If you love music, this festival deserves your ardent support

by DGO Web Administrator

OK, Durango, here is our chance. When cool things get plopped into our laps, it’s up to us to support them, to devour and savor them.

Ashley Edwards and Jesse Ogle, two of the most dynamic, energetic, giving, hard-working and positive artists in Durango (along with their numerous volunteers, supporters and sponsors), have put together something remarkable. The second-annual iAM MUSIC Fest is back, and it is not to be missed. All we have to do is pony up a relatively slim sliver of cash and listen.

But why? For one, there’s nothing like it around here. Yes, there’s the Bluegrass Meltdown and Music in the Mountains, for two, both great music festivals but quite genre-specific.

The iAM fest is also DIY at its finest. It doesn’t have to exist and only does out of a labor of love. Organizing is not easy, especially with as many moving parts that go into pulling off a music festival, which includes herding more than 30 bands, musicians or acts across seven venues. It’s a testament to Ashley and Jesse, two incredibly vibrant people, who put so much of their energy into an event that enriches the community and makes this a better place to live.

“(We want) to give music to the community that’s different than what you normally hear and provide something that’s real and authentic,” Jesse said. “… and trying to bring all these people together for a really affordable price.”

He’s right about that affordable price. The all-access three-day pass is $30 ($15 for Friday only, $20 for Saturday only) for up to 16 hours(!) of stellar live music is a steal. I paid $30 to hear Robert Earl Kean in Durango. Great show, but it will certainly pale in comparison.

You don’t have to support the festival out of charity but because it’ll be a great experience. I mean, a sample of the genres represented alone should do it for you: ambient cello pop, hip-hop, jazz, experimental, groove, freak pop, disco, funk, Americana, reggae, Afrocuban, North Indian, avant-pop, folk, roots, blues, gospel, soul, elctro-sensual rock ’n’ roll, metaphysical rock. This doesn’t even include the always-amazing Imaginario Circus, the various workshops and lectures, or Jacque the Mime miming about.

“At some point, you’re going to hear something you’ve never heard before,” Jesse said. “Would you seek that out or would you want that to come to you?”

And it’s not just about providing something amazing for Durango, but for the musicians themselves. Durango has its fair share of talented, fun bands and musicians. Not all of them are at the festival, but many are. Two-thirds of the bands are regional and national, and the festival provides them valuable networking opportunities, something Ashley and Jesse have made sure of through the artist panel brunch and the living artist garden.

“There’s these people that we think need to be heard. It’s up to us to try to help them,” Jesse said.

If you can’t go, or if ambient cello pop, hip-hop, jazz, experimental, groove, freak pop, disco, funk, Americana, reggae, Afrocuban, North Indian, avant-pop, folk, roots, blues, gospel, soul, electro-sensual rock ’n’ roll or metaphysical rock is not your thing, do what you can to ensure folks like Ashley and Jesse can continue to spread their love and awesomeness around Durango. Write iAM a check or buy a friend a ticket to the festival. Volunteer at future iAM events. Something.

But whatever it is, do what you can to make sure the iAM MUSIC fest and other special, unique and totally Durango events like it keep happening.

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