Behind-The-Scenes With The Daytrotter Downs Crew
It takes a ton of work to put together any creative event, and certainly it’s a herculean achievement to present as massive a presentation as the second annual Daytrotter Downs, which takes place Friday and Saturday. Over the two days, almost 50 bands will perform at two primary venues – the Daytrotter spot on Brady and River Music Experience’s Redstone Room – as well as four free pre-show performances beginning Saturday at 10 am at Ragged Records/Trashcan Annies, 11am at Abernathy’s, 12pm at The Full Kit, and 1pm at Analog Arcade Bar (21+), all located in Downtown Davenport leading up to the start of music on Saturday.
And for the behind-the-scenes story of this year’s show, read on, as Ian Harris – Session Recording Engineer, Ben Crabb – Booking Manager, Andrew Barkau – Production Manager and Paige Underwood – Director of Social Media & Marketing took some time out of their busy schedules to chat with QuadCities.com about the festival.
Q: how do you feel about this year’s lineup?
Ian Harris: “I feel this year’s lineup has a lot to offer as far as national touring and regional acts go. I think the variety represented by the fest is in line with the variety that daytrotter.com offers. There is a band that would appeal to most types of people.”
Ben Crabb: Dynamic, multi-faceted, and strongly local. We put a lot of thought into the lineup, and festival flow.
Q: which bands are you most excited about and why?
Ian Harris: As Far as local bands, I am most excited about Closet Witch, Mountain Swallower and Gosh, as I think they are a great example of excellently talented bands that came out of the Quad Cities Area. For National touring acts I am excited for Sunjacket, NE-HI, ¡ESSO! Afrojam Funkbeat, Joan of Arc and my current favorite living songwriter J.E. Sunde.
Ben Crabb: SSION – Perfect electro-pop; Durand Jones & the Indications – deep vintage soul music; Gaelynn Lea – beautiful and brooding solo artist from the north country; ¡ESSO! Afrojam Funkbeat – latin, afrobeat, cumbia, & jazz with a positive social message.
Andrew Barkau: NE-HI – they are just so good; Joan of Arc – legacy indie rock, my 20 year old self is thrilled!
Paige Underwood: I’m most excited about Post Animal, they’re a rad psych-rock band from Chicago that have only been around for a short while, but are making huge waves in the scene up north. They’ll put on a performance that you won’t forget. I’m also stoked on In Tall Buildings, which will be an ambient dream-pop experience.
Q: how do you feel about how this festival has grown and about where it and daytrotter are going?
Ian Harris: I think the festival has grown in a positive way, expanding the band count greatly in one year. This year we are including many wonderful local bands and solo musicians. Daytrotter is an old horse that isn’t going out to pasture anytime soon.
Ben Crabb: The festival and website have grown substantially this year. Team Daytrotter now has 6 members (previously 3 on staff), and the festival has 47 bands, with no repeat performances… big change from last year.
Andrew Barkau: The differences speak for themselves, more locals, broader genre spectrum, etc. We’ve got all kinds of surprises for you this year, stay tuned.
Q: how do you feel this incorporates and augments the local arts scene?
Ian Harris: I think that this fest helps showcase a few of the many great musicians in the QC area. I think without the great local arts scene as a foundation, we would not be able to get all these excellent touring bands to come through town. Many of these bands have heard from their friends how wonderful the QC music scene is and are excited to experience it for themselves. Several of the touring bands playing have had wonderful QC shows in the past. Daytrotter Downs gives the QC a chance to be recognized nationally as a great place to make and experience art.
Ben Crabb: Daytrotter is a set up for bands looking to broaden their audience. Every member of the Daytrotter is a QC born musician & artist, and we have chosen to stay here & continue to help in the Cities gradual rise. We are devotees to the Quad Cities cause, and are elevated by the people & culture of our hometown.
Andrew Barkau: Gives us a mid-size venue to stack headlining national acts with our talented locals, this is a missing link between the DIY scene and the national circuit of touring artists.
Q: what else would you like to add?
Ian Harris: Everyone involved in Daytrotter Downs, and for that matter Daytrotter itself, is a QC native and cares deeply about the community around them. We do this because we love the Quad Cities and want everyone in the world to experience the great music scene and culture we experience on a daily basis.