What do you get when you bring together 15 bands, a panel of 7 judges and a charity for 3 nights at Cabaret Lion D’Or? You get BANDSTAND : a Hot Soupe of musical wonder that leaves you wanting more.
BANDSTAND was the brain child of the dynamic duo: Jess Svoboda and Jesse Creatchman, creators of Hot Soupe and the music blog “Soupe Kitchen”. The three day showcase was a musical extravaganza with a great cause: raising money for the “Just For Kids Foundation“.
During the intermission of day 2, I had the chance to have a quick chat with Hot Soupe founder Jesse Creatchman about how Bandstand came about, and the inspiration behind it.
So how did Hot Soupe start, and what is it all about?
Well it’s actually a very simple story. I was at school and in my last semester I had to write a business plan. I didn’t know what to write about. I’m a musician, played many shows and I know many musicians in Montreal; I’m aware of the community. So I did my best to think of a good idea for a night that would work for everybody. So I tried to think of a way to bring together a multi-demographic audience and music. The charity, “The Just for Kids Foundation” is a great cause, and there is a lot of support for them. By doing that, and mixing it with music, which is something that everybody loves, we were able to come up with this concept. Bandstand is essentially a “night out” that gives everyone a good time, and is good for everybody.
Is this Bandstand’s first year?
This is the first year. Hot Soupe essentially came out of the idea for Bandstand, which was developed after 6 months of prep. This is our first rodeo.
This is one hell of a Big Bang for a first time!
Bandstand, like I said, is good for everybody, but for Hot Soupe, it’s our coming-out party!
So how did you find the bands/musicians for Bandstand? Did they come to you, or did you seek them out?
Funny story. I needed a website for Bandstand so I registered hotsoupe.com. Then I needed the funds to build a website and found out that blogs are free! So I built a free blog. Then I needed to create content! So I went out to a few shows. I didnt go out on purpose, whenever I was at a show, I just wrote about it. I hooked up with a few promoters; Indie Montreal give us a chance and let me in for free. So I published some posts, brought on some journalists and photographers, and that’s how the “Soupe Kitchen” blog started. The blog is soley live music coverage. That gave me the opportunity to find the bands and we picked everybody.
And how did the judges/panelists come along. Coz this is quite the panel of judges.
We wanted to get a large scope of the music and entertainment industry. I think the musicians on the panel have a lot to say that the bands can use, but I also think that radio hosts, and labels such as Secret City Records and Club Roll Music, have a lot of insight to offer the bands, and much more than they realize. We put together a young bunch of panelists who are all from Montreal, and I think with the charity, we had a vision of what we wanted for the night, which we pitched to them. They understood and in the end they went for it and came onboard.
When you were promoting the night, what were people’s initial reactions?
Uncertainty! Seeing is believing, you know. But in the end, based on the first 2 nights, I’d say most people trusted us. Our key was organization. It has been 6 months of organizing and I wish we had a extra few hours. There are a lot of musicians at Hot Soupe, and our slogan is “For Musicians, By Musicians”, so the musicians we brought onboard trusted us.
As Leonard Bernstein said “to achieve things you need a good plan and not quite enough time”. Given the turn-out this time, how do you envision Bandstand going forward and will the format continue?
I’d like to keep this up. I’d like to vary it, I dont want it to become stale. The next one will be quite different. Bandstand was one idea and I’d like to bring different ideas to the next one.
What is the greater vision of Hot Soupe?
Its really about helping artists. With Hot Soupe and with Sofa: an underground venue we opened up, it’s all geared towards the individual in the multi artist development. At Hot Soupe, we are in it for the artist community, and the musicians and what the audience will respond to.
What are the lessons learned from the event so far?
Let’s just say we had an excellent turn out on the first night. We did have some kinks with a couple of technical issues, but it was a great night. But I tell you, I would have never believed how smoothly the 2nd night would have gone. We have a great crew, an amazing team, and everyone has been so supportive.
Patrick Krief, Tim Fletcher, Josh Trager, Joseph Donovan, Jay Walker, Terry Dimonte, Bilal Butt, Secret City Records, Club Roll Music
Adam Strangler, Strawn & Moon, Hellbound Hepcats, Belgrave, River Jones, THE 444S, Daniel Isaiah, Heirloom, Justin Saladino Bands, The Comedy, First You Get the Sugar, Life In Winter, Po Lazarus, Erik Lind & The Orchard, Diamond Bones, and David Simard
So this is essentially the first year of Bandstand?