THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)
THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)
2020 Fundraiser Expands to a Two-Day Celebration
Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, , National Music, Artist Feature, From Issue 896 By: Robert E Martin
13th May, 2020 0
For organizers of the 2nd Annual Oscoda Rock Festival, poised to happen on Friday & Saturday, August 7 & 8th at Oscoda’s Furtaw Field, all indicators point to an unprecedented level of potential success for what they hope will become Northern Michigan’s premier showcase for featuring Michigan’s own homegrown line-up of top flight original rock bands - not to mention the addition of a national headliner for this year’s 2020 Fundraiser.
According to Robert Tasior, Chairman of The Oscoda Rock Fest, last year’s inaugural festival went far better than anticipated. “We brought something to our community that the entire community got behind and supported,” he reflects. “We featured top original bands from all over Michigan, featured professional sound, staging, and lighting, Lynn Roberts was our featured emcee, and we pulled off an event that some people were skeptical about.”
“We needed 1500 to 2000 people to make this inaugural festival a success and we achieved our goal, raising $7,000 for the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, not to mention all the spin-off revenue for our local businesses.”
“Mainly, The Veterans Memorial Park Foundation of Northeastern Michigan and Oscoda Rock Fest brought something to our community that was lacking for a long time. We brought an event that the entire community got behind and supported. We made it happen and raised enough money to be able to finish our mural for our Vietnam Veterans.”
Hoping to expand upon this success of their inaugural event, Tasior’s organizing committee reviewed all input received about ways to improve the festival and listened to their fans and supporters.
“We evaluated our event and are implementing improvements to make this show even better. From all the comments and feedback received came two conclusions: not only were we able to raise a good amount of money for a worthwhile cause; but secondly, while people value original music, many wanted to hear bands representative of a more ‘classic’ sound.”
“You can’t please everybody, so our committee decided that seeing as people enjoyed the heavier original bands featured at the inaugural Rock Fest and a significant amount of people were interested in bands with a more Classic sound, what about expanding this into a two-day event? We put the costs together and evaluated how to approach it and decided to move forward with that concept.”
“Our approach this year is to bring a wider variety of modern music to the stage, so we added a Friday show that will feature original groups with a more classic rock sound. After careful consideration, we’ve decided to feature the bands Analog Anthem, Grounded, August Experience, AdaBoy, and ‘We, the Infamous’ as our Friday headliner."
"Then on Saturday we’ll once again be featuring those Michigan bands that have impacted our statewide music scene. Starting the Saturday line-up will be Static Factory - a group out of Flint, Michigan; Handsome Pete from Lansing, who are making huge strides in the music industry; Kougaran- a Detroit favorite; Silverspork - a legend in Michigan Music; and Northern Michigan Metal favorite Assault the Silence, followed by Central Michigan’s own up-and-coming Damned by Dawn, along with Mid-Michigan and Review Music Awards multiple-award winner Here After Six. But the biggest thing we are bringing to this stage at this year’s festival is TRAPT - an internationally renowned band with huge hits such as Headstrong and Still Frame,” states Tasior.
Having planned and worked on this 2nd Annual Oscoda Rock Fest for nearly a year now, suddenly like a head-splitting slice of ear-shattering feedback, the COVID-19 crisis hit. As with concert and festival promoters across the state and nation, Tasior’s committee immediately got together via the internet to put together some plans.
“A large part of our discussion centered around the fact that our #1 mission is to support our Veteran’s Park,” reflects Tasior. “We are a non-profit organization that cannot afford to lose money or take it away from our foundation. We have tens-of-thousands of dollars invested in this event and a year’s worth of planning and energy invested into it; and we cannot expect our local businesses to fund when they themselves cannot guarantee their future. We have been in contact with our bands, our vendors, our contractors, and we are committed to moving forward.”
“Of course, there are a lot of questions still hanging out there in terms of the fate of live concerts and music venues across the country as we move forward this summer,” he continues.
“You can’t social distance at these events and be profitable, so there are a lot of questions and interests that need to be balanced. If the government says we need to restrict the number of attendees at festivals such as ours, we don’t know what that configuration will look like at this stage. We do know that with all the money we have invested right now we need to be basing attendance on 2000 participants in order to break even - and with a headliner like TRAPT- I’m confident we can get 2000 attendees each night of the festival during a normal time. However, in a worse-case scenario, if we need to limit things to 1000 participants each night, we can still cover our costs. We have a 4-acre parcel of fenced off land to work with, so that’s how we’re framing it.”
Tasior says he also sees advantages to featuring two concerts on different days within the on-going context of the COVID-19 crisis.
“This could actually help us out in a way, because another problem we are facing is that many of our business sponsors have all been forced to shut down, so they don’t have a $1000 to give us for sponsorships, which is something we totally understand. Fortunately, the Oscoda Convention & Visitors Bureau has covered all our marketing expenses again this year, which is a tremendous help; and we’ve also worked out a sponsorship deal with Oscoda Township. Even if we are required to limit attendance, I think people are going to be so starved for live music and human interaction that all our local businesses will get a tremendous amount of spill-over revenue.”
“If it turns out we need to reschedule we do have a plan and are looking at good back-up options; but we need to roll ahead with our immediate plan. To cancel something this far out from August doesn’t make sense. Everybody involved understands this and are working with us. If we need to postpone or move our date to accommodate government imposed restrictions, we can do that; but right now we feel it premature to make that decision,” he adds.”
“If we can pull this off I know it will be a huge success,” concludes Tasior.
“After all we have been through it will be an awakening of the soul and spirit of our community!”
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