This weekend, Double Down Live is hosting Summer Jam 2012, featuring 14 of Gainesville’s most popular and diverse local acts. Some of Alachua County’s best country, indie, garage, folk and hip-hop artists are all included over the two-day event. We spoke with local hip-hop artist D.P., who is the curator and brains behind Summer Jam, about his approach to setting up the show and what to expect this weekend. Full lineup after the interview.
- Matt Walker
This is the second year putting on the Summer Jam right? Where did the idea come from to get the Summer Jam started?
Yeah this is the second annual Summer Jam. I came up with the idea as last summer was getting close. You hear so often from bands in Gainesville about how bad the summer sucks for shows, how there’s never a good crowd, etc. So the thought was, ‘Hey, if I take 16 bands that normally would headline their own show, and put them together for one two day event, we should be able to have a packed house for a summer show, everyone gets to play to each other’s crowd, and it’s a plus for strengthening the music community and building relationships between acts in town.’
I like that it has such an eclectic lineup. How did you choose which bands would play this year? Why did you decide on such a diverse group of musicians, instead of focusing on one particular genre?
That’s kind of the idea behind it, I wanted to be even more inclusive this year than last year as far as working with bands that are making noise in Gainesville, regardless of genre. Last year I tended to stick with bands that were friends of mine, or that I was a fan of, but that kind of limited the sound a little bit, based on my personal preference and experience. This year I wanted to contact bands like The Ex-Boogeymen, Waylon Thornton, bands that I had never met before but wanted to bring on board because of their impact in the community and the diversity they could add to the lineup. I basically started with a master list of bands that I wanted and then went through the process of weeding out the bands that couldn’t play for one reason or another until we got to the lineup we have today.
I feel like it’s only in Gainesville that you could get The Ones to Blame and D.P. playing back-to-back.
May be true, but they’re actually one of my favorite local acts, and actually an inspiration musically.
Is it strictly local bands in the lineup?
Yes, all 14 bands this year are local, and that was another must for me this year. We had a couple of Orlando bands on the bill last year, and I really wanted to keep it 100% local from here on out.
Are you hoping for it to be a regular annual event?
Segueing from my last answer, yes. The plan is to make this an annual event, this is the second year, and as I get better at the whole event coordinating thing I have plans for SJ to continue to grow in some really cool ways.
Are you the only hip-hop act this year?
This year, yes I am. We reached out to a couple different hip-hop acts that we couldn’t get confirmed on the bill. It would have been nice to have maybe one more for Friday to balance the genre’s representation.
It seems like you support a lot of the different types of independent music in Gainesville outside of your genre, hip-hop. Where do you see your place in the local music scene?
I like to think I’m a fan and supporter of the local music scene as much as a player in it. There’s just too much good music in this city not to appreciate what’s going on.
Have you played shows with most of the other bands in the Summer Jam?
There’s a handful of bands on the bill I’ve played with but the majority of the bands this year I’ve never shared a stage with, so that’s super cool.
It’s $6 per day or $10 for both days. Did you think it was important to keep the price so low?
Definitely. The goal is to get a lot of people to come out and enjoy two days of awesome local music, DJs, drinks and just enjoy themselves and meet people and mingle and listen to their favorite bands and their next favorite band. We have no intention of making any of the bands on the bill rich from this show. That’s just not what it’s about. No one is working for free, by far, but jacking up the ticket price just seems counter intuitive to what the event is all about.
What would you tell someone walking down the street about Summer Jam to get them to come?
I’d tell them that it’s the best form of entertainment they’re going to get this weekend, that every act on the bill is going to play their asses off for you, and that for the price you’d be an idiot not to be there. See you there.
Gris Gris Boys
Waylon Thornton and the Heavy Hands
Cardboard Paradise (acoustic)
Far Away Planes
The Ones to Blame
For more info visit the Double Down Live website.