This Will Destroy You / Courtesy photo
The organizers of a new independent music festival have announced the first round of bands set to play at the inaugural event next year in Fayetteville.
The event, titled On the Map, is the brainchild of Roger Barrett and Samantha Sigmon, two local art and music advocates who have promoted a range of events at various venues around town over the past few years.
The idea for the festival, Barrett said, is to put Fayetteville back on the radar for national independent music booking agents who have mostly gotten out of the habit of sending bands through town.
Barrett said part of the reason for that could be linked the closure of Clunk Music Hall in 2002. The all-ages venue, run by Chris “Clunk” Selby inside a warehouse on College Avenue, played host to a laundry list of independent bands that eventually signed to major labels. When Clunk was open, Fayetteville was a frequent stop for bands like Modest Mouse, Deathcab for Cutie, Built to Spill, At the Drive-In, Pinback, and The Shins.
The venue’s high-caliber roster of shows, coupled with Selby’s relationship with top independent agents, was attractive to a lot of smaller up-and-coming artists who sought out Fayetteville when planning national tours. Without a dedicated replacement for Clunk, Barrett said Fayetteville has missed out on a lot of great music.
He said he hopes an annual festival will help the city reconnect with some of those booking agents, and help bring back at least some aspect of what Clunk was able to do for Fayetteville in the late 90s.
“I think the music deserves it and I think Fayetteville is ready for it,” said Barrett.
The event will take some cues from Hot Springs’ Valley of the Vapors independent music festival, which capitalizes on the stream of bands who are headed back home (or continuing tours) after performing at South by Southwest in Austin each Spring.
“The plan was to be as close to SXSW as possible,” Barrett said. “We’re a few days after SXSW and one day after Valley Of The Vapors. We hope the people driving to SXSW stop by Arkansas on their way home.”
The festival is funded in part by a $10,000 award from the Fayetteville Advertising & Promotion Commission facilitated by Art Amiss. Barrett said organizers are still seeking sponsorships from local businesses interested in helping out.
The three-day Fayetteville festival kicks off March 24 with two days of live music at the Fayetteville Town Center, followed by a variety of events at select venues around town on March 26.
Acts set to play at the first-year event include Dallas instrumental giants This Will Destroy You, as well as Oxford, Mississippi’s Water Liars. The first round of artist announcements also includes two of Arkansas’ most acclaimed bands – Pallbearer, and Adam Faucett & The Tall Grass.
Early, discounted passes will go on sale on Tuesday, Dec. 22 for $35. Barrett said that price will cover both nights of music at the Town Center and some additional shows. A ticket link will soon be posted on the event’s Facebook page at facebook.com/onthemapfest.
2016 On the Map festival lineup (as of 1/19/16)
Pallbearer (Little Rock, AR) – pallbearerdoom.com
Adam Faucett & The Tall Grass (Little Rock, AR) – adamfaucett.com
Mike Adams At His Honest Weight (Bloomington, IN) – honestweight.tumblr.com
Water Liars (Oxford, MS) – waterliarsmusic.com
Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires (Birmingham, AL) – thegloryfires.com
This Will Destroy You (Dallas, TX) – thiswilldestroyyou.net
Bleached (Los Angeles) – hellobleached.com
Tristen (Nashville) – tristen.com