I’m getting really psyched for LAUNCH Music Conference April 26-29!! It coincides with the anniversary of my website and really shows the potential Lancaster has as an entertainment destination. Last year, I had fliers in the swag bags. A lot of good it did me; my website wasn’t much to see at its birth. This year, I have a vendor table and the time to attend some of the conferences. I also have all-access passes for every show in every venue, all weekend. I’ll be the happiest zombie you’ve ever seen by Sunday!
Who did I hear for the first time at last year’s conference? Amanda Wells. Dana Alexandra. Pete Bush and the Hoi Polloi. Maybe those names mean nothing to you. They were nothing to me then but I have grown very fond of these folks and seen many strong shows by each of them in the past year. I’m really thrilled that Pete is coming back from Pittsburgh this year. Be sure to be at Spring House Tap Room on Friday April 27 by 8pm. Lancaster’s own Amanda Wells and Mike McMonagle each have a set and the Hoi Polloi plays right on their heels. You can hear all three and still have time to see The Felice Brothers! I promise! That’s what I’m doing!
Here’s how just those three examples played out for me. By hearing and meeting Amanda and Dana, I discovered a whole network of local women singer/songwriters and their regular showcases at places like Dispensing Company, Shenk’s and Symposium. Social networking with them kept me up to date on shows by local powers Jessica Smucker, Loretta Bilieux, and Trixie Greiner. They guided me to shows by newcomers like Macy K and regional touring acts like Heather Maloney and Sarah Blacker. I had a great year with the ladies! (I always wanted to say that!)
Dana introduced me to her drummer, Tony Kirchner. He also drums for Slimfit (rock stars!) and promotes shows, in particular the Singer/Songwriter Series at Lancaster Dispensing Company. It was Tony who told me I had to get to know Fryth at DipCo and the owners of Tri State Indie, Rich and Steph. Getting to know those folks was invaluable to me as I built my business. I learned a lot from all of them and am now proud to call them friends. I contribute regularly to TSI now and presented at their first annual awards show. Fryth is just flat-out my hero. By the way, we never would have had Plugged In on the Farm last summer without the efforts of Tony and Fryth.
In talking to Pete and showing him around (he’s from Pittsburgh like me), I heard about the ALTAR BAR, Thunderbird Café and several other great venues back there. On my first trip to ALTAR, I heard Lovebettie. POW!! That club is absolute dynamite and nobody lit my fuse this year like Lovebettie. I staged my first show this year just to give them a place near here to play. Go to Chameleon on the Saturday of LAUNCH and see Lovebettie on the main stage at 9pm. You will Lovebettie too!
But don’t just listen to me! Go to the LAUNCH website and download the schedule of conferences and performers. They even have a scheduler app for it this year. Get yourself a weekend pass and get your own year’s-worth of fun and entertainment out of it!