You might be wondering why I was fairly silent throughout this past week or so. The answer is simple. I’ve been busy working at the Voodoo festival. It was a tough week or so of work, but we pulled it off. It was a great experience and I got to work with a great team. But I’m sure you’re wondering how I even came across this opportunity. Stick with me while I weave a masterful tale. I’ll keep it short.
It all starts with this guy, Michael Girardot:
A few years ago I ran across the website for the New Orleans Indie Rock Collective. They ran a festival in a festival featuring local acts. These festivals usually run alongside other major festivals. Every year, they’d put together a compilation album of the performers. I went once or twice, and would often check the website for when the mp3 compilation album was posting, so I could forward it to friends and share the music I love from the city I love and live in. At one point, I emailed the NOIRC people about issues I was having accessing their Flash-only website. They mailed me physical copies of the compilation CDs as a thanks. That only made me an even bigger supporter.
Two of the bands featured on these compilations were Big Rock Candy Mountain, Michael’s own band, and The Revivalists, another band he recently joined. Great music, and many other people seem to think so. I forwarded links to the albums to many of my friends, including Dan Lynch, the now quite famous podcaster of Linux Outlaws fame. I sent him the compilations back around 2013, and he’s featured the tracks several times throughout the years since then on his music podcast Rathole Radio. The first band he featured from these compilations was Big Rock Candy Mountain, since I had also forwarded him a few other videos of the band performing. And of course Dan kept featuring music from those compilations. Because New Orleans makes for awesome music.
Time went on.
I ran across Big Rock Candy Mountain again on reddit, and on twitter I followed their account and conversed with them now and again.
At one point, they opened for Datarock. I was a poor broke college student and couldn’t afford to go. I messaged BRCM wishing them a good show and sad I couldn’t go, and they managed to get me in for free.
Needless to say, even bigger fan now.
Last year I went to work for Essence Festival. I’m ashamed to admit it took me at least two days to realize that the Michael I was working for was that Michael. The same guy that had been so awesome over the years, getting me swag, freely into shows and more, had now given me an opportunity to work in a major music festival in New Orleans.
And he did the same thing again this year. He even found time to perform two shows with The Revivalists, one a day after the other. You can watch their show at Voodoo here. You can also listen to BRCM here.
Michael’s on his way to India now. The Revivalists somehow got a gig way across the other side of the world.
All I can say is Michael deserves it. That’s one cool dude. Hardworking too.
And Voodoo was awesome this year.
Everyone who worked there was amazing, and it was a ton of work. So much so that I hardly had a chance to see some of the artists I wanted to see. Working at events like this really gives you an appreciation of how much money, time and effort goes into it.
And the two guys I worked with, Steffan and Lee, were awesome too. It was easy to see they had known Michael well for a long time. Lee had an immediate handle of everything going through Michael’s head it seemed, and Steffan is one hardworking guy. The moment anyone called for IT with any requests or issues, he would respond while breaking into a run in their direction.
The network people from Harborcom were great too. I know the festival was pretty demanding, but they were on the job at every moment making sure everything ran as best as it could.
Yep. Voodoo was pretty awesome this year, behind the scenes and throughout.