We’ve touched base with the Santa Fe Music Alliance a number of times before but continue to hear things about how local musicians aren’t sure they’re doing much. So, once and for all, hear our words: They’re totally doing stuff. You’ve gotta think of it like a long-term game. As in, y’all can’t really expect the group to just fix everything at once, and there are plenty of ways that SFMA is hard at work to help out.
"At this point we've paid out four or five times as much money as we've received in membership [dues]," board member Johny Broomdust says. "Now, this is to all kinds of different musicians, and a lot of it is because we've been working our asses off as volunteers."
Additionally, he states that the alliance is hard at work meeting with promoters and venue owners to improve conditions (like, y'know…getting paid more for shows) for all local musicians, uniting the tired/huddled masses yearning to breathe free and organizing events. One such event is the upcoming Make Music Fest at the Railyard Plaza. A loosely affiliated international festival, hundreds of cities put on bashes highlighting their best and brightest under the Make Music name.
"Make Music ties in so well with the SFMA mission, which is to raise the level of music in all genres while we focus on locals," Broomdust says.
In case you're not sold yet, here are five big reasons to attend this Saturday's Make Music Fest:
Broomdust Caravan, Busy & the Crazy 88 (pictured), Hot Honey, Lumbre del Sol, Anthony Leon, Max Manzanares…why, it's a regular who's-who of beloved local acts performing on one gigantic outdoor stage. We've said plenty about outdoor festivals before, but here's the gist: It'll be awesome to see these acts on such a grand scale.
"We've tried to include a number of genres that everyone can enjoy," Broomdust says.
Not only will Make Music feature pop singer-songwriter Autumn Faulkner, up-and-comers like acoustic songwriter Luke Griffin will be on hand. This isn't even mentioning the Global Warming Express, an organization comprised of teens who produce theater-based entertainment to raise awareness about the rising temperature of our planet. It's real, and these kids are gonna educate y'all.
"We brought in acts that maybe weren't getting opportunities to play often, and that also will have the best draw…a broader demographic," Broomdust tells SFR.
Food and Art Trucks!
For everyone talking about how we need more food vendors at things, here you go. Axle Contemporary's art truck will also appear, as will "Silver," Lisa Law's psychedelic '60s bus. According to Broomdust, "We think that part of what will help the scene is to tap into the festival spirit that people associate with the sixties."
"I don't know if we're the very best representatives for all local music, but we're all they've got and we're willing to spend the time," Broomdust shares.
That's pretty huge, all things considered. Assuming more community support, SFMA will start to go after grant money, which can then be used for cool projects like working out health insurance for musicians in a system similar to communities like Austin or New Orleans.
"Positive change will only happen if you get involved with local things that bring people together," Broomdust adds.
Sure, you have plenty of options for free entertainment this summer, but if you're the kind of person who can find fault with that, then we are scared for you. Just think of all the amazing things SFMA is cramming into a single afternoon and compare it to other summer offerings. Now, we're not saying there's anything wrong with the other stuff or that there is a lack of exciting things to see and do, but given the sheer number of participants, musicians, art aficionados and food purveyors coming up for Make Music, it's hard to think of a downside. And don't forget that June 21 is the summer solstice, so the evening time action should be just lovely.
4-9 pm Saturday, June 21. No cover.
Railyard Plaza, Market and Alcaldesa streets