My name is Joshua Whittle, and I’m here to tell you what to do Saturday evening. I realize there are many choices, even though I still remember a time when there were about two. So that being said, I’m gonna make it easy for you: Lava Mini Fest.
Why? Because Lava recently became one of my fondest memories in Norfolkian music history.
I know, that’s a bold statement. Let me explain a bit…
See, I’m old now. But I do remember the first indie music festival that I ever attended. Not like the big, sweaty, overbearing rock-a-thon’s, where you may have seen your high school physics teacher smoking weed. Mine was MacRock, in Harrisonburg Va.
MacRock was/is a multiple day, multiple venue music festival that was essentially a template for other similar festivals. Festivals like SXSW and CMJ were expanding and evolving into corporate vehicles for product sales. But MacRock was still just about music, and independent music culture. I spent two days literally running around Harrisonburg, pushing myself into crowded venues to catch bands like 400 Years, Converge, Fugazi, and countless other bands I’d discover and love for years to come. But there was always the one showcase…. it was the one showcase everyone was trying to get to at the end of the day. I remember having to decide which one to see. That was half the fun, really.
That first MacRock I ended that all day sprint stuffed into a coffee shop watching the Lovett Records showcase. Engine Down, a band I’d never heard, blew my mind, and I realized something about that moment: We got lucky, and I’d never forget it.
Everyone I was with, that made it to that show, still talks about it to this day. While these festivals are always fun, they seem to have that one showcase at the end of the night where the bands, people, and vibe transcend the event.
About a month ago, after my band Wyteshayds played the LAVA Mini Fest at Toast, I commented to the show’s founder, Josh Copland, that I hadn’t felt that way about a showcase in years. LAVA has tapped into that vibe I remembered.
LAVA felt like that showcase at the end of the where all your friends ended up — the one where the coolest bands you’d heard of, and the ones you hadn’t, would blow your mind.
The one you would not forget.
So tomorrow night there are choices you can make. End up at a forgettable show with bands who probably won’t stand the test of time, or at a bar you’ve already been to more times then you can count, or you can sit on your couch watching Netflix….again.
Or you can come be part of something you’ll remember.
I know where I’ll be. hopefully I see you there.
Headlining tomorrow night is David Bazan from Pedro the Lion: