Seismic Interview: Kwab Copeland of The Reverb 2010.
Once again, I feel like there are so many people involved in the behind the scenes of our music community that many may go some what un-noticed. So I want to make sure at least some of those people are recognized in all their efforts and what they bring to the table, to make Seattle such a rich vital music scene. On that note, coming up on October 9th, we have the upcoming Reverb 2010. One of the main reasons that this fantastic celebration goes off without a hitch is because of this man … Kwab Copeland. Lets find out what it takes….
How Long have you been involved in the Reverb?
Seattle Weekly hired me in 2006 to book what was then called the Seattle Weekly Music Awards festival. The SWMAs used to take place in pioneer square (where the SW office is located), in 2006 they hired me and moved it to Ballard where I worked as the Talent Buyer at The Sunset. I booked the festival and this awards ceremony show. The following year, the music editor at the time and I arranged to eliminate the “Awards” aspect of the festival and just concentrate on booking a wide variety of local acts and celebrating local music. They changed the name to REVERBfest, and then a couple years later to just REVERB…so all-in-all 2010 will be the 5th Festival I have been involved with
From the time it ends to the time it starts…how soon do you start working on the next years Reverb? Kind of walk us through the process of it..
We start meeting around May, make sure we have all the venues reserved and in place, then go from there..as for booking, I usually start soliciting artists early-to-mid-summer and have all the artists confirmed by the end of Aug (if all goes well).
How do you come about choosing the bands that play?
All of the artists that I approach are selected by committee consisting of Seattle Weekly music folks and myself. Many of the writers will get suggestions from a variety of local industry people (radio, venues, labels, record stores)…I basically have a master list to work from that I have some part in crafting.
The popularity seems to grow every year, ever think about doing a 2-3 day fest?
No, I like the 1 day party personally…never know though
Whats the biggest pain in your ass when getting this together?
The stairs at the Salmon Bay Eagles hall.
Whats the allure of Ballard….is it the proximity of the venues? What is it?
Ballard has worked out tremendously great especially since we made it all indoors. The Tractor, The Sunset and Conor Byrne are of course terrific venues already and we have been able to develop the venues that we convert for the festival, I think people will be really impressed this year with the sound and layout of all of the spaces we are using. The 2 main all-ages venues (Salmon Bay Eagles and New York Fashion Academy) we have worked especially hard this year to look and sound really amazing.
You ever see it moving? Its become a great tradition every year in Ballard, I cant really think of another neighborhood it would work better in.
Is there a ultimate goal for where you guys see the Fest eventually?
Just to continue to have an amazing party every year, raise money for charity, and honor the incredible music coming out of Washington.
Will it always be a local (Washington) music showcase?
That has always been the focus, even when it was the Awards festival… We have been able to keep the wristband price super low and give people the experience of seeing a huge cross-section of local music over the whole day. If people time it right, they can pack in a serious amount and variety of live music for 10 bucks. Its a pretty spectacular and unique event to be involved with. It would be a different kind of festival if we started bringing in national acts, the kind that is already being done, not to say that might not be fun too, but the local focus defines REVERB and we love it
If people want to get involved for next years Fest, how can they go about that?
If people would like to volunteer etc. for REVERB, they can find out how at www.seattleweekly.com
If someone wants to get considered for the Reverb, is there a way to go about it? Get your band written about in Seattle Weekly…like I say above, it is all chosen by committee, there is not an application process for REVERB.