Next Friday will be the last day of dead week, but students will most likely be feeling quite lively after spending hours on end cooped up studying for finals.
Just in time, several Western students are hosting a raucous night of music, dancing, and good clean all-ages fun at the Pickford Dreamspace on June 3.
Although the concert is still in the works, four bands will most likely be featured, including two hip-hop groups and two funk bands.
And unlike your average show, this event is hosted entirely by the band members themselves.
Richard Reeves, a freshman at Western and the bassist of Bank of America, one of the funk bands, said, “This is the first show I’ve seen in a long time that is funded by the musicians themselves.” Reeves thinks that this will add an element of fun to the show, because show-goers will feel more connected with the groups performing.
Reeves said that the main goal of the show is not to make money, even though it cost him and the other members of the performing groups a pretty penny to rent the Dreamspace for the night.
“Mostly we’re just trying to get some good music out to people,” Reeves said.
“We’re really doing it for the people,” said Bank of America bandmate Mike Wray. “We want to have a fun show at the end of the year.”
Fun is definitely a top priority for the show, according to Wray and Reeves. In the interest of attracting a high number of poor college students, cover is being kept to a minimum at $5 per person. And Reeves promises you’ll get your money’s worth.
“We’re going to drop it like it’s hot,” Reeves said. “And $5 is like less than two lattes.”
Reeves also thinks the timing of the show is key. He estimates that there will be mainly two kinds of potential attendees that he wants to tap into: students who don’t study at all and are ready to go out on a Friday night to party like there’s no such thing as finals week, and students who study really hard, but who will need to blow off steam with some good music. “It’s going to be a musical end-of-the-year blowout,” Reeves said.
Unbeknownst to many in Bellingham, the Pickford Dreamspace is a venue that is available to rent, as the organizers of the June 3 show are doing. Wray estimates that just renting the space costs about $600 for one night. “If you can afford it, you can rent it,” Wray said of the Dreamspace venue. “It’s pricey for a college student,” he said, but thinks that it is made more doable since all the bands are chipping in.
Wray said he first got the idea of hosting such a show after attending the 4:20 Festival in April, also at the Dreamspace. “After 4:20, I just thought, we’ve got to put on a show there,” Wray said.
Evan Williamson, who creates and spins beats for one of the hip-hop groups performing, Estrella, said, “I first became familiar with the Pickford Dreamspace when Murder Mountain co-sponsored the 4:20 Festival.”
Murder Mountain, a production and recording company founded by Williamson, is the ultimate host of the event.
“Murder Mountain is a vast resource for people who enjoy and create art,” Williamson said. “We do live and studio audio recordings and production, and video production and editing.”
Wray, who also serves as the co-director of music for Murder Mountain, said, “It’s really a big support team for artists. Anyone who wants to play on the team can play, and we are there for each other.”
With the spirit of Murder Mountain in mind, Williamson, Wray, and others involved in the project came up with the idea of hosting an end-of-the-year musical bash to help students unwind and listen to local groups.
Things really started to get underway within the last few weeks, however. “Evan called me up and asked me for $200,” Reeves said. “But it really came together when we found out that we could get some really great bands to play.”
Those bands are shaping up to be Reeves’ and Wray’s Bank of America, Dig the Particulars, a local funk band gaining popularity, Estrella, and Nuff Said, another hip-hop group. “It’s a hell of a lineup,” said Reeves.
With the finishing touches going into the show and its promotion, Reeves, Wray, and Williamson, along with all the other students and community members involved with Murder Mountain and the performing groups, expect the show to be entertaining for an otherwise stressed out crowd of college students.
Williamson advises, “Bring yo’ dancin’ shoes!”
The show will take place at the Pickford Dreamspace, located at 1318 Bay St. in downtown Bellingham. Tickets are $5 and can be bought at the door. Music will kick off at 8 p.m., so be there or be studying.