Booking FoCoMX, or how to narrow things down to 150 bands...

[Note: No contests today, but congrats Jamie B (Raven Mount) who won a $10 DBA gift card yesterday, and thanks SO MUCH to the 165 people who shared our lineup reveal!" ... More contests soon!]  Today we thank our booking committee, a small handful of music community volunteers who do a mountain of work each spring. Imagine if you will, getting home after a full day at your day job, dealing with life, chores, friends and family, and finally sitting down and logging in to the FoCoMX back office website (built by our stellar web guys at Vionza). "Let's see how many submissions there were this year." ... The answer for 2014? Around 1300. Thirteen hundred bands. Where do you begin? As well-connected as you might be, you might know what maybe... 300 of these bands sound like? As you browse, you're relieved to cross off some bands based purely on geography. They're not from here, they didn't start here, aren't being produced here, even their management is not from Northern Colorado. You spot a new band in a genre you like and hit play. A minute and a half in, you're convinced, these folks have talent. You click "Like," which saves your like to the database, and keep going down the list. Skip past a few bands in genres that aren't really your thing, knowing someone else on the booking committee has a broader view. You know that your opinion is just one opinion, and so you're glad that there are several folks on the committee who will be giving these bands another spin. An hour passes, two hours. You've liked, not liked, skipped, been unsure, made notes to yourself to circle back or made notes to another committee member to give a listen. You've listened to almost a hundred bands of the thousand or so before you. Your progress bar says 9%. You call it a night...  Anyway you get the point. 1000 bands, many, many hours, and only 150 slots. The booking committee sifts, sorts, places bands with a known local draw and surrounds them with fledgling artists just trying to start. Metal, hip-hop, singer-songwriter, experimental, jamgrass, alt-country, punk, they listen to it all. For every slot they fill, that's almost another ten bands who won't play this year. And the motivators are not money or pulling in national favorites or national sponsors like our big-brother festivals do, FoCoMX's booking committee is committed to finding the best balance of local artists they can, a near-impossible task. So they meet, and meet, and scribble bands on butcher paper, change, rearrange, and only THEN, do they start the confirmation phone calls. Voicemails. Texts. More scribbling and rearranging... "Oh, that's right, you play in THREE bands." Into the spreadsheet, a band gets confirmed. Mark it green! (It's exhausting even to WATCH.)  The day the lineup launches, that's when the committee starts getting messages from disappointed acts saying, "I didn't see my act in the lineup..." and our committee can't ever say much other than... "maybe next year?" It's never easy, it's sometimes painful, it's never perfect, but those of us who see behind the scenes know ... they do their absolute best.  FoCoMX loves local music. FoCoMX *IS* local music; it wouldn't exist without its lineup of Northern Colorado bands, the huge community of musicians and non-musicians who buy wristbands, and our volunteers, many of them artists themselves. If you applied and didn't get slotted, please try again, please come out and see the bands who do have showcases, and share our excitement ... 150 acts, 20 venues... however you can, come be part of our music scene!! Once we pay our costs, every dollar goes to the bands, a band at a big venue gets paid the same as a young girl with a guitar at a coffee shop. Every new band you discover, every memory you make, is yours to keep! YOU'RE WELCOME, NORTHERN COLORADO. And thank you booking committee! (-SR)