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Festivals 0

On the Map indie music festival coming to Fayetteville


This Will Destroy You / Courtesy photo

The event, titled On the Map, is the brainchild of Roger Barrett and Samantha Sigmon, two local art and music advocates who have promoted a range of events at various venues around town over the past few years.

The idea for the festival, Barrett said, is to put Fayetteville back on the radar for national independent music booking agents who have mostly gotten out of the habit of sending bands through town.

Barrett said part of the reason for that could be linked the closure of Clunk Music Hall in 2002. The all-ages venue, run by Chris “Clunk” Selby inside a warehouse on College Avenue, played host to a laundry list of independent bands that eventually signed to major labels. When Clunk was open, Fayetteville was a frequent stop for bands like Modest Mouse, Deathcab for Cutie, Built to Spill, At the Drive-In, Pinback, and The Shins.

The venue’s high-caliber roster of shows, coupled with Selby’s relationship with top independent agents, was attractive to a lot of smaller up-and-coming artists who sought out Fayetteville when planning national tours. Without a dedicated replacement for Clunk, Barrett said Fayetteville has missed out on a lot of great music.

He said he hopes an annual festival will help the city reconnect with some of those booking agents, and help bring back at least some aspect of what Clunk was able to do for Fayetteville in the late 90s.

“I think the music deserves it and I think Fayetteville is ready for it,” said Barrett.

The event will take some cues from Hot Springs’ Valley of the Vapors independent music festival, which capitalizes on the stream of bands who are headed back home (or continuing tours) after performing at South by Southwest in Austin each Spring.

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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