The pioneering festivities may be ruling over most of Utah this weekend, but not up at Mt. Timpanogos, where music will reign supreme. The first ever Timpanogos Music Festival will take place Saturday, July 25, featuring a who's-who of Utah County musicians and bands over multiple stages, completely free to the public to enjoy the sounds and the entertainment, all presented by the Utah Music Association. Today we chat with one of their board members, Emily McLean, about the event. (All pictures courtesy of the festival.
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Gavin: Hey Emily, tell us a little bit about yourself.
My favorite color is orange and it matches my personality precisely. I love people and music, so when they come together, it's my happy place. I have a wonderful husband, Richard, who’s a kilt-wearing artist, and three darling daughters.
Gavin: When did you start getting involved with the local music scene, and what were your favorite bands when you first joined in?
It all began two years ago when I helped some friends with their rock opera, Deep Love
. It wasn’t much more than taking around flyers and running the merch table, but it gave me the bug to do more. I decided to go back to school and get a Business Marketing degree, specifically to better work with musicians. When those same friends, Ryan Hayes & Jon Peter Lewis, of Midas Whale (as seen on The Voice
) needed help with the back end of their successful Kickstarter, they brought me in. Organizing and spreadsheets get me excited, especially when it’s all done to put beautiful music out to adoring fans. From the beginning, I have loved Midas Whale, Ryan Innes, Mimi Knowles, Fictionist, Ashley Hess and Queenadilla. Since then I’ve met so many amazing musicians; my list of local favorites is now rather extensive.
Gavin: What made you decide to take a more active role in the community?
Working on the Kickstarter fulfillment really fueled my fire to help more musicians with the business side of their art. My passion is to aid in providing opportunities for them to showcase talent and manage the business, so they can focus more on music. It’s a tough balance I see so many musicians [try to manage], and I want to be the person that helps them do more and achieve their dreams.
Gavin: How has it been for you being a part of the Utah Music Association, and what do you currently do for them?
I've loved being a part of such a dynamic group. We all come from different aspects of the music industry, and our varying perspectives make an ideal team. As a Board Member, I've been involved in the planning of the Timpanogos Music Festival and headed up the booking, artist schedule and many little details in between.
Gavin: How did the idea come about to start up a music fest?
It's something we had all individually dreamed of, but Tyler Monks, the Executive Director, made it a reality by reaching out to Orem city and setting it all in motion. He brought together the team of Mitch Davis, Chris Lewis and myself in January, and we’ve been working on it ever since.
Gavin: What made you choose Mt. Timpanogos as the location, and what does the venue bring that others don't?
India Earl Photography
It’s a beautiful location, and we knew from other events done there that it could handle the crowd we wanted to bring. We really wanted an outdoor space that would complement the music and natural feel of our vision for the festival; it really is ideal.
Gavin: What was the process in choosing bands to perform for this particular festival?
It began with us making a list of who we’d love to have involved, and grew from there. I asked a lot of friends and staples in the music scene who they’d like to see. When I’d go to shows and hear bands, the list just grew. Narrowing it down was the tricky part! There is so much amazing local talent, we could do another entire festival and still have the same caliber of musicians.
Gavin: For those curious, what is the lineup you have in store?
We have an incredible line-up! Van Lady Love, Oh, Be Clever!, Red Yeti, Foreign Figures, Mojave Nomads, Plan Z, Static Waves, Queenadilla, Festive People, House Of Lewis, The Love§trange, I/O, Cory Mon, Two Nations, Joshy Soul, Seve Vs. Evan, Strange Famila, New Shack, Gardening Sisters, Ashley Hess, Amber Lynn, Claire Elise, Mark Smith, Jade Demure, Static To The Sound, Nick Whitesides, Comfort Cage, Jarom Rasmus, Junior Mathematics, Hema Jr., The Sash, Na-G, James Gray Dawson VIII, Church On Sunday and Provo Yacht Club.
Gavin: You've managed to make the festival free this year, which is a rarity for local music fests. What made you work toward making it free to the public?
We wanted this to be an event for everyone to enjoy and provide a showcase for musicians to reach new people. Our goal from the beginning has been to connect bands with fans, and keeping it free has greatly facilitated that.
Gavin: What other events do you have in store besides the music?
There is a climbing wall, tribal face paint, Fender guitar giveaway and many friendships waiting to happen!
Gavin: Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about the fest or the Association before it kicks off?
Come prepared to have fun and fall even more in love with the fantastic local music at our fingertips!
Gavin: After the fest, what can we expect from you and the organization over the rest of the year?
Once the festival is over, we don’t get much of a break before jumping right into planning for Timp Music Fest next year. We want it to be bigger and even better, which takes time. Ideally, we’d love to provide music mentorship opportunities and plan more events, but don’t have any firm plans yet.