Seeking to add another showcase of the city’s music scene, a group of eight musicians and promoters has announced The Baltimore Mixtape, a multi-day festival bringing together local artists from various genres.
One of the organizers, musician Rich Kolm, writes in an email that it would be in line with other everything-but-the-kitchen-sink offerings from the last 15 years such as Whartscape, Scapescape, the Baltimore Folk Festival and Ratscape.
An important part of the festival is to mix everything up like they did. Kolm recalled a year at Scapescape where organizers intentionally put rapper TT the Artist and indie rock group Wye Oak back-to-back on the bill, capturing the same audience with two different styles.
“Almost everybody in the crowd was there for both, because they’re both f—ing fantastic and why wouldn’t you want to see both of them?”
The people behind The Baltimore Mixtape don’t see as much of that cross-pollination now, Kolm wrote, so they’re bringing it back. The first batch of acts announced last week includes indie pop group Super City, club DJ James Nasty, rapper Eze Jackson, folk singer-songwriter Caleb Stine and electro-rock group Hexgirlfriends, to name a few.
Having so many people take part in the planning stages has helped draw on a wide range of tastes and expertise.
“That’s part of the reason why we’ve got such a large group working on this festival, because we wanted to represent a bunch of different scenes both in the acts we book as well as the people that are doing the work,” writes Kolm.
Scheduled for May 4-5, the festival will rotate between The Crown, Windup Space and Ynot Lot in Station North and run from mid-afternoon until closing each day. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, starting at $25 for an early bird two-day pass and $20 for a single-day presale ticket. Prices increase at the door to $30 for a single-day pass and $40 for a two-day pass.
Organizers say they’ll be announcing more bands soon, teasing a few big surprises down the road.
Kolm, a member of the psych-rock group Hollywood Blanks, says The Baltimore Mixtape comes at a time when things are percolating in the city’s music scene again, years after the city shuttered the Station North DIY arts space the Bell Foundry. He points to the revival of Ratscape, a forthcoming old-time music festival and the Baltimore Rock Opera Society’s quest for a new home while putting on a new show (and helping with this festival) as just some examples of the “beginning of what could be a really cool wave a new and awesome shit happening in the city.”
“A few years ago all that shit with the Bell happened and a bunch of DIY spaces went dark and I remember thinking maybe it’s time to move on from Baltimore,” he writes. “But now it seems that there’s more energy in the scene and we’re real excited to be a part of that and to see where this all goes.”