Music seems almost cursed with a slew of music festivals that offer every variety of music in even the most remote cities. The concept is popular because spectators feel like they can get the most “bang-for-their-buck.” While it may seem like I am down-playing the music festival; I really think they are one of the best parts about music today. It is good to know that the live-performance is still highly regarded. With the many thousands of music festivals taking place in the U-S every year none are more refreshing than Austin, Texas’ Fun Fun Fun Fest.
Created in 2006 the festival offers a largely more European style of festival. It features four stages; each catering to a particular group of genres. The genres include metal and punk, electro and hip-hop, and rock and indie-pop. They also cater to comedy their yellow stage which features a variety of comedians and includes some other bizarre acts such as the punk rock circus; which was a feature at this year’s festival. In only six-years the festival has grown quickly in 2011 they moved from Waterloo Park to Auditorium a large downtown park. The festival is set against the beautiful back-drop of the Austin sky-line. It also has grown to include a full third day of music and festivities.
One of the more incredible aspects is their push to book acts that may not have performed in years and that many wouldn’t expect to be performing. This year the first night was headlined by legendary hip-hop group Run DMC; who hadn’t performed together in more than a decade. An artist of this caliber is something to be very proud of they are one of the most iconic performers in hip-hop. One of the best parts about music festivals is that they offer a place for many smaller acts to gain exposure to a larger audience that is just impossible in the small club scene. Many artists have increased popularity after performing at Fun Fun Fun Fest. This is, I’m sure, something the festival coordinators try their best to improve on and offer.
Fun Fun Fun Fest I believe is one the more creative music festivals with set-up and features of other art forms such as: graffiti and skateboarding to helping non-profits and local vendors. I’m sure the festival will continue to grow. In the coming years it will develop a richer and richer history.
This week we spoke with Kevin Gilley, who is the assistant to the Dean of the School of Fine Arts and Communication and Executive Director of The Friends of Fine Arts.
So Kevin tell us about your position at Texas State
“ I help oversee special event we do for the college, what you would call the we also work on the encore series we also do special event for the student for the dean’s list and we also bring in talent across the nation to perform here at Texas state…”
What type of fine arts event do you enjoy the most?
“Well personally, I shouldn’t be saying this but I really enjoy theater the most, followed by music and dance. But I really do enjoy theater, especially our theater, we have a great theater program here”
Any shows in the past that have stood out to you?
“Absolutely, I have a high watermark in theater and would be Chicago and Oklahoma. And with music it is a tie between Chicago and the Corrainina Branae symphony, which was absolutely mind blowing.”
So tell me about the committee that chooses the performing artist.
“We have a university arts committee that chooses the artist, which I am a nonvoting member. However I do give my two cents about which artists to invite to perform at Texas State. We get money from the student services and from that we are able to afford to bring artists here. Such as with Marc Hamelin, who is very well known Canadian artist who has been nominated for multiple Grammys.”
And what about Doug Smith?
“Doug Smith was chosen through the supple music program, which was started from mr. and mrs. Supple who were lovers of folk music and that was their thing. so they have a endowment that goes into getting the artists to perform for the school.”
Are there any upcoming events that you, personally, are looking forward to?
“Yes I do have something coming up that is very exciting; it is on November 17th well actually the week of November 17th. The friends organization, the friends of fine arts is having a dinner theater for the production of into the woods, which is a Steven Sondheim play which is based off of the grim fairy tales. It’s not the old fairy tales that you used to know its all kind of bad boys and that will be musical theater which will be very big for us.”
So tell us about your experience at Texas State.
“Well I am the assistant to the Dean of Fine Arts, so anything he needs event that needs to be worked on I am there. In addition, I used to be in charge of event planning for the xxx so I used to do a lot more events back then, I have been doing this for 20+ years but I really enjoy it. It’s great working for a dean who is so creative and really care about the fine arts programs and events.”
Also you are the Executive Director of the Friends of Fine Arts
“Friends of Fine Arts quote about how great the program is and what they offer to students and how many members there are and things that the organization does”
-Kelsey Nichols and Chris Henry