In a city saturated by aspiring musicians and overwhelmed with music venues and concerts, surprisingly, a good live set can be hit or miss. But in the case of Wild Frontier Fest, however, there will be more hits.
Returning for it’s second run, the indie music festival is a two-day weekend of back-to-back, practically non-stop music from more than 50 bands at Emo’s.
After a rough experience working with a local promotional company for a music festival, Cory Greene and Richard Gonzalez, the guys behind music promotions company Vagabond Collective decided to take matters into their own hands.
“One day on set of preparation for this shit fest, I had been pushed to my limits and approached Ricky and said word for word, ‘Let’s quit fucking around. Let’s book our own festival,” Greene said. Taking the words out his mouth, Greene said Ricky replied, ‘You read my mind.’
The two went home, threw a stack of Apples to Apples cards on the ground and randomly drew cards until they came up with the name Wild Frontier Fest. With a set of 19 local bands, including Sphynx, Sip Sip, Focus Group, and Follow That Bird, and one national band, the festival kicked off last September at the Mohawk and sold out to more than 1,000 people.
With the Mohawk’s capacity at 800 people, it was evident that the debut was a huge success. When asked what he think’s the turnout will be like for this year, Greene said he rather not answer the question because he doesn’t want to jinx it.
“We would love another sell-out though. That’s what we are aiming for,” he said. “However, whether the club hits capacity or not is up to fate.”
Still, the success of Wild Frontier’s first run gave Greene and Gonzalezs the confidence to double the set and venue. They went a lot bigger, Greene said, going from 20 bands to 50-plus, from one day to two days, from Mohawk’s capacity of 800 to Emo’s capacity of 1,500, and from one national act to multiple.
“We definitely skipped a few step’s, maybe a whole set on the staircase,” he said.
While the core of the Wild Frontier is to bring local talents together, the festival’s mission statement is to have bigger national acts that create a bridge between local and national.
From folk, ambient, rap to instrumental, the festival consists of a wide variety of genres. Headlining day one of the festival is The Octopus Project, White Denim, Balmorhea, Oh No Oh My and The Rocketboys, and for day two, Wavves, Peelander-Z, Zeale and the Black and White Years. And also taking the two stages, are local favorites such as Sip Sip, Corduroi, Pompei, Little Lo, Final Exam, Wild Child and Marmalakes.
In crafting the band’s set list, Greene said he and Richard took the same approach as they do in building all of their shows. They just pick bands they personally would like to see live.
“[We] think about 50 bands we would love to see, make it happen. I’m selfish. I always book my shows for my own pleasure,” he said. “It just turns out people like my musical taste.”