by DANI GRANT
Possibly one of the most exciting late summer events in Northern Colorado, BandSwap returns! A collaborative and progressive effort to share local musicians within a wider area, BandSwap features partnering bands who travel to various participating states to perform for new locales. A total of nine states participate in BandSwap. These include Athens, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; Chico, California; Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado; Lafayette, Louisiana; Madison, Wisconsin; Nashville, Tennessee and Portland, Oregon.
he festival involves performances by touring bands and their out-of-state partners, craft beers and fare, farm-to-table sustainable cuisine, and other “local flavor” that creates a cultural swap that goes beyond just music. The event also caters to entrepreneurial, educational, and networking opportunities.
SynchroniCITY provides education and business advice, as well as networking techniques to help innovators and people in the music business find their way and make helpful connections within the community. InnovationSwap provides entrepreneurs of various cities to engage in collaboration and presentation of ideas, and hopes to foster and build relationships between small businesses and innovators all over the country.
The same can be said for the BandSwap aspect. Cultural and social creativity and innovation are exchanged through the arts and music presented through the festival. The performances run through late September and conclude with a “Homecoming” ceremony during which Colorado bands and their partners return home to play shows locally in early October.
“The Colorado events are a terrific way for our music community to enjoy a kind of ‘band buffet,’” says SpokesBUZZ advisory board member Julie Sutter, “we’ve got talent from all across the country being showcased right here in Fort Collins and Denver. It’s an amazing chance to experience cultural elements from like-minded cities, and meet some really talented musicians. I hope people take advantage of the opportunity!”
This year, local Fort Collins bands that will be performing and representing their hometown will include names like Stella Luce, Winchester Holiday, Gasoline Lollipops, Shatterproof, The Deadwood Saints, and Maxwell Hughes. Local bands are excited to meet new performers and learn new tricks. Stella Luce will be partnering/swapping with Lords of the Trident, a Madison, WI based metal band.
“Our swap partners, Lords of the Trident, have so far been incredible and I cannot wait to get to know them more when we visit Madison,” says Stella Luce violinist Alana Rolfe. “I can tell we have a lot to learn from them…especially when it comes to rocking out. Perhaps, if Stella gives them lessons in seduction, they’ll teach us to melt face!”
Homecoming performances in Colorado will feature bands from partner cities, and will give local bands and audiences a taste of new talent. This collaborative and exciting event of like-minded creative people, is presented by Fort Collins’ own SpokesBUZZ. For more information including a full schedule and venue listing can be found at www.bandswap.org.