Last year, we went to Oregon’s Pickathon music festival and caught up with some promising acts in Pickathon’s interview video series. With this year’s festival around the corner, we bring you extended interviews with some of our favorite artists. We talk with rapper and host of Comedy Central’s The New Negroes, Open Mike Eagle. Then we discuss everything from Avril Lavigne to anxiety with Ellen Kempner (Palehound). Thao Nguyen joins us to recount how she first got signed to Kill Rock Stars, and Seattle’s La Luz talks business. Watch the full interview series on YouTube and stay tuned for more from this year’s Pickathon.
Despite the music industry’s economic downturn, more and more music festivals have popped up and many continue to thrive. Because of the booming demand for tickets, live performances have become a vital revenue stream for many artists. But have we hit “peak festival”? Mainstays like Coachella and Lollapalooza have become increasingly corporate, and independently-run festivals contend that competition for is a huge issue in planning their events. We talk to three indie festival organizers, Nick Blasko (Rifflandia), Bob Babisch (Summerfest) and Zale Schoenborn (Pickathon), about the fate of their business and alternative festival models.