As we come to an end of an amazing 2008, we've been doing a lot of talking about 2009, and what we're going to do to top this year. First, let's review 2008.
* Blue Collar Booking and Northlawn Music joined forces to form Fusion Shows
* Fusion Shows will have brought 171 concerts to you in the calendar year of 2008. That's almost one every two days, including 15 sold out shows!
* We presented such amazing national acts as Mae, Murder By Death, Alesana, The Color Fred, Haste the Day, Fear Before, and Sherwood!
* We sold nearly 20,000 tickets to our events this year, and charged you exactly NOTHING for service fees! Not a penny!
So, what's next? We've identified these goals as our major ones for 2009. Let us know what you think, and if you think that anything's missing from the list!
* Help unify the indie music scene in Lansing. There's too much ego, not enough unification and working together. Too many great acts play for empty houses in this genre, and it can be fixed.
* Expand into Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids by working with our friends at the Blind Pig and Mixtape Venue to bring them some top-notch touring talent, thus not wearing out the Howell and Lansing markets.
* Strengthen our ties with our friends in LOCAL bands by giving them access to as many of our resources as possible, to make them successful. I think at some point, we were so excited about all the national talent we were starting to work with, we kind of put locals on the back burner! No more!
* Enhance the production value at our shows. We know that we've always just kind of gotten by with decent sound and lights, but we want each show to be an audio/visual experience. The kick drum should thump you in the chest, lights should enhance the experience, and the vocals should come through clear as a bell. Keep your eyes open for improvements in this field as 2009 rolls along.
* We want to use our influence in the music communities to help our friends in other aspects of the independent music community (labels, studios, merch printers, etc.) to expand their business.
We were inspired by the recent success of our Manchester Orchestra show. They live by a motto of "Think Indie", and we want to embrace that even more than in the past.
2009 is the year that the Michigan music scene will ascend to an even more desirable place for touring artists to visit, and that's because the local scene will be so strong, that people will want to come out to more shows! Detroit's music scene may be dying, along with the city, but that doesn't mean that tours should skip Michigan. There's plenty of music lovers out here in Lansing, in Howell, in Oakland County, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Mt. Pleasant, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, and farther reaches of the state.
Please, let us know your thoughts. This is your forum. If you're a Howell kid that wants to see more indie or ska, let me know. If you think we should do more hardcore in Lansing, this is your chance. If you want to see us really bring some great things to Pontiac or Ann Arbor, well, you know what to do.
Ask any questions you may have. We're here, we're real people, and we do this because we know that you love it. We want to put the shows on that you want to see.
Thank you all for your support throughout the past year. It's been amazing, and we can't wait to work together with you to take it to the next level in 2009!
Nate (and Irv and Ron and the gang)
P.S. Stay tuned for meetings and public forums where you can have your voice heard, where you can get involved!