The thing about the North Park Music Thing, explains founder Kevin Hellman, is that he wants the two-day festival in San Diego to be as regional as SXSW. And some day, maybe bigger.
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"The first year it was called North by North Park, but the folks in Austin (home of SXSW) threatened to sue us," says Hellman. We decided the name wasn't worth the fight."
San Diego has long been considered a farm team for the real music industry that resides 120 miles due north, a designation not always taken kindly by the homegrown SD bands that want a career without having to actually deal with LA stress. Hellman thinks he can close the gap between the music industry haves and have-nots by bringing LA south, if only for a couple of days. "North Park is a cool place for what this event is."
Over 150 bands from LA, Orange County, and San Diego are booked to play showcase gigs in North Park area night clubs and coffee shops over the coming weekend. By day, 81 music industry panelists will thrash out the finer points of things like songwriting and licensing (including OC Weekly's music editor, Lilledeshan Bose). Call it the North Park Music Networking Thing, and you'd be partially right. The classroom portion of NPMT kicks off Friday the 13th at 11 a.m. but if you want to skip the lectures the music starts at 8 p.m. both days. There's more info at sandiegomusicfoundation.org.
"We've got the craziest MF for a keynote speaker," says Hellman. I don't know how well you know Kim Fowley, but he's nuts. This is gonna be fun."