What I Learned From Dfest | 07.25-26.08

dfest_ghostland-sm.jpgGhostland Observatory is as good as people say—and not as good.








This was my first time in Tulsa and, by extension, my first time at Diversafest (Dfest). I had heard their panels were the best of any indie festival…and that claim proved to be correct.

Between the daytime panels and the nighttime shows, I learned a great deal at this year’s Dfest:

  1. The personal touch—phone calls, handwritten thank-you notes, in-person introductions—beats out email or a form letter any day. (Taking Care of Business Part 1)
  2. Have a plan—a list of things you want to accomplish related to your music—every day when you wake up. (Taking Care of Business Part 2)
  3. Think of a local contest you can have to create a buzz and increase web traffic. (Blog Marketing: Blog Buzz – Welcome to the Social)
  4. If you’re looking to secure sponsorship for your band, first make a list of everyone you know and how they can help you; don’t be afraid to network…but do your homework first. (Radio, Press & Marketing: A Closer Look)
  5. Tulsa in late July is very, very, very hot
  6. Ghostland Observatory is as good as people say—and not as good. Extending a three-minute song into a 20-minute extended jam session is perhaps not the best way to entertainment people with short attention spans (like me).
  7. Stick to the indie artists, especially those recommended by industry friends: Paper Route, Cheyenne and The Uglysuit were all impressive and entertaining bands.
  8. An exception must be made for the above-mentioned Uglisuit: While the music was an interesting blend of indie rock, the long-haired bassist who kept flipping his hair was far too hippie for the sound…or for my tender eyes.
  9. St. Louis bands were well represented (hooray!). Though I didn’t catch them all, I saw noteworthy sets by The Feed and Tell Tale Heart.
  10. Hometowners The Effects brought the rock to rock ‘n’ roll, putting on a blistering set on the main stage before headliners The Roots.
  11. Another local band, Cecada, absolutely packed the house for their Saturday night set; too bad a late (10 minutes) start and broken bass string (really? stop in the middle of your set and waste time changing it?) marred what should have been a crowd-pleasing set.
  12. Did I mention yet how hot it was? The heat index was well over 100 degrees both days, with not a cloud in sight. Even walking from club to club proved an exercise in dripping sweat. | Laura Hamlett

Photos: Ghostland Observatory, The Effects, Tell Tale Heart

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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