Like any good holiday involving alcohol, music and deeply buried resentment, July 4 in the Orlando music scene this year is marked by great bands, big smiles and gritted teeth.
For four years, Post Records honcho Chris Cucci booked, organized and practically hand-built the annual I-4 Fest, a celebration of local indie sounds with a truly communal, beer-soaked atmosphere, at Austin's Coffee. This year, in a surprise turn of events, Cucci pulled up stakes and teamed with Ivanhoe Village Main Street for a new music festival, on the same day, and brought most of the perennial I-4 Fest-appearing bands with him. For Cucci, relocating to a public venue was a matter of logistics.
"I felt that our event had outgrown Austin's in some ways a couple of years ago," says Cucci, who claims the fest translated to a money loss for him for a long time, regardless of its growing popularity. "I don't have to feel responsible when food or beverage sales are not up to par by other people's standards `at a public venue`, and I am able to provide as much free beer to bands as I want."
Although being outdoors adds innumerable concerns for Cucci — namely weather, though he says there will be plenty of tents to hide under if it showers — it offers benefits like more vendors (Ethos Vegan Kitchen, Copper Rocket Pub, Anthony's Eats and Treats) and various art and merch setups.
Austin's Coffee, meanwhile, has soldiered on with its fifth installment of I-4 Fest, and co-owner Jackie Moore insists there is no bad blood.
"We are very excited to know that Orlando has grown so much in the last few years that two festivals can actually exist," says Moore. "We have expanded our festival to embrace not just music, but a true independent-artist vibe with vendors and other performance art."
Cucci, whose 4th Fest lineup includes everyone from local punks 1991 to Max Green's indie-rock outfit Great Deceivers (both profiled on the following pages), has a more succinct view of the dueling fests: "Hakuna matata."
4th Fest 2010 at Lake Ivanhoe
with Great Deceivers, 1991, Happy Valley, Howlies, Mumpsy, Tooth & the Enamels, Attached Hands, Emily Reo, Bastard Lovechild of Rock & Roll, the Pauses, Watch Me Disappear, Tam Tam the Sandwich Man & the Magical Sugar Cookies, Bob On Blonde, Fine Lady Mustache, Dirt McCoy & the Trailer Park Refugees, Technobox, Dark Sea of Awareness, Death Mites, D003y D3c1mal, Jason Willis & the Renegade Six, the Thunderland Orchestra, Christian Summers, Songs Stories & Pictures: Thunder Hag, A Scissors
1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 4, at Gaston Edwards Park at Lake Ivanhoe, 1236 N. Orange Ave.; www.4thfest2010.com
all ages; $firstname.lastname@example.org