Interview: Upstart Fest founder talks in and outs of setting up a punk festival

In a little less than two weeks the Northeast’s biggest and best punk rock party, Upstart Fest hits the road for four day’s of fun in the tri state area of NY. NJ. and CT. I was recently able to get a few questions in with it’s founder and organizer Travis Myers on it’s inception.

Check out the interview here.

DS: So tell us something about Upstart and how it got its start?

TM: We put together shows all over the country, and last year put together one super show that just killed, & one of the band guys said “Man I wish we could do this again tomorrow”…and it stuck in my head, so I called a couple venues, hit up some of the bands we’ve worked with in the past, and everybody loved the idea, so we put together four dates this year.

DS: Sounds a little to easy to be true?

TM: Well that’s the basics without all the details, believe me there is a lot more that goes into something like this than just deciding to do it.

DS: So give us some of the details.

TM: Organizing the venues and bands takes a ton of time, especially some of the busier National acts who are doing Warped Tour or going & coming back from Europe and simply don’t know where they are going to be six to eight months in advance, then there is organizing all the promo and press…it’s not so much hard, in fact it really isn’t hard at all, its just very very time consuming.

DS: Were there any road blocks or pitfalls along the way?

TM: No not really, it’s as expensive as fuck though, and not as a whole but in that nickel and dime sort of way, you know $150 for this ad, $275 for that ad, a few hundred for posters a couple more on postcards, next thing you know your thousands in the whole, which we totally expected but it ads up surprisingly quickly and bang the budget is gone.

DS: So who are you most excited to have on the Fest?

TM:  Ha…No way man…not going to answer that one, I will tell you in all honesty though that we are happy to have all the bands on this tour, we know all of them either personally or through other acts, and know they all deliver the goods on stage, and we are pumped to be having all of them from the biggest most well known to the youngest and least known with us…I’m also stoked that it’s an all punk for punk show, we got punk, pop punk, hardcore punk, a bit of ska punk and punkabilly, so we are sure to have something you like, and will hopefully turn you on to some new acts that really need to be heard.

DS: Yes it looks like you made sure to take care of locals with this fest.

TM: That was really the main idea. there are really great acts all over the country who have a hard time getting on a bill because they are package tours that shut out the local scene, we wanted to make sure that local/regional bands were on each date, after all they are the future of punk rock, and they are the bands who keep a scene alive wherever they are from…sure a lot of them are playing in venues they may have played in before, but never have they gotten the nation wide, or even world wide exposure that a larger advertised tour or festival can provide, hopefully reaching out to new potential fans all over can help to get their name out there and give them a little something for the resume.

DS: Sounds like a good time, any parting words?

TM: As far as Upstart, Just come check it out, we put it on for all the punks who are hungry for a tour that’s for them, so please come support the bands and the scene at whatever venue you can make it to, I’d also like to thank you guys at Dying Scene for this interview, but more so for all the work you do everyday to to help promote the music we love so much, I’m a big fan of what Dying Scene is doing…keep up the good work, and Up The Punx!

Upstart Fest, The Northeast’s Biggest And Best Punk Rock Party.
Thursday August 9th at The Knitting Factory Brooklyn NY.
Friday August 10th at The El & Gee Club in New London CT.
Saturday August 11th at The Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie NY.
Sunday August 12th at Asbury lanes in Asbury Park NJ.

For more info on Bands, Dates, Tickets etc:

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