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VOL. 130 | NO. 154 | Monday, August 10, 2015

Handful Of Music Festivals Set For August

By Andy Meek

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In March, one of James Sposto’s friends posted to his Facebook page a thought about being a musician in Memphis.

SPOSTO

Daniel McKee, a bassist who’s done turns in a few different bands, lamented that he’s never had a chance to play at the Levitt Shell. Sposto, a digital media entrepreneur in Memphis, used that as a catalyst to start preparing for something he’d already had been thinking about making happen – putting on a show that celebrates and supports the local Memphis music he’s a fan of.

Sposto – who has a digital creative agency Sposto Interactive, in addition to being co-founder of cloud-based startup Xtrant – will see his brainchild come to fruition later this month. The result: the inaugural FOMOfest, a one-day celebration of Memphis music Aug. 22 featuring nine acts at the Levitt Shell.

“We have some wonderful artists here, and I wanted to do something to boost our local music scene,” Sposto said.

FOMOfest is just one of at least four music festivals planned in Memphis this month. Others include a festival at Visible Music College, the Moon River Music Festival and a rockabilly festival.

FOMOfest acts include Chinese Connection Dub Embassy, Hope Clayburn Soul Scrimmage, John Paul Keith, Marcella & Her Lovers, The Memphis Dawls, The Merry Mobile fronted by Memphis musician Paul Talor, Other Stories, The Warp & The Weft, and Zigadoo Moneyclips. There will also be beer from High Cotton Brewery and food-truck snacks, as well as art and vendor booths.

“There was a time back when Memphis was a music hub, where the city fathers didn’t necessarily appreciate what we had, and if we’re going to have a music scene it needs public support,” Sposto said. “This is about celebrating what we have, and getting the musicians paid, too.”

Tickets can be purchased via the www.fomofest.com website in advance at a discounted rate of $15, or they can be bought at the gate for $20. Lokion is the presenting sponsor and Gossett Fiat is the producing sponsor.

The event takes its name from the acronym that refers to “fear of missing out,” inspired by Sposto’s frequent dilemma of so much music to enjoy at any one time in Memphis.

“I found myself going out on any given night, torn in so many directions and always with that fear of missing out pulling me towards any one of this things,” he said. “This band I love might be playing here, another playing there, and you want to choose between them and do everything, but you can’t.”

His event represents an attempt to do that in one place.

Other festivals set for this month include Visible Music College’s Aug. 20 festival “Memphis is Me,” a one-day event featuring more than a dozen acts on three stages also celebrating the best of Memphis music.

Its lineup includes Amy LaVere, FreeWorld, Jason D. Williams, Ruby Wilson, The Passport, CharveyMac, Star & Micey, Visible Worship, Cayerio, Eleutheria and more. There’s no cost to attend the event, which takes place on three stages at 200 Madison Ave.

The Moon River Music Festival happens Aug. 15 at the Levitt Shell. Its acts include Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, NEEDTOBREATHE, Switchfoot, Judah & the Lion, Colony House, Stephen Kellogg, Cereus Bright and Myla Smith.

And the inaugural Memphis International Rockabilly Festival also will take place August 15-16 in the Edge District near Downtown, near Sun Studio at 106 Union Ave. The festival will feature a variety of Sun Records rockabilly legends, along with other artists.

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