Carly Rubach

Make Your Own Music Festival

Carly adds "planning a music festival" to her list of things to do this summer.

By - Jul 14th, 2013 03:23 am

CHRposterYou would think planning a wedding would be enough, but why not throw a music festival into the mix, right? Right.

My cousin pitched the idea to me a few times at the coffee shop where I work, and live music has always sounded great to me. So we incorporated my fiance, my brother, and our DIY planning committee for Coffee House Rock! was set.

We knew we wanted the festival to focus on community, so we partnered with two local organizations: Music Matters, and The CATHE Center. They both offer a variety of music and art programming for youth and families throughout Burlington. We later found out that these partnerships would be key to our planning. They not only helped sketch out the day with us, but were also able to offer volunteer power and general support. Hooray for awesome organizations!

With these partnerships, and my fiance’s expertise in arts education, we put together the workshop portion of the day. It features four interactive youth activities. Kids will have the opportunity to test drive a variety of instruments in one workshop, led by a local high school teacher, along with a few musically inclined students. Blues harmonica virtuoso, John Stano, will lead an introductory workshop in which each kid can take home their very own harmonica. Milwaukee’s The Figureheads will work with youth to create music and impart tools for collaboration (inclusion) and learning (literacy) through hip hop music. The final workshop will focus on visual art by repurposing, and beautifying, old vinyl records.

The rest of the day will feature local bands, and then our evening headlining acts will appear on the outdoor stage. Throughout the process of putting this together, we found out that booking bands is an interesting task, and my cousin became pretty awesome at it. We ended up with two great artists from Nashville—Los Colognes and Rayland Baxter. We also booked Appleton natives, Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons, who can often be heard on 88Nine.

From the DIY perspective, dealing with the unknown can be the most difficult part of planning a festival. We don’t know how many people will turn up. We don’t know if the weather will be perfect. Any unforeseen curve balls might come at us on the day of the show. But if we did know everything, that would hardly be any fun.

For now, we’re just working on promoting and hoping for the best. My other super-skilled cousin designed our promotional posters. He is also working on some limited-edition art prints which will (no doubt) be amazing. So come out and support us, Milwaukee! Burlington is only a quick 40-minute drive, and you get a full day of free music and fun for the whole family.

While you’re pondering who will be in your carpool, I’ll leave you with a few other DIY projects that I’ve been working on since joining The Coffee House at Chestnut & Pine. This job has been a great promoter of creativity.

Project #1: Tile and Cork Card Holders – Use gorilla glue to secure two corks to the top of a painted tile, and, boom, the perfect weighted card holder for table numbers, postcards, or, in this case, cafe signage.










Project #2: Chalkboard Menus – Chalkboard ink is awesome, but dries up fast. I had a good time with these, and will likely incorporate many chalkboards into the wedding.










Project #3: Antique Planters – I found these gems at an awesome antique sale in Burlington at a gorgeous outdoor spot called Northwind Perennial Farm. We added plants to give the outdoor facade some color. The old washtub planter is my favorite!


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