It’s time once again for the great summer event I like to call the WXPN company picnic and since it’s a public radio station, we’re all part of the company! The XPoNential Music Festival returns to the Camden Waterfront on July 26,27,28. This year’s festival promises to exceed expectations and I was happy to get Program Director Bruce Warren to take a few minutes out of his hectic schedule to talk about it.
TSI: Last year was the first year you partnered with the Susquehanna Bank Center. Did this situation kind of fall into your lap?
BW: “It didn’t fall into our lap, per se. It was sort of an idea that had been simmering here for a couple years. The situation came about from conversations internally to find a way to grow the festival which led us to talk with Live Nation about the idea. With the changes in the business and how competitive the summer festival season is, it became harder and harder for us to book and certainly afford the bands we wanted. Certainly we could never afford someone like Wilco or Dylan. So about three years ago Roger (station manager Roger Le May) started talking to Live Nation saying imagine if we walked the people over from Wiggins Park to SBC for a show in the evening and this light bulb went off that we all liked over here. After some negotiation they agreed and last year was a great success. This is how we can have the line-up we do for this year featuring The Lumineers, Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Bob Dylan.
TSI: Dawes returns to the festival again this year. They are something of an anomaly in today’s music landscape, a young band with a successful catalog and tenure. What makes them so great?
BW: “As you know we love Dawes here at XPN. They are simply a great live band and [lead guitarist/vocalist] Taylor Goldsmith is just a wonderful songwriter and an amazing performer. Whenever he takes the stage the focus is immediately on him. He is a great guitarist and singer. They have worked with Jackson Brown and their music is in that tradition but with a totally fresh take. I think that is also why they have been gaining such wide acceptance.
TSI: This next question is pretty standard. What acts that are new to the festival are you excited to see?
BW: “I don’t want to single anyone out but here are a few. Lord Huron is an LA based artist with a Paul Simonesque feel to his music .He performs with a six piece band and they out on a great show. Red Barat is from New York and they bring a lot of influences to their music. Bollywood, Hip-Hop, Funk, it’s all in there to create this high energy stew. Kat Edmonson is a singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas who I think will surprise a lot of people with her fresh take on Jazz and Pop standards. Also, let’s not forget Trampled By Turtles! They are a great band from Minnesota that is garnering a devoted fan base with their live shows.”
Enough said! Tickets for either single days or 3 day passes are still available HERE.