Promoter Spotlight: MidPoint Music Festival
MidPoint is new to some people out there, so we thought we'd focus a bit on the festival and Artistic Director Dan McCabe, covering the selection process, and what MidPoint is looking for from potential artists.
MidPoint is accepting submissions for showcases now through 11:59 p.m. EST on May 17, 2015.
Showcases slots are available to artists from anywhere in the world. It's one of the strongest and most consistent festivals running for 14 years. So if strutting your stuff in Cincinnati alongside some top music talent sounds good to you, you should hop to it!
TELL US ABOUT THE EVENTS YOU SELECT ARTISTS FOR: WHICH GENRES DO THE BEST THERE?
Cincinnati has an established scene rich in Indie Rock and Americana. MPMF reflects that in our programming.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN SELECTING A BAND?
Above all else, we want to hear a strong, original vision. MidPoint is where new sounds, genre stretching and a spirit of adventure thrives. We attract a savvy listener who appreciates new and pioneering music.
WHICH PRESENTATION ELEMENTS OF A BAND ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT?
You need to have a strong understanding of your strengths, as well as your limitations. The best performers are comfortable with their presentation. Know what you can or can't execute well on stage. We work hard to facilitate an environment capable of sustaining that comfort level.
GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF AN ARTIST YOU SELECTED, AND WHY YOU SELECTED THEM?
Gaby Moreno's selection for MidPoint 2010 was very easy. Gaby has a strong sense of self and sound. Her career has been uniquely carved, playing in varying settings, and sharing the stage with an array of genres. Her willingness to stretch and explore her music made for a great MidPoint partnership.
WHEN YOU'RE REVIEWING AN EPK, WHAT'S THE FIRST THING YOU CLICK ON, THE SECOND, ETC?
It's really quick on the standard things. I listen to the first song, read the Bio next, listen to the second song, then look for photos or press clippings, etc. We consider every single EPK, so I just want to understand this artist's sound and image quickly.
WHAT ARE COMMON MISTAKES YOU SEE ARTISTS MAKING WHEN SUBMITTING TO MIDPOINT?
They neglect to include a third song. We ask that three be made available to really hear what people can do.
WHAT'S THE ONE THING YOU WISHED BANDS DIDN'T CUT CORNERS ON?
Many artists don't include a well written Bio or description about themself. It doesn't need to be long, but it should be more than a few sentences that are really honest and reflective on what your sound is. It not only helps us with quick info of how you see your sound, but it displays your comfort level, vision and the self-awareness I mentioned earlier.
WHEN SOMEONE MAILS A PHYSICAL KIT TO YOUR OFFICE, HOW LIKELY WILL YOU LOOK AT IT?
I don't look at it. Friends and co-workers may enjoy that and I hand it off to them as a form of filtering.
WHAT SHOULD BANDS UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE TIME/EFFORT IN THE SELECTION PROCESS?
We listen to every EPK and consider them carefully. Whatever time and effort is spent on our end doesn't hold a candle to the time these artists spend crafting their music and careers. We approach the selection process with that respect in mind and do our best to honor the unquantifiable efforts that went into these submissions.
WHAT METHOD OF FOLLOW-UP DO YOU PREFER BANDS USE TO REACH YOU?
E-mail is the best bet. I don't always interact with bands directly, as we have our venue stage managers try to communicate in advance to make sure everyone knows where to go and their needs are covered.
WHAT'S YOUR MUSICAL/PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND?
I am a musician. Don't tell anybody, but I've been writing and playing out for 25+ years. In the 90's I booked Cincinnati's Sudsy Malone's. Since then I've been producing shows around town at larger venues. I've worked on MidPoint since 2008.
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER ADVICE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH BANDS LISTENING?
Drive safely please. We've all heard of fellow musicians lost or hurt when traveling to and from gigs. That van of yours is filled with latent projectiles. No load-in time is worth risking yourselves. Get an early start with some good coffee and enjoy the journey with your friends.