This August 15th-18th South Street’s Legendary Dobbs will host the 2nd Annual Liberty Music Festival.
A relatively new event for the city, Liberty Music Fest is a must for area bands that are currently bubbling
underneath the scene and would like to rise to the surface. I spoke with Dobbs’ talent buyer and festival
organizer Jim Thorpe about the 4-day event.

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TSI: Hey Jim, since the Liberty Music Fest is still in its infancy, how would you describe it to people who haven’t heard what it’s all about?

JT: Liberty Music Fest is a combined music festival and music conference; it’s the best of both worlds. There are 4 days of live music with bands from 23 states, along with 2 days of industry professional panel discussions and workshops. It’s an opportunity to network with other musicians and get yourself into other markets.

TSI: Is Liberty Music Fest just for bands or can the general public attend?

JT: It is open to the general public to attend the live shows and the seminars. Not only is this is a great event for musicians, but also for students in the music field, or anyone wanting to break into the music

TSI: What is new to Liberty Music Fest from last year?

JT: On Friday and Saturday we’ve added “Step Up to the Mic,” an hour each day of hip-hop artists
performing 10 minute sets. We’re embracing more music genres this year. Also, our Thursday night
events will coincide with the South Street Night Market. South Street will be closed between 2nd and 8th
Streets with vendors and food trucks lining the street. We hope this will draw a good crowd from people
walking by and coming in to hear some great live music.

TSI: What can a band expect to get out of attending the Liberty Music Fest?

JT: Some bands may expect a golden key to success but the true purpose of Liberty Music Fest is to bring bands from all over together to meet other bands and industry professionals. The real key is the connections that you make. You never know who you meet that might help you succeed in your goals. Making friends with bands from other parts of the country might lead to sharing shows or gaining exposure in other markets.

TSI: Tell me a bit about the workshops and panel discussions.

JT: We have Paula Savastano from SSA music talking about publishing & licensing; we have a Q&A
session with Glen Romano, entertainment lawyer; we have a panel discussion including Lou Plaia of
Reverbnation and myself talking about the State of the Music Industry for DIY artists. We also have
separate panel discussions on the topics of booking shows, PR/social media, and recording/production.
There will be a lot of good information. I mean, you’ll have direct access to a lawyer without paying the $125/hour fee!

TSI: Do you have any advice for bands out there trying to build their fanbase?

JT: In addition to playing quality music, bands need to have many different places that the public can
access you such as; a website, Tumblr, and Instagram. Get out there and talk to the audience after
your set. Take some time to hang out, take photos, and then post those photos. Don’t just come in,
play your set and hang out in the greenroom – making connections with the people that showed up
to see you play will help build a loyal fanbase.

[This is just a taste of the expert advice and information you will receive attending the workshops and panel discussions.]

TSI: Where can people go for tickets and more information?

JT: Tickets will be available at the door for $10/day. You can also purchase tickets online at We have some really great talent this year. We’ve got at least 5 artists booked to play that will be showing up on everybody’s radar very soon. Information about the bands playing Liberty Music Fest can be found at

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