20 years on, Music is Artwork Competition nonetheless amplifying a vibrant Buffalo arts scene | Music

The inaugural Music is Artwork Competition, held on the nook of Franklin and Allen streets in 2002, had two levels and some dozen bands and artists.

When Music is Artwork celebrates its twentieth anniversary on Sept. 10, greater than 200 bands and dwell mural artists will carry out on 21 levels inside and throughout the grounds of Buffalo RiverWorks, which has been house to the competition since 2017.

What an extended, unusual journey it’s been.

“There was one thing actually cool about these early festivals, once we had been taking place in tandem with the Allentown Artwork Competition,” Goo Goo Dolls bassist and Music is Artwork founder and president Robby Takac stated in 2012 on the tenth anniversary of the MiA competition.

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“It felt actually grassroots and thrilling and a bit bit forbidden, and it was actually cool. However clearly, we have grown. It is grow to be one thing else, however the identical imaginative and prescient, the identical want to showcase what’s nice concerning the arts tradition in Buffalo, stays the identical.”

Right this moment, Takac’s enthusiasm for the challenge and perception within the depth and fortitude of the Buffalo music and humanities scene stays undiminished. 

“After we began assembly early on to plan this yr’s competition, we requested one another, ‘What are the issues which have occurred over the previous 20 years which might be essentially the most potent and essentially the most memorable?’ ’” Takac stated throughout a telephone interview from Charlotte, N.C., a cease on the present Goo Goo Dolls tour. 

“And it wasn’t essentially concerning the headliners we introduced in, or the time when the Goo Goo Dolls performed, or any of that. It was about the truth that there’s been such a stew of individuals on the occasion through the years. And we needed to amplify that lovely mess as a lot as we presumably may.”

Robby Takac in 2020 (copy)

Robby Takac at his GCR Recording Studios in 2020. 

For Takac, the power to achieve throughout geographic and financial traces and supply attendees the chance to expertise one thing heretofore outdoors their wheelhouse is the prime motivator behind the herculean effort required of the MiA staff to supply the competition yr after yr.

“What stands out in my reminiscence is seeing a 7-year-old child sitting on the bottom watching a dwell hip-hop act for the very first time of their life, or some children that rode their bikes in from the First Ward watching an artist create a 16-foot-tall dwell mural, or watching a gaggle of suburban housewives strolling via the Refringement silo and experiencing issues that they by no means have of their lives. 

“Out of all of those experiences, these are the moments that stick out.”

The very nature of the MiA Competition – extra artists than one individual may see in someday unfold throughout extra levels than may presumably be monitored concurrently – calls for that an attendee be adventurous, stay open to taking place rabbit holes, and amenable to following whims within the curiosity of discovery.

Or, as Takac places it: “Take a look at the schedule, decide some stuff you wish to see, after which simply go from there. And let no matter occurs occur.”

Music is Art 2022 site map

The 2022 Music is Artwork Competition website map. 

Listed here are a couple of solutions for signposts in your MiA journey.

This stage, situated inside Buffalo RiverWorks correct, boasts a thrillingly various lineup working the gamut from jazz to jam band, different to people. You could possibly moderately stick round this stage all the day and discover musical success, however the MiA mandate means that mixing it up is the important thing to nirvana. That stated, catching the end-of-evening run kicking off at 10:15 p.m. and that includes, so as, Funktional Stream, Canetis, Marquee Grand and Fernway is very advisable.

Cease by this stage, situated within the RiverWorks car parking zone in entrance of the rinks, at 8 p.m. and catch a run of incredible rock and different bands, starting with Johnny Hart and the Mess and continuing via units from Mother Mentioned No, Auqiie and Tortoise Forest. 

Positioned within the again nook of RiverWorks behind the rinks, this stage presents a packed roster between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. I’d suggest making time for singer/songwriter Sara Elizabeth at 4:15 p.m. and the soulfully virtuosic Blaise Mercedes at 7:15 p.m. 

Positioned on the dock alongside the Buffalo River behind RiverWorks, the Floating Stage schedule wraps up with the highly effective 1-2 punch of Buffalo Music Membership founder David Cloyd at 9:30 p.m. and Buffalo art-rock outfit Rabbit Jaw at 10:15 p.m. However previous to that, the 5 p.m. Buffalo debut of Fort Value, Texas, indie rocker/energy pop auteur Ryan Hamilton – just lately signed to Depraved Cool Data by that label’s head honcho, Little Steven Van Zandt – is considered one of MiA’s must-see units.

Music is Art Festival DJ Squid (copy)

DJ Squid on the 2021 Music is Artwork Competition.  

The Blossom Village and Wharf Stage

Throughout the river at RiverFest Park, the bandshell shall be resounding with a full lineup of jam, indie rock and soul all through the day. Highlights embody units from the socially acutely aware soul-rock of Farrow at 4 p.m. and the indomitable R&B of David Jonathan & the Interior Metropolis Bedlam at 5 p.m. House Junk wraps the bandshell actions with a 9 p.m. set.

Over the previous few MiAs, the actions at RiverFest Park have advanced right into a festival-within-a-festival, and this yr, that evolution is underscored. Along with the bandshell jams, you possibly can catch an extra roster of Buffalo indie rock (together with a set of noir-rock from Randle & the Late Night time Scandals at 6:15 p.m.) on the Wharf Stage, and get your hip-hop on on the Junglist Coalition and Parts of Hip-Hop levels. 

Music is Art Randle & the Late Night Scandals (copy)

Randle & the Late Night time Scandals carried out on the 18th annual Music is Artwork Competition in 2020. 

Positioned alongside the hall between the amusement rides and the silos, the 716 Sideshow Stage will a number splendidly bizarre, outside-the-box musical artists all through the day. When you’re within the temper for some heavy rock, you can do worse than virtuosic guitarist and songwriter Ethan Weissman, who will hit the Sideshow stage at 8 p.m. 

You may wish to keep near the Sideshow Stage via 9:45 p.m. Rumor has it that Takac shall be “sitting in” with the band he calls “my favorite-ever Kiss tribute band,” Buffalo’s Kiss This. 

11 a.m. to midnight Sept. 10 on the grounds of Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.), River Fest Park and the Michigan/Ganson grain elevators. Free.

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