The Fort Collins music scene has an optimistic outlook with the encouragement and dedication of a dynamic few. We asked some of the local influential people, “What do you see for the future of our music scene in Fort Collins?” While some of the answers may not surprise you, there is no doubt that ‘Fort Music’ is a thriving and creative force to be reckoned with.
CHRIS K – KRFC
Of the top three radio stations supporting Colorado music in the state, two of them are in Fort Collins – 88.9FM KRFC and Radio 94.9 Colorado. A third station, KUNC, reaches a statewide audience through a network of twenty frequencies, giving it the largest listener footprint in the state. No one radio station in the state plays more Colorado album titles, more frequently, than KRFC. No commercial station in the state plays as much Colorado music, as often, as Radio 94.9. No one station reaches across as many frequencies as KUNC. That’s huge. Right now, NoCo is a successful experiment of an incubator market model that provides a focus on local culture, giving the more homogenized national perspective we’ve been used to a far more uniquely local flavor and texture. I don’t know of another market where something like this is taking place. Certainly no other in Colorado.
KRISTEN KARABENCH – BOHEMIAN DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
Great things! While it’s impossible to predict the future, momentum continues to build. It seems we are headed for more of everything that already makes Fort Collins a vibrant music scene. What makes our scene different is that people are not only talking about music-centric ideas, they are transforming those ideas into reality. Not in a way that imitates other music scenes in other cities, but in a way that is authentic and collaboratively original to our own incredible community. As the scene continues to evolve, so does interest in the music elements, including showing respect for our talented musicians and making local music an integral part of daily life here. Through expansive and diverse activities, our scene is self-creating an environment that can grow and sustain itself well into the future. It is an exciting time for our music scene, with more to come – stay tuned!
PEGGY LYLE – DBA ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
The future of the Fort Collins music scene is bright! It might sound cheesy but I truly see it that way. We have laid a solid foundation over the past decade or so and we are starting to see long lasting results. I have seen local bands become more creative, collaborative and professional. The support systems, which are sometimes the hardest ones to establish, are visible including a diverse set of passionate music venues, professional development efforts, recording and production support, promotional tools and most importantly a supportive fan base. We also get more national and regional attention for our music quality, festivals and music innovation. I think the future could include some new venues for live music, more breakout bands like Pretty Lights and Head for the Hills. Tomorrow will hold a continued musical commitment to creative song writing.
MIKE SHORT – DBA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
In the coming 12 months a Fort Collins-based act/artist will be signed to a major label thereby drawing high profile national attention to what is happening musically in our town. SpokesBUZZ’s innovative program BandSwap will continue to gain momentum with more cities participating and the concept being imitated in another region of the country. Fort Collins will receive national press attention for the highly supportive things being done behind the scenes to help our artists and the local/state music scene grow. In 2015 a showcase music club will be born in or near downtown creating a hip, artist-friendly venue for performances by both local and national artists. Music press will begin paying attention to ever-expanding infrastructure within our community that effectively fosters and encourages both new and existing musically creative endeavors. The amount of original music offering available to checkout throughout the year in our town will grow exponentially. 2016 will be the year that “Colorado Music” becomes part of the public vernacular due to both our thriving young music scene and the birth of a sound that we as a state can call our own.
MICHAEL E. MOCKLER – SCENE MAGAZINE PUBLISHER
The future of the music industry in Fort Collins is about community participation and innovative action. As part of our 25th anniversary celebration, we at Scene Magazine will be attempting to instigate and establish alternative music venues throughout the community. FoCoMX uses this formula for their festival. I would like to see this practice go one step further by fostering events in non-traditional venues throughout the year. Our first efforts started two months ago at the Downtown Artery, (252 Linden St.) with great success. By simply bringing live performances every Friday to this already established gallery, we have created a rich rewarding new experience for both participants and art lovers alike. So keep your ears open and listen for the beats coming from surprising locations. Best in the New Year to all!
GRETA CORNETT – FoCoMA CO-FOUNDER
There is a certain energy in our Fort Collins music scene. It’s full of life and diversity. There’s so much talent bursting from the musicians and we have a ton of support from different entities. For a number of years, the scene as a collective has been making small waves in different circles. We’re now sitting in a spot where there is national attention being shed onto the Northern Colorado scene and we’re poised to have numerous breakout artists from our area. We have a number of variables in place that are lined up and ready to help give us that extra push we need to make a splash. It’s been really exciting to watch the dynamics unfold as both a musician and a supporter. We’re a music scene with a really unique story and set of circumstances. I look forward to seeing how our story unfolds and finds its own niche in the music industry.
DANI GRANT – SpokesBUZZ FOUNDER
I see the Fort Collins music scene becoming more relevant as a regional factor in touring, artist development and as a ripe source for finding new talent. There is significant momentum building as multiple leaders and organizations all share the same enthusiasm for our robust scene and promote where they have strong connections. The impact will be a more robust regional industry, higher attendance at local music events, more recognition in national forums and increased credibility. Additionally, our creative workforce and our regional economy will reap the benefits of that growth. SpokesBUZZ methods are using innovative practices to increase audience at the city’s and statewide currently packed annual calendars of events rather than adding multiple events to the current calendar. We will see more support from the state of Colorado in that endeavor and those organizations that are confident enough to join the revolution will march with us.
LIZ EVANS – AVOGADRO’S NUMBER PUBLISITY AND BOOKING
I think the future is looking great. With so many incredible small venues in town, it’s a challenge to pick what show to see on any given night. I’m excited to see this prolific scene overlapping in time and space with other art, bringing traditionally non-performance arts such as glass blowing and painting, out of the studio, into the venues and onto the streets. From collaborative music/art displays to the large number of open jams in town, it is obvious to me that our scene is more inclusive than ever. As a small city, we are naturally spared the drama of the hyper-sensationalized, uber-commercialized side of the music industry. It is a fact that allows us to celebrate music in a more organic sense, and as a result, everyone is a legitimate part of the music, rather than a marginalized cash crop. We will continue as a community to foster musicians and their craft, and at the same time foster the arts and a strong sense of community, and Fort Collins will emerge as a cultural headwaters.
VINCENT BURKHARDT – RISING ARTIST MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
The level of youth musicianship I have witnessed the past four years in Fort Collins is astonishing, and these focused musicians seem naturally inclined toward forming new and exciting collaborations. My focus the past four years has been to find various spaces to have a good learning environment in the performance of their music for the public. I feel the more we give youth varied performance opportunities, the more they will learn certain life skills that can be put toward mentoring other upcoming youth talent. We are headed toward an international music scene here. It seems reasonable that through the technology of file sharing and Skype that we could produce international music EPs without the need for physical travel at first. Fort Collins is the epicenter of a wave of collaboration that has true potential to unite and lift up communities around the globe.