This Friday and Saturday, the Acrobatics Everyday promotion group which has once again made UC Irvine a key spot for both touring and local bands with an independent and underground bent makes one of its biggest splashes yet with Open Melody, a 20-band festival with performers from all across America and Canada.
Held at the Cross Cultural Center on campus, Open Melody is another feather in the cap of the now thriving group; as cofounder Sam Farzin noted in a recent interview, though, it grew out of a less-than-successful earlier attempt.
"The first festival we did was probably the tenth, twelfth show we ever did, back in June 2008, and that was probably the least dense time we were doing shows to begin with. There were a lot of cool bands but the main problem was that nobody came! Twelve bands, one day, one PA and a grand total of...60 people? So it was really uncomfortable, especially for me--I was still learning about everything! It was a huge disappointment logistically."
Times have since changed plenty for Farzin and Acrobatics Everyday--they definitely know how to handle PAs and more these days--and Open Melody's very existence came about precisely because of the space and demand starting to form, thanks to a chance booking situation that presented itself.
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"The bands Fabulous Diamonds and Pigeons were touring together and we'd booked them, then my friend Paul said this other agency had hit him up for Zs and (Old Time Relijun member) Arrington De Dionyso for a show the following night. We normally didn't book two shows for two nights in a row but then we went 'Hey look--all these other bands are around too!' So I just kinda went ahead and did it!"
All four of the previously mentioned groups, along with performers like XBXRX and Upsilon Acrux will be playing the shorter Friday night part of the festival, while even more bands will be playing the longer Saturday stint, with scheduled performers including Captain Ahab, Foot Village, High Places, Ponytail's Dustin Wong and local OC heroes Wonder Wheel. Farzin's especially thrilled to have a reunion performance by Montreal duo the Diskettes that evening as well.
Mentioning the Fuck Yeah Fests up in Los Angeles as a key source of inspiration for Open Melody, Farzin describes the three years he went to the earliest versions of that series as "always the best" and hopes to create the same sort of feeling--"intimate, hang out wherever you want all day, do whatever you want! It's the most ambitious thing we've done, by far!"
Open Melody information can be found at http://acrobaticseveryday.com.