For those following along to shows in the Upstate you’ve noticed the stellar lineups of regional and local music Future Chord brings to the area. Future Chord’s presented shows at a variety of venue’s including The Radio Room, Dive ‘n’ Boar, IPA, The Soundbox Tavern, and for their inaugural festival The Spinning Jenny in downtown Greer. If it doesn’t exist build it right? That’s just what Future Chord founder Jeremy Theall’s done, presenting a diverse lineup ranging from the angular rock of Art Contest to the pulsating beats of We Roll Like Madmen and plenty in between. The lineup here is adventurous and would do well in any city in South Carolina, but especially has much to offer for Greer.
Get there early because Future Chord Fest features some of the best young rock in the state and a couple of bands who will be the next wave of regional and national noise makers.
We caught up with Future Chord founder and festival organizer Jeremy Theall with some questions about Saturday.
How long have you had the idea for a Future Chord Fest in mind? Has it been something you’ve thought would eventually happen?
Future Chord started as a tiny music blog in 2013 and eventually grew into hosting monthly music showcases around the Upstate at the beginning of 2015. Those shows certainly helped give me the experience and confidence to begin thinking of doing an event like Future Chord Fest. The gears really started turning in January of this year and soon afterwards I began scouting venue locations and putting together a shortlist of bands to perform.
What went into your decision to have it in Greer?
It’s familiar territory for me, as I grew up nearby and studied at Riverside High School in Greer. The Spinning Jenny is a beautiful venue with some cool history — it’s been a roller rink, an Opry house, even a wrestling gym — and they’ve been very supportive of everything that I’ve tried to do with Future Chord Fest.
Would you say it was easier or harder than you imagined to put together a festival?
Definitely much harder, even with previous experience producing smaller events. So many curveballs came up but I feel really good about how things tied together in the end. Being a one-man team, it can be easy to get down on yourself when things aren’t going accordingly — but fortunately I’ve been able to lean on some really solid folks for help, like Wes Gilliam, Dan McCurry, Chris Tollack, Franklin Jones, Taylor Beck and Andrew Oliver.
You’ve got a wonderfully diverse lineup. When you were booking the bands what were you going for?
It was a conscious decision to create a well-rounded lineup in terms of both sound and geographic representation. About half of the bands are from South Carolina while the others hail from Georgia and North Carolina. All twelve have new music out in 2016, which was another key ingredient when curating the lineup. There’s just so many talented acts springing up in our region right now that deserve more attention. Hopefully people walk away with a new favorite band or two, a desire to hear out more local music, and the realization that they can truly have an effect on expanding their city’s scene.
Lineups like this are more common in other cities, but not as much in the Upstate. Do you feel like people are excited about this progressive lineup?
The reception has been incredible ever since Future Chord Fest was announced several months ago. The challenging part is retaining people’s excitement and keeping them engaged until the festival comes around — but I’m proud with how that was handled by announcing the lineup in three different waves and hiding free tickets throughout the city.