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Gothicfest Group URL:
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--> "Gothic Fest" 2005 (a proper title? Yes? No?)
Jeffrey A. Swanson: No! Gothicfest (is one word) so it is: Gothicfest 2005
J.A.S.: Saturday, September 17th, 2005
J.A.S.: Odeum Expo Center, Villa Park, Illinois, near Chicago
--> What (is it)?
J.A.S.: North America's largest Gothicfestival and expo.
--> Who (will be involved/featured)?
J.A.S.: Bands: Hanzel Und Gretyl, Slick Idiot with En Esch and Guenter
Schulz formerly of KMFDM, Project .44 with Levi Levi (Thrill Kill
Kult), Grigori 3, Slave Driver, Deepest Symphony, 13 Winters, Ofearia,
Dies Mali, Rosenguard, Withering Soul, Drake, Reverend Agony,
Psionic,Rachael's Surrender with Elysabeth Grant, the vocalist for
(Black Tape for a Blue Girl), Methodical and more! Exhibitors:
Transylvania Imports, 99th Floor, Design Toscano, Lollipop Magazine,
DeFacto Clothing, Top Notch Tattoos, Projekt Records, MK Magazine,
Cutterz Edge, The Gothic Council of Chicago, Phaedra's Philtres,
Theatrikil Productions, Dark Candles Plus Nickolaus Pacione, Evil
Kitty, Twilight's Muse Jewelry, System Down Clothing and Others!
Hanzel und Gretyl_connections
HuG music interview (05/05)
--> And how much does it cost to attend?
J.A.S.: $32.50 for an all day pass!
Please overview the highlights of coming attractions for our readers.
--> What have been, so far, the headaches associated with promoting
and administering Gothicfest 2005?
J.A.S.: Just trying to keep up with everything. Sometimes I'll only
get 3 to 4 hours of sleep several days in a row. Putting together all
the advertising, taking care of all the bands, exhibitors, sponsors
and making all the deadlines can be brutal!
--> What might be considered for you the "light at the end of the tunnel"?
J.A.S.: If Gothicfest 2005 goes over well, I think it will be an
annual major event. And that would be good for all of us!
--> Describe the team of individuals you've persuaded to directly
support your efforts in getting this new festival of delights off the
J.A.S.: Well, first off there were two associates of mine Bill
Gingrich and Blair Lehman. These are my partners in crime and
co-founders of SGL Entertainment Inc. Then there was Michael Mazur of
Mazur Public Relations (New England Hardcore Festival, New Jersey
Metal Meltdown) at first he worked on giving me some advice but I
think after we locked in a major venue and signed Hanzel und Gretyl
and Slick Idiot to the bill he said he would work our press for us. So
we hired them on. Then I contacted Sam Rosenthal of project Records
and Alex Zander of MK Magazine. It was good to have them on board.
Soon after we picked up the band Grigori 3, Michelle Russo a native
Chicago gothic promoter came to us to offer her services and have
really hooked us up with some great exhibitors and bands. At this
point the e-mails and phone calls are coming in pretty heavy.
Gothic / Dark Symphonic
--> How many pre-registrations have you counted thus far?
J.A.S.: As far as ticket sales go, I have no Idea! I will look into
that a little closer to the event! Our radio promotion has just kicked
off and some of our magazine ads (Lollipop, MK Magazine, Fangoria) are
just about to hit the streets so we are hoping for some good pre-sales
at that point.
--> How well integrated into the schedule of events may visiting
patrons anticipate becoming during the first day/night at Gothicfest 2005?
J.A.S.: We have some great bands like Rachael's Surrender playing
earlier as well as some book signings, discipline sessions, and cool
events planned all throughout the day so we hope to see the crowd roll
in early. We have had people calling and asking if they could camp out
front as early as 6am.
--> What aspirations convinced you to move forward with the launch of
J.A.S.: After we got the website up www.gothicfest.com and started
checking out gothic profiles on the web at myspace.com,
vampirefreaks.com, etc. we realized that there could really be a huge
audience for this in the USA! Of course, we would all have to really
do our homework. I've learned a hell of a lot about the gothic
community in the past nine months and meet some very cool individuals!
--> How did it all come about, exactly?
J.A.S.: Ah! The beginning! I really think it all started with the word
"Gothicfest". Well, maybe Gothfest. No! Gothicfest. That's it! I think
we have something here! My partners agreed it sounded good! We had to
be careful not to be confused with the huge Gothicfestivals overseas!
And that's a story for later!
--> Did you bump your head hard enough against a few too many walls to
the point that a strange epiphany began to emerge compelling you to
conceive and devise, organise and promote a new music (etc.) festival
on US soil? (or what?)
J.A.S.: My head still hurts! And we really got a lot of flack right
out of the box! I mean we were really getting slammed! It took us a
while to earn the name North America's Largest Gothicfestival and Expo!
--> What aspects of concept development might have threatened to bring
the festival launch to a sudden halt?
J.A.S.: Well, you should know! The first time I ran our concept past
you was when we were using the phrase Worlds Largest (we meant from an
expo point of view), however, no one read it that way and your
suggestion, I believe, was to loose that phrase quickly. By this time,
I had already seen chat on several forums, we were getting slammed
hard! It took a while to dig our selves out of the rubble! At least
this all happened in the early stages of the game, and so we took a
step back and sought out to be North America's Largest Gothicfestival
and Expo! And now, we feel we have earned the right to that title.
--> How might others, including special guests and performers even now
become more active in the promotion of Gothicfest 2005 to help boost
attendance levels throughout the weekend?
J.A.S.: Actually, most all the bands are doing a lot of underground
promoting like myspace.com, fliers, e-mail, forums, etc. News from
Hanzel Und Gretyl have showed up right here at sickamongthepure.com,
mtv.com, etc. Lollipop.com, MK Magazine and Fangoria are getting the
word out for us in a big way, look for our full-page ad coming out in
Fangoria Magazine (the September Issue). And, I've seen a lot of press
from one of our Featured Authors, Nickolaus Pacione. The singer
(Gwendy) from Grigori 3 is really helping us out in a big way and she
really knows some people. Isn't this what it's really all about!
--> Any special prizes? Dj? Dance events? Theatrical Screenings? Live
J.A.S.: We have had a lot of interesting offers! Our hosts, Fallen Eve
and Velmonturna will do the giveaways! We have stuff from
HeavyRed.com, Metropolis Records, plus other donations from fashion
designers, artists and more!
Sonya Brown inputs the following:
--> For Gothicfest 2005, I would like to know what Jeff is most
looking forward to about the event - a particular band, event... and why?
J.A.S.: I would like to walk around at the event and see a huge crowd
of interesting dark souls enjoying one day and night of complete
--> What is his main motivation?
J.A.S.: To have a successful Festival and Expo! And to do this every year!
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