three years. From what I hear people say we are where GF was back 15 or 20 years ago.

Another comment I hear about our festival is how good can it be in a city? Well our park is one of the oldest and most mature parks. The trees are large the stage is in a natural bowl keeping the outside sounds away and the music in. The family atmosphere is outstanding and our camping is level and on-site. A short walk from the campgrounds to the concert area can be handled by young and old. Last year's attendance was about 1,500. We need to double our attendance to keep our festival viable, so if you are looking for a trip to the Northeast then make Podunk one of your scheduled stops. If you have been to Podunk please add your comments so others can hear what a great event it is.
Roger Moss