Houston's Rowdiest Festival Moves to the Warehouse District
When the city's preeminent music festival announced its lineup last week, some observers questioned whether this year's lineup had enough bang for the buck. One of Houston's fastest-growing music fests, For the Community, has no such problem, though. This weekend's installment, the fest's seventh, features some significant changes. But the one thing that remains the same is that it's free to everyone.
Photo by Fox Marie, courtesy of hipporacle.org FTC7 act Josiah Gabriel
"Primarily, we keep it free because we want people to discover local music, local businesses and artists," says Micah Jackson, a partner in Visionary Noise, which stages the event with co-sponsor Houston Free Thinkers. "We want people to use that money they would spend on cover just this one time and give it to the artists themselves, buy merch and support vendors. We do not want anybody to miss out over some cover."
Missing out this time would mean not seeing 45 diverse music acts from Houston and abroad, not to mention "artists, vendors, Fire Vixens and Centurions and a mentalist," according to Jackson. Prominent acts on the bill include Josiah Gabriel, Blackmarket Syndicate and Kelly McCann, plus members of the Scooby Doo Crew bringing the electronic-music beat by way of their musical pedicab.
Jackson says there's a good dose of hip-hop, including Justice Allah of South Park Coalition's "his hard-hitting, smart rap which reflects Houston," or up-and-comer Feral the Earthworm, bringing some conscious rap over from Austin.
Photo by Ashton McComb FTC7's "Downer"
Jesse Cardoso, better known as Worst Nightmare to Houston underground hip-hop fans, will perform again and says this event is as stamped by its diverse audience as those who come to perform.
"I've played before, for FTC 5, and it's always so great to see people from all kinds of groups get together and enjoy themselves as a community," he says. "Houston Free Thinkers and Visionary Noise have made something that I think will just get better every year."
Worst Nightmare has an early morning set -- 12:30 to 1 a.m. -- at Walters. That's not just exciting for Cardoso, but for all who have an interest in watching the festival grow. Previous FTCs have been held at D.I.Y. venues like The Compound, but this installment is so large and the festival has enough momentum that a venue change was necessary. So, it has moved to the seemingly always bustling Warehouse District, with Walters, Last Concert Café, the Doctor's Office and Ponderosa all hosting FTC7 acts.
"The Compound was this baby's cradle but now it is toddling about the streets of downtown Houston," says Jackson. "There is room for the festival to grow as there are other venues, warehouse spaces and art galleries nearby, which we are eager to include.
"Ultimately, experiencing these venues and downtown Houston ties the festival deeper to the heart of H-town as a whole, [which] is crucial to both HFT and Visionary Noise," he continues. "We are confident that this move will be appreciated by veteran attendees and people first discovering FTC."
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