Thursday May 2, 2013

Editor's note: This will be the final installment in the Banner's Local Festivals series

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The Range mini-golf course is about to become electronica-ly charged. Not to mention an infusion of alt-rock, funk and metal in the form of the first annual MyGlo festival in North Adams, Mass.

The brainchild of North Adams resident Jon Del Sordo -- a.k.a. DJ Elixer -- MyGlo is a day-long music festival featuring local music, crafts, and other entertainment Saturday, May 4, at 1 p.m. at the Range mini-golf course at 1190 South State St., North Adams, Mass.

"There's a lot of good and different things that needed to be brought to the table," Del Sordo said. "Upwards of 90 percent of the artists are local."

The festival, which Del Sordo said is the result of hard work by not just him, but several individuals, was put together in under a month. He hit the streets, began talking to business owners, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts students, and local artists.

"It just all came together so fluid, it was so remarkable," he said. "It's for the community. I just want it to be like a happy environment where we all hang out It's really just hitting all markets of what this town can do."

The idea sprung from a prior event, CityGlo, an electronic dance music (EDM) rave hosted by Desperados in North Adams and starring Del Sordo in his DJ Elixer role, DJ Anonymous, and Sam Boyden -- a.k.a DJ iamsam.

Originally, MyGlo was supposed to be an expanded version of CityGlo, but as more and more diverse entertainment was signed up to perform it became less about EDM and more about the community as a whole.

"It's your festival. That's the idea," Del Sordo said. "I'm excited to see the mix of the daytime audience and the nighttime audience it's going to be a good mesh of people."

While most of the artists are local, a few are from out of the area, such as Ithaca, N.Y.-based group SOLARiS.

SOLARiS is a band that achieves an EDM sound using traditional rock instruments performed live in order to avoid sounding pre-programmed or pre-set like some EDM bands do according to SOLARiS drummer Dan Scott Lyons.

"We want our music and everything we do to have a homegrown, organic feeling," he said. "We take a bit of everything a lot of fusion of different genres including jazz fusion and the incorporation of electronic elements We all come from different musical backgrounds."

To get an idea of SOLARiS' sound, Lyons recommends listening to their song "Nostromo." The studio version of which is 14 minutes long, but sometimes turns into a 30-minute jam when performed live.

SOLARiS' next album, "Neon," is set to come out over the summer. It will feature new tracks as well as remixes of their own songs and songs by their friends' bands.

Another artist from outside the area is Nick Gebo, who goes by DJ Lionheart on stage. This is Gebo's first festival as a DJ, but the remix artist has performed with big name DJs such as Kap Slap and Cyberoptics in his yearlong career.

Gebo began his musical career as a rock guitarist and moved into metal, where he became interested in heavy bass drops. From there he transitioned into dubstep and house music, but lately he's been toying with other styles such as trap, a genre which takes hip-hop samples and underlays heavier bass.

"I've been developing my own style, kind of dancy but also kind of heavy," he said. "I plan on bringing some really heavy dance and dubstep and mix in a little trap in there (to MyGlo)."

The first DJ Lionheart EP should come out in the next few months; he is currently looking for an independent label.

"I really like the idea of the festival," Gebo said. "That it's put on for the people by the people It sounds like a really nice community event."

Growing the festival

Del Sordo hopes to see the festival continue to grow from year to year and attain the feeling of a big festival, but remain made up mostly of the people who are already in the area.

"I really just want it to progress into a community of people. I think it will grow to a camping size festival," he said. "I think it's going to keep growing and growing and growing but it's starting at the ground up. We've had so many awesome people and we've been lucky so far."

Food and drink will be provided by El Coche Taco Truck, Village Pizza, Bratwurst Cart, and The Local. Beer is available for those over 21. Crafts vendors include Thumbspun Jewelry, Clark Candles, and FoundART by Jessica Sweeny.

Tickets are $15 and include one round of mini golf. They are available at the door or through the MCLA Marketplace, Eagle Street Music, and Head Eaze in North Adams. There will be a free van shuttle service for MCLA students starting at 1 p.m.

Andrew Roiter can be reached at aroiter@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @Banner_Arts.