Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Oak City Music Festival

what i'm listening to right now: Only Shallow by My Bloody Valentine
Okay, so I got this great idea. This is an idea and pretty much nothing else, since I don't have the resources to execute the idea. But, I thought I'd put it out there and maybe one day someone could pick up that idea and do something with it. Here in Raleigh, we'll be losing our public mental institution, Dorthea Dix, soon. The state will be closing it down in favor of privatized mental health care. This is an awful idea. Due to the phasing out of the hospital, the mental health of the city's homeless has been taking a serious hit. The homeless not being able to pay for consistent care from private mental hospitals. Which we don't even have in the capital city, the second largest city in the state.

So, being the types that turn bad governing into lemonade, the people of Raleigh are trying to make the Dix campus into a giant public park. Something we don't have here and would honestly be great. This brings me to the point of this post. Dix Park, if approved, would make a fantastic spot for a music festival. The park is a half mile from downtown, easy access to the hotels that the city is spending so much money subsidizing. A related event could even be held at the future convention center, that again, the city is spending so much fucking money on. This could bring attention to the area's indie music scene. Not just on a national scale, but on a local scale. Outside of the same people that you see whenever you go to a concert, there's a general feeling that most people in the city have no idea about the great music that's being made in their backyard.

Merge Records is right down the road in Durham, and they could use some of their significant pull to attract not only their bands (Arcade Fire, Spoon, Rosebuds, Superchunk/Portastatic, etc.), but other indie bands. If Merge could get Arcade Fire down here for a festival, I think plenty of other bands would jump at the chance to play with them. Indie festivals seem to be popping up all over the place, and indie music is even overtaking jam band festivals. Look at the lineup for recent Bonaroo festivals and see how much they've been leaning towards bands of the indie persuasion.

Holding the festival at Dix Park would generate revenue for the city. More so than holding it at say, Walnut Creek. Where there would be all sorts of user fees and other headaches that would just take money out of everyone's pockets.

Of course, this is all contingent upon whether the city council listens to the will of the majority of the citizens, or to their friends, the developers. The developers want to turn Dix into a condo/upscale shopping/office park. How much more upscale shopping and condos can we have in Raleigh. Where are the people working in the upscale stores and cleaning the condos gonna live? That's another post.

Then, someone has to take this ball and run with it. I have no experience or expertise with anything like this. I think there are enough people in this city that could pull this off, though. So talk to your friends about this idea. Maybe one of those friends will talk to one of their friends, and maybe, someone who knows what they're doing will get wind of it. And maybe, just maybe, it'll happen. I'll have some little sense of satisfaction if it does.

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