Eight cities and fourteen bands participated in the Second Annual BandSwap, hosted by Fort Collins’ own SpokesBUZZ, which took place in the last two weekends in September and the first weekend in October, 2013. The concept of BandSwap is fairly simple – take bands from Fort Collins and Denver with a good-sized local audience draw and partner them with artists from other cities with similar crowd numbers in their respective markets. Getting members of each community, from venue owners to local government and arts officials, to work on staging events that expose out-of-town artists to a built-in, welcoming fan base is a radical concept. Last year’s inaugural event was well documented in a video short, viewable HERE. Results from this 2013 BandSwap were documented in a project report; contact us for a copy!
It takes many hands and advocates to build and stage creative community events such as BandSwap and several of them should be noted here. After attending the event in 2012, Josh Birks, Economic Health Director for the City of Fort Collins, saw the great possibilities in contacting cities directly to invite them to join this exciting opportunity to marry the arts with community and economy. Nashville champions for BandSwap 2013 included Rose Melillo, owner/general manager of the Belcourt Taps venue and Patrick Clifford, Vice President of A&R for Disney Music Publishing. Madison’s top supporter was Karin Wolf, the director of the City of Madison Arts Commission. Other champion supporters included Lisa Gedgaudas, the Program Administrator of Create Denver – Arts and Venues Denver, Eloise Damrosch, Executive Director Regional Arts & Culture Council in Portland, Shawn Tillman, Senior Planner in the Chico City Clerk’s Office, Ben Berthelot, the Executive Director Convention & Visitors Bureau in Lafayette and Chris Corl, General Manager Office of Economic Development for the City of Asheville. These generous and innovative people, along with many venue owners, talent bookers and others, make BandSwap’s good works possible.
BandSwap is simultaneously helping artists to develop, while stimulating the local economy through tourism and arts and culture organizations in the host cities.