MOBfest ... BLAHfest.
By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 21, 2007 3:30PM
This is the year we officially gave up on MOBfest.
We've been involved with MOBfest every year since its inception, and even started to get involved this year (anyone who knows us can figure out which bill we had a a hand in), but finally just realized that the whole thing is a rather pointless endeavor. Their mission statement, according to the MOBfest website, is:
We are a three-day music business seminar focused on building a buzz, aiding in awareness, and peaking the interest of the music business community ... Networking, schmoozing and simply attending the panels can be a great way to make new contacts, secure current connections and start new relationships.
Aside from the fact we think they mean "piquing" instead of "peaking," we think these are fine goals for a local music festival to strive for. Only none of the above really happens. Instead we get the usual suspects within the local scene congratulating each other, attending shows at only the largest venues, and largely ignoring the majority of the schedule. And why wouldn't they? Even we, who are neck deep in the local scene, are hard pressed to recognize more than a smattering of bands on their schedule. And we also think it's telling that even with the festival kicking off tonight, there are a number of "TBA" slots remaining in that schedule.
In the end we are withdrawing our support for MOBfest because we honestly can't see how the whole thing is helping anyone out, except for possibly the bands being managed by the folks at the top of the MOBfest food chain, and even most of them can't seem to get signed to any sort of sustainable career (and the fact that MOBfest tries to take some credit for kicking off either Rachael Yamagata of The Killers' careers is completely ludicrous). It's not as egregious as, say, Emergenza, when it comes to taking advantage of the naivety of hopeful bands, but they have no problem spreading the belief that by associating yourself with MOBfest you still have a chance a label will walk into their show and sign them on the spot.
We wanted to believe in MOBfest, and tried to set aside our doubts for many years, but we just can't do it anymore.