Sonicbids is featuring the MidPoint Music Festival in its Promoter Spotlight this month, where Executive Producer Dan McCabe explains the selection process and what MidPoint is looking for from potential showcasing artists.
MidPoint performance slots are available to artists from around the world. The final day MidPoint submissions will be accepted is May 16 (11:59 p.m. EST). So if you want to strut your stuff alongside some of the coolest acts in music at the coolest music fest in the region this fall (Sept. 22-24), hop to it!
Tell us about the events you select artists for: Which genres do the best there?
Cincinnati has a very established local scene rich in the Indie and Americana genres. MPMF reflects that in our programming.
What do you look for when selecting a band?
Above all else, a strong original vision. MPMF is where new sounds, genre stretching and the spirit of adventure thrives. MPMF attracts a savvy listener who appreciates music as the final frontier.
Which presentation elements of a band are the most important?
A strong sense of your super-powers and as well as limitations. The best performers are comfortable with their presentation and that has everything to do with knowing what you are and are not capable of. I work to facilitate an environment capable of sustaining that comfort level.
Give an example of a recent artist you selected, and why you selected them?
Gaby Moreno’s selection for MPMF2010 was very easy. Gaby has a strong sense of self and sound. Her career has been uniquely carved playing in varying settings and sharing the stage with an array of genres. Her willingness to stretch and explore her music made for a great MPMF partnership.
When you're reviewing an EPK, what's the first thing you click on, the second, etc?
The first song, the bio second.
What are some common mistakes you see artists making when they're submitting to you?
Leaving off a third song. We ask that three be made available.
What's the one thing you wished bands didn't cut corners on?
Written info about themselves. Doesn’t need to be paragraphs, but more than a few sentences. It reflects on that comfort level, vision and self-awareness I mentioned earlier.
When someone mails a physical kit to your office, how likely are you to look at it/how long does it sit?
I don’t look at it. I have lots of friends/co-workers who enjoy that. I hand off to them as a form of filtering.
What do you wish bands understood about the time and effort that goes into the selection process?
Whatever time and effort is spent on our selection process, it does not hold a candle to the time and effort these artists spend crafting their music and careers. We approach the selection process with that in mind and do our best to honor the unquantifiable efforts that went behind these submissions.
What method of follow-up do you prefer bands use to reach you, and when's the best time to catch you live?
Email. I’m a Blackberry-ing fool.
What's your musical/professional background?
I am a musician. Don’t tell anybody, but I’ve been writing and playing out for 25+ years. Also booked Cincinnati’s Sudsy Malones for the decade of The 90’s and produced shows in larger venues around town during and since.
Do you have any other advice you'd like to share with bands listening?
Drive safely please. We’ve all heard of fellow musicians lost or hurt when traveling to and from gigs. That van of yours is filled with latent projectiles. No load-in time is worth risking yourselves. Get an early start with some good coffee and enjoy the journey with your friends.