Monday, May 12, 2014

Some food for thought: an open letter to Taste of Minnesota

So today at work, I came across City Pages' article on the 2014 Taste of Minnesota line up. It is pretty obvious that what I saw has resulted in an open letter to the organizers of the family event from yours truly ;).

Dear Taste of Minnesota organizers:

It has come to this music blogger's attention this year's musical line-up for the latest incarnation of the family friendly event. May I say that I was anything but impressed? Please don't get upset when I saw that I had to literally bite my lip from laughing out loud at work. Have you not learned anything from the last few concerts the Minneapolis Aquatennial used to throw during the week long event? The last concert they had had that has-been group Night Ranger headling the event. Now I understand that Taste of Minnesota is a family friendly and budget-friendly event but there really is no excuse to put together a line up as lazy as the one you cobbled together for the Fourth of July weekend.

You could say I am observer of the Minnesota music scene. I am, mostly of the dark underground music scene but I do watch what is happening in the local music scene from afar. Although I am a relatively obscure music blogger who does not get paid one dime for what I write, I do take my observations and  especially music dead serious. Over the years I have seen the local music scene grow and evolve. With such a diverse music scene, one would think a local event like Taste of Minnesota would take advantage of the richness in music here in our lovely state but you don't. It is evident that you don't. In my honest opinion, it would have been cheaper to go with all local music instead of having to pay travel expenses for a bunch of has been bands like Badfinger, Marshall Tucker Band, and Starship). Have you not heard of the band Polica? They are quite popular for an indie band. They could probably have brought in more people than the entire current line up for this year's Taste of Minnesota. Well maybe not, certainly would have the appeal to attract more people in their 20s and 30s. Believe it or not, people in their 20's and 30's do have families and have an eclectic taste in music.

Here are some other artists and bands you COULD have tried to have gotten instead of say motherfuckin' Starship:

Trampled By Turtles
Pert Near Sandstone
Pink Mink
Night Moves
Aby Wolf
Jeremy Messersmith
Caroline Smith

I could go on and on but I won't. My point is that Minnesota has a vibrant music scene. If you want to showcase what Minnesota is really about, then the musical acts should be from Minnesota. To not take advantage of the healthy, diverse music scene here in the state and simply use a slew of has-beens or unknowns who you really don't know what sort of fan base they have (as opposed to the more established known acts I have listed above) is rather insulting to this music observer. If you want to see any profits to come in, better to try to get local acts that has a steady following. A lot of their fans have families too (hint hint hint).

Despite my harsh criticism towards the event, I do plan on attending Taste of Minnesota to see Halestorm, the only band that appeals to this music junkie. I do hope that this year's Taste of Minnesota won't end up like the disaster that the last time the event was held on Harriet Island. I'll say this at least you had the decency to address the entrance fee which sounds more reasonable than what happened in 2010.  If Taste of Minnesota does continue on after this summer, please do more research into the bands you chose to have perform. Not everyone has the taste of the baby boomer generation. Just saying.


Erica (aka Rivet Grrrl)

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