MOBFest, a Chicago based band contest, is taking the show 90 miles north and holding a day of information and auditions at Milwaukee's Miramar Theater. Spearheaded by Summerfest's Entertainment Developer David Silbaugh, MOBFest brings A&R reps, media executives and producers from around the country to Milwaukee on Nov. 8.
"The mindset is centered on New York and L.A. and to another extent Nashville. But really, the industry checks on who the tastemakers are in a particular region and want to see who's hot and who's not," Silbaugh says. "It's a chance for bands to get in front of some industry folks without necessarily having to make a big trip to SXSW or CMJ."
A collaborative effort between Silbaugh and MOBFest founder Roger Jansen, MOBFest first emerged in Chicago in 1997 to help highlight Midwestern musical talent.
"Roger really wanted to take this forum and opportunity beyond Chicago to places like Milwaukee, Indianapolis and Minneapolis. I've had a professional relationship with Roger for years and between us we have a lot of industry contacts, so it was logical to start with Milwaukee," Silbaugh explains.
Running annually in Chicago for the last 11 years, MOBFest brought to light several successful artists including The Killers, Rachel Yamagata, The Redwalls and Absentstar.
The Milwaukee event features panel discussions on current industry trends followed by a showcase of six top performing bands.
"The idea of doing this smaller event, even in relation to MOBFest Chicago, is that the bands that are showcasing will really have the full attention because we are only at one location," Silbaugh says. "It's an opportunity for these six bands to have a captive industry audience."
Any and every band is eligible for these highlighted spots; just submit a demo or EP on the MOBFest Sonicbids Web site by Oct. 15. Yet to be announced industry panelists will review submissions and select six bands to play in front of the full industry representation.
"We are getting submissions from across the country, Canada and Austraila, but we really want to give a chance to three or four bands from the region," Silbaugh says. "And because bands have submitted from all over the country, we aren't ignoring them either; if they're willing to make the trip, we're happy to have them."
The day's grand prize, given to one of the six performing groups, is a demo deal with Atlantic Records, and also includes recording at Johnny K's Groovemaster studio, mixing at Smart Studios and mastering at Mastermind studio.
"A $10 fee gets you all the panels and all the showcases. The panels are still being decided but we are making sure it's relevant and not antiquated," Silbaugh explains. "No matter what, people are going to walk away with something. We'll have tons of information and giveaways."
The submission deadline is Oct. 15. All events are open to the public for $10.
OnMilwaukee.com staff writer Maureen Post grew up in Wauwatosa. A lover of international and urban culture, Maureen received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
After living on the east side of Madison for several years, Maureen returned to Milwaukee in 2006.
After a brief stint of travel, Maureen joined OnMilwaukee.com as the city’s oldest intern and has been hooked ever since. Combining her three key infatuations, Milwaukee’s great music, incredible food and inspiring art (and yes, in that order), Maureen’s job just about fits her perfectly.
Residing in Bay View, Maureen vehemently believes the city can become fresh and new with a simple move across town.