Taste of the Groove presented by CincyGroove.com is happening this Saturday at The Southgate House Revival! For your listening pleasure will be Shiny Old Soul and Shiny and the Spoon. Go grab an advance ticket HERE ($5 adv / $7 dos).
We sat down with the owner of CincyGroove.com, Scott Preston. Scott is quite easily the nicest and most prolific music journalist in Cincinnati. Local musicians, take note...this guy knows his stuff.
CincyMusic.com: Give us some background on CincyGroove.com…
Scott Preston: I started CincyGroove.com on November 17, 2007. I had contributed to various other music websites before that, but the problem being I had to shoot for 3-4 different outlets in order to shoot the number of shows that I wanted. I always paid close attention to how each website was run. I saw things I liked and some that I didn't like.
I finally decided that it was time to go for it on my own. I already had a good start with a lot of local bands since I had been shooting actively for about 4 years before that. I think its very important no matter where you live to support your local music scene. I love shooting bands in front of 10,000 people but at the same time its really cool when you can shoot a show and then talk to the band afterwards. Establishing working relationships with bands early will definitely pay off in the long run.
CM: When planning an event such as this, what is the process?
SP: I usually start thinking about it 1 year out from the date I want to have it on. I ask myself whether I want to have it outside or inside. Right now inside is the best option since there is less risk and overhead costs involved. My venue list is pretty short most of the time. In the past I have held the event at Arnold's Bar, Madison Theater and The Southgate House Revival.
I first will secure the venue and date of the show, then start contacting bands about 9 months out. I try to get the lineup finalized as quickly as possible.It's very important to get the word out on social media, other websites, blogs, radio, etc... as soon as you can. Usually I will start posting about an event once a few bands have been confirmed to peak peoples interest.
CM: How do you determine which bands are to play?
SP: I start with my favorite local bands which always turns out to be a very long list. This year the music lineup falls into the Americana/Folk/Bluegrass categories. I am thinking next year will be more Rock/Blues/Funk. I try to mix in a few regional/national artists, but the majority of the lineup is always local. Not just because the music is exceptionally good in Cincinnati but also because a lot of them I consider friends.
CM: What do you suggest for local bands when wanting to be asked to play festivals (local or national)?
SP: I am glad you asked this question. No matter what kind of music you are performing, you have to present yourselves in a professional manner. It all starts with having a website. A lot of bands starting out will rely too heavily on individual social media pages alone. While these are absolutely essential, you should have your own domain name that you can refer people to with all your social media pages linked.
Bands that say its too expensive or it takes too much time to put a site together no longer can use this excuse. There are too many websites out there that specialize in helping bands get sites up, that aren't that expensive either. Most festival promoters have a ton of music to listen to, so try to have a video or music player somewhere on the first page of your website. If not there, then don't make us have to click more than once.
CM: What is next for CincyGroove.com?
SP:CincyGroove.com will be sponsoring a new event next year in addition to the Cincy Groove Music Festival. The planning stage is already moving forward. Can't really say much about it at this point, you will just have to wait. :)