Saturday, December 26, 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 27, 6 p.m.
With the holidays looming and entertainment options limited, a Quad Cities music promoter has put together a special, free streaming event featuring 11 acts and 11 businesses. With the intention of "celebrating the beautiful originality and talent of the Quad Cities music scene," The Festivus Show is a "two-day holiday extravaganza," set to run on December 26 and 27 and billed as “a fun and immersive journey.”
The Festivus Show is the newest and perhaps most ambitious permutation of thefestivalshow, a mixed-genre live concert series launched by Royce Barnett in 2019. thefestivalshow was initially a regular "mini-festival" held at the Renwick Mansion in Davenport, and its intention was to feature four local bands of different genres, providing a diverse listening experience, and showcasing the wealth and breadth of QC-area talent.
Post-COVID, the event became a series of monthly livestreams, with the exception of one live show at the Renwick in August. Initially, the livestreams were available for a fee intended to drum up money for the musicians involved, but this was scrapped after the first digital show. Barnett elaborated: "The idea is for the musicians to get eyes they normally wouldn't. A paywall [of] even $5 really held people back. We have started advertising with local businesses to cover the expenses to have the show be free. We take donations from those inspired to help TFS grow. That money goes to next month's show."
Thus the multitude of settings for The Festivus Show. Early livestreams were done from the homes and practice spaces of the artists, and recent pre-recorded editions of TFS were done on-site at the Renwick with equipment belonging to CrunkChocolate, Barnett's production imprint. "We use four cameras and have the bands perform into our digital interface. Everything is mastered and looks terrific."
This time around, each musician has filmed their set in a different Davenport business (referred to as "anti-venues") ranging from restaurants to a bookstore. Besides being a source of funding, the idea is to promote local businesses in the same way The Festival Show has hyped local musicians.
"We need to push our culture. The average QC citizen will drive three hours and spend hundreds of dollars for possibly a good time, just so they can say "I went to Chicago." We have truly talented individuals all around the QC, and the businesses downtown are unique and deserve all the love they can get."
The lineup of musicians and businesses is as follows:
Saturday, December 26 (7 p.m. start):
DJ K Yung (DJ set) – Crafted QC (handmade artisan crafts and supplies)
Molly Durnin (indie/folk singer/songwriter) – Abernathy's (vintage clothing and accessories)
CJ Parker (funk/R&B/gospel) – Fat Sacks QC/Kilkenny's (food truck-style restaurant and Irish pub)
Aubs. (poetry-infused hip-hop) – Source Book Store
Giallows (experimental rock) – Stompbox Brewing/Kitchen Brigade (bar and brewery)
Alyx Rush (pop/R&B) – Cru Bottle Shoppe (wine bar)
Sunday, December 27 (6 p.m. start):
K1ng Supr3m3 (DJ set) – Unimpaired Dry Bar (non-alcoholic bar)
Pollinators (indie rock) – The Drawing Room QC (cigar lounge)
BN (soul/R&B) – Taste of Ethiopia (Middle Eastern restaurant)
Angela Meyer (modern traditional country) – Theo & Company (men's clothing and barbershop)
East$ide Sounds (hip-hop/R&B) – Cavort (restaurant, cocktail, and tiki Bar)
While this month's event is completely free to watch on Vimeo, attendees will need to register in advance on the Eventbrite Web site to get the link. A link to the Eventbrite page is included, but can also be found on Facebook. The official page is "thefestivalshow," and a link to The Festivus Show's event page has been included, as well. The stream will be available online for 48 hours for those unable to watch at the scheduled broadcast time. More information can also be found on Instagram under the handle "thefestivalshow."
Barnett intends to keep moving forward with live and pre-recorded events. "What I want people to understand is this is not a one-time thing. TFS has been going on since September 2019. I plan on keeping the monthly show via streaming until we can continue live concerts … . I guarantee you The Festivus Show is nothing the QC has ever done.
"I truly want everyone to know and see [The Festivus Show]. Many people have worked very hard for this show."
To RSVP through Eventbrite, visit Eventbrite.com/e/the-festivus-show-tickets-131230041587, and the Facebook event page can be accessed at Fb.me/e/AMPAtILs.