Music fans bring 18 bands to Norshor
With no experience, money or guarantee of success, three young music lovers will put on their first ever festival next weekend in Duluth. The inaugural Eyes + Hands Festival will be start Friday and go through Sunday, July 10. It will be held at ...
With no experience, money or guarantee of success, three young music lovers will put on their first ever festival next weekend in Duluth.
The inaugural Eyes + Hands Festival will be start Friday and go through Sunday, July 10. It will be held at the historic Norshor Theatre in downtown Duluth. The festival is the blood, sweat and tears of three ambitious music fans that have a passion for music. Mark Oberg and Paul Connolley of Duluth have collaborated with Steve Yasgar of Minneapolis for the last two months to make next weekend's festival a reality.
The music junkies wanted to expose people to the bands they are excited about. They decided there was no better way to accomplish their mission than to organize a music festival from the ground up.
In addition to music, the grass-roots festival will feature poetry reading and an adult-only puppet show. The puppet show will be performed by Allen Richardson and Jim Richardson and the poetry will be performed by Nathan Ness.
Oberg says one of the main goals for the festival is to expose people to some good bands. The festival will have 18 different bands performing; nine from Duluth and nine from Minneapolis. Oberg says the bands playing represent a wide spectrum of music such as Blue Grass, Hip-Hop and Punk. He added that there is good music from every genre. Yasgar wants to use the event as a vehicle for the Minnesota music scene to get more recognition.
"We wanted to show case the Minnesota scene," he said. "We wanted to get everything in there."
Two of the most anticipated performers will be the 10 member hip-hop crew "Doomtree" from Minneapolis and "Retribution of the Gospel Choir" (featuring Alan Sparkhawk of the band "Low") from Duluth. "Doomtree" is scheduled to perform early Sunday at 12:30 a.m. and "Retribution of the Gospel Choir" is schedule for Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
The details of putting together a successful music festival are coming along well, considering none of the three have ever done anything similar to this. "A month and a half ago we didn't have anything," Oberg said.
Planning for the event has consumed a majority of their free time and has turned into a full-time job, Oberg said. Oberg, who works at a liquor store and as a freelance writer, says planning the festival has been a roller coaster of emotions. All three have other commitments and are putting this together in their spare time. Yasgar, who is the drummer in the band "The Swiss Army," says planning the festival was a lot more work than he imagined.
In fact, when Yasgar came up with the name for the festival on a whim; they went with it because it was one last thing to worry about.
In May, the three organized a trial festival at Cheap Thrills in St. Cloud. Yasgar and Oberg said the St. Cloud event was a great learning experience.
"It was a very humbling experience," Oberg said.
After the St. Cloud trial run, they gained a little insight into what it takes to put on a successful show.
Tickets for the show are $8 per night or $12 for both nights. They can be purchased at Electric Fetus, Disc-Go-Round, CD Warehouse (uptown and Dinkytown) and Last Chance Liquor of Duluth. The show is for ages 21 or above. People wanting more information about the event can check out the Web site at www.eyesandhandsfestival.com
After everything is said and done, Oberg says he wants people to have a good time.
"What I envision is that people are going to show up, grab a cocktail, talk to their friends and enjoy some good music."