Aiirtoberfest — not to be confused with Oktoberfest, the world’s largest fair, which is held each year in Munich — is back for its second year. Like Oktoberfest, Aiirtoberfest will spread from late September until the first Sunday in October, but unlike Oktoberfest, this festival will last four days, not two weeks. Also like Oktoberfest, Aiirtoberfest is expected to bring in people from all over the world to enjoy the festivities.
James “Fender” Vize, Louisville’s personal ambassador to Aiiradio (Artists International Independent Radio), listed the places from whence people will be traveling to Louisville for the festival: “What makes this so different from any other
show is I have Aiiradio fans and DJs coming in from all over the world to hear. There’s a couple coming from Germany. People coming from Finland and London and Australia. And in the states, there’s people from California, Texas, Mississippi, Atlanta, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana.” Indeed, the four corners of the globe are well represented.
Likewise, several genres of local music are showcased during the festival.
Vize explained, “I try to choose the bands on their genre, their music and their crowd, and I kind of mix them together on what I think would be similar on the music but a mixture of crowds, and it usually works out pretty good.”
The festivities begin at Uncle Pleasant’s on Wednesday night at with a show of local metal acts Phearus, Totem Soul, Echo’s Aim and Daddy Don’t Mind. The following night will be a Southern rock/alt-country night of sorts featuring performances by Dallas Alice, Corn Whiskey, Two Pump Chump and 31 South. Then, Saturday night will feature alternative, punk and hardcore music courtesy of Boozer, High Voltage and Full Nelson. The festival wraps up on Sunday night with country, folk and a little bit more Southern rock. Performers include Jennifer Brantley, Vize’s band the Shinerunners, John Woosley and J. Glenn.
In addition to each night’s show at Uncle Pleasant’s, which will be broadcast on Aiiradio.net, Saturday and Sunday will also feature live afternoon performances to be broadcast from Vize’s home studio, also known as “Fender’s Den of Sin.”
This festival also symbolizes a yearly culmination of Vize’s efforts in his quest to help independent bands get the recognition he believes they deserve.
“We want to make more people aware of what’s going on in the independent world and your local neighborhood and your local bar. Because this is where music actually begins,” Vize explained. “Bands like this form — independent bands — and they start playing in the bars, and they don’t stand a chance — most of them — of getting on the radio. Well, we’re one form of getting that out. And because of it being on the Internet, we’re worldwide: Anywhere there’s an Internet connection, you can watch.”
Though Vize is clearly passionate about his work and puts in a great deal of it to help local bands and to make Aiiradio a success, half of our time talking was spent amid his seemingly endless stream of gratitude to the people who help him. Most notably, Vize was quick to point out that this festival and Aiiradio in general wouldn’t be as much of a success without Uncle Pleasant’s.
“When I first approached Steve Davis
about Aiiradio, he was like, ‘Sure man, that sounds like a great idea.’ A few people told him that it wouldn’t be a good idea to do, but he took a chance and did it anyway, because he loves independent music.”
If the cause for Mother Earth is more your style, members of local jam rock band Bloom Street have arranged Bloomfest, which they describe as “a music, nature and camping festival,” for this Saturday. This festival will be held at the Horine Reservation in the Jefferson Memorial Forest and will feature two stages showcasing performances by a wide array of jam bands performing various combinations of rock, funk, reggae, folk and jazz music. Performers include Paradigm, Gaba Gavi, Myron Koch, Liz Berlin and Patrick Norman of Rusted Root, Zongo, Stonewheel, Bloom Street (obviously) and many more.
In addition to the musical performances, the festival also boasts free camping, hiking trails and activities for children.
Between the jam music, the outdoors and the camping, Bloomfest sounds very much like a miniature version of Bonnaroo. So, if you missed the big festival this summer (or you went, and miss it), Bloomfest may be just what you’re looking for.
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