We’re Baaaaaack!

And it’s time start planning this year’s SBMF. We’re looking at a date in early July for the event; we’ll post as soon as we come up with a solid date.

In the meantime, we’re seeking new volunteers to help organize and promote, and fundraise for the event. Do you want to help? Here’s a list of things that need to be done ASAP:

  1. Musicians! We need bands to play. Are you in a band? Everyone is Seattle knows someone in a band — help spread the word that we’re seeking brilliant musicians again this year!
  2. Kickstarter / fundraising. We need money to make some necessary upgrades to the sound system, buy ads, etc.
  3. Publicity – We need fliers and posters again this year. And a blogger… We should really publicize the event as much as possible – get the media to run stories, post fliers around town, maybe create some random bike/music guerrillla art to help boost interest.
    • We could use a good press kit – if you have experience creating these, that would be awesome.
    • build a street team – people who can go out around town and plaster fliers / posters / art everywhere.
  4. Sound:
    • The sound equipment we had last year was on loan and is now back in LA. Do you have a PA or access to sound equipment we could use? We need mic stands, monitors, everything and anything to help improve the sound. Got contacts or suggestions? Send ’em our way.
    • Also, we need a great sound engineer person. Can you donate your time or expertise? Got any connections?
    • We need to improve the generator – it was too noisy last year, and it was kind of an inefficient system. If you have any ideas about upgrading the system, or know anything about electronics or engineering, that would be great.
  5. Permits and venues – I have a great contact at the City of Seattle Parks Dept, but I need help just coordinating some of the other stuff. Also, finding locations for shows is pretty essential.
  6. Mechanical engineering – are you a mechanical genius? Like working with your hands? Welding? Yep, we need help there, too.
  7. Community support – get people excited about the music festival, contact as many people as we can and try to increase awareness. Brainstorm organizations that might be interested in supporting our mission – CBC, Alleycat Acres, WA Bike Alliance, Bike Works, The Bikery, Vera Project, Seattle Feet First, Seattle Public Utilities, various neighborhood groups and events, etc.
  8. Gathering donations / grant writer – if you can garner donations (both cash and in-kind) from local businesses, that would be wonderful. We received many generous donations from local businesses last year; if we can match or exceed that, it would be amazing. I have a huge list of companies and organizations to contact, that either helped us or had potential to help last year, but I just don’t have the time to send out requests.
  9. Any other ideas? Suggestions are always welcome!

Grant Funding

The Seattle Bicycle Music Festival would not have been possible this year without funding from the City of Seattle’s smArt Ventures Grant, which has helped greatly to offset many expenses. If you’re at all interested in making a project like this happen, or even if you want to work on another large-scale community art project, you should look into this grant!

Also, starting next week, I will be taking a grant writing class. I’m hoping to be able to apply for some other grants that will help us make the Seattle Bicycle Music Festival even bigger and better next year!

Building the Music Festival

We’ve been hard at work, building the Bike Bar, which is the bicycle-operated sound stage. It’s going to be a fold-able trailer, that we can hook five bicycles up to and power the sound system.

Here’s a shot of Jon welding, with Dan working in the background:

And Joe, cutting metal tubing:

I can’t thank these guys enough for their time and energy they’ve poured into building this equipment. They’re pretty amazing!

For more photos of the construction and past activities with SBMF, check out the Flickr set.

More Volunteer Opportunities!

The time is nigh. We have a lot to do still, and we’re making all the final adjustments and getting things together. Our crack team of engineers – Joe, Jon, and Dan – have been busy building a pedal-powered stage, all by hand. It is quite impressive, actually. DJ Ryan’s pulled out the stops with his sound system and has helped purchase some essential components. Miriam’s been right there, helping with all the administrative stuff we have to do and basically acting as my right-hand woman. It’s a great team that we have working together. But there’s still more to do!

We’re going to meet every night this week after work (5:00pm until 9:30pm) to put some finishing touches on the pedal-powered stage. But what we REALLY need help with is painting signs. I have a bunch of cardboard and some paints, so if you want to come out and help decorate some fabulous signs and create a banner to hang behind the bands, that would be awesome! All you need is some old clothes you don’t mind getting paint on and a little creativity.

We’ll be meeting at Jon’s house: 2336 N 63rd St., Seattle, WA 98103

Call Sylvie with questions: 619-861-7011

SMBF Bands: No Rey

No Rey was recommended by a friend, and I am SO HAPPY he brought them to my attention. They’re GREAT! I’m super excited about seeing them live finally, you should be too. Just check out this video of them playing live at Conor Byrne in Ballard in February of this year:

SBMF Bands: The Mongrel Jews

The first time I saw the Mongrel Jews at a house party, I was completely enchanted. They’re a DIY folk band with the energy of punks that’ll get anyone humming along. It’s almost like they channel the spirit of Joey Ramone if he lived in the 1930s. Pretty amazing.

Here they are that first night I ever saw them, performing “Potter’s Field” at the House of the Rising Sun:

SBMF Bands: Manigua

This band is amazing. My friend and I saw them last month at First Thursday’s Art Walk, and they had the whole place jumping. Seriously, they knocked our socks off!

Check out this video shot of them at Chop Suey a couple weeks ago: