Davenport has played host to a flurry of brand new local arts festivals over the past couple of years. The beauty of this is that these events haven’t been corrupted by money-hungry cash grabbers (yet). One of the very few potential drawbacks is over-saturation.
Enter the one-day festival! It’s practical, affordable, and best of all, it allows organizers to narrow their focus on a single message or genre (or even subgenre – I’d love to see an all synthwave festival).
For example: June 1st offers the inaugural BirdFest, a cavalcade of psych rock and visual arts. Presented by Goldbird Recordings, nine bands will rock Daytrotter for seven solid hours. Skip the rush hour drive home because this fest starts at 5pm (doors at four). Tickets are $15 at the door, but I strongly recommend buying tix online for $12. Not only is it cheaper, but it ensures you won’t be turned away due to fire codes.
Please note: This show is 19+. While Daytrotter events are typically all-ages, anyone under 19 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Though most of the participating bands fall under the umbrella of psych rock, attendees of BirdFest can expect variety. Out-of-town visitors include Holy Wave (TX) and Constantine (IL). I’ve been listening to The Savage Blush's (CO) ‘Heartbreak Hunter’ on repeat.
Joining them are our lovely neighbors from Peoria, The Golden Fleece and Denim Dragon. Both of these bands sound like they stepped straight out of an alternative timeline 1969 where Vietnam peacefully reunited and Brian Jones never died.
Because of course, no psych rock show is complete without a visual element. Attendees of BirdFest will enjoy visualizations by Croations and Fuzzy Optics.
Pack a whole festival’s worth of fun into a single evening and still have enough weekend left over to build a deck.
But if one day of music isn’t enough for you, return to Daytrotter over the two days to follow: June 2nd sees performances by Diane Coffee with Lucille Furs and (my personal favorite) Karen Meat, while the June 3rd show with Froggy Fresh has been a popular topic of discussion for months. Locals Art Haus Eviction Notice and Centaur Noir will open.
This first weekend in June is going to be legendary. Don’t miss it.
Image credit: Image composed from elements courtesy of Goldbird Recordings