Brent Finnegan -- March 20th, 2008

The Mid-Atlantic College Radio Conference (MACRoCk) is being held April 4 and 5 in downtown Harrisonburg. Independent music fans from all over the region converge on the city for two days of live music and panel discussions. There was no conference last year, but it’s been resurrected this time around, making it the 11th conference.

Today I asked Harper Holsinger, one of the organizers, a few questions about this year’s conference (full disclosure: Harper is a friend of mine).

How does MACRoCk 2008 differ from past conferences?

This is my third year on the committee, second year as a head coordinator, and before that, I attended and volunteered for a number of years. This year’s MACRoCk has been a very different experience compared to years in the past. First and foremost, parting with [JMU] allowed us to reorganize the conference in any way we saw fit. “For the kids by the kids.” The committee formed a full fledged organization to support and deliver the idea of MACRoCk that we all hold so dear.

Increased stress derived from increased liability has been a newfound burden on our shoulders that was not present in the past, but we’ve taken it in stride for the success of such a grand thing. Greater support and participation from the downtown area and local community has really helped to build a new foundation for our conference and has been a product of our commitment to ideal that MACRoCk can exist through the help of grass-roots businesses that believe in college and non-profit radio, proving that independent music lives on without corporate influence. All the hard work everyone involved has put in to reanimate and push conference in a new direction has been a warming experience. It only heightens my excitement for the weekend to arrive.

Do you think canceling MACRoCk 2007 might hurt this year’s attendance?

Like any bump in the road, it slows you down but never stops you. The committee has taken into consideration many things when planning for this year which is slightly scaled back from past conferences. I can confidently state we might be more worried about hitting capacity at certain places rather than a lack attendees.

How is this year’s conference being funded?

Through grants, the help of grass-roots businesses in the local community (and the tiny pockets of seven committee members).

When will the final schedule (with times) be available?

Next week.

If someone just shows up at a venue and wants to see one band or one showcase, is there a way in, or do you have to buy a badge?

MACRoCk offers a weekend badge, a Friday only badge, and a Saturday only badge. We do not sell tickets to individual shows.

Both on Friday and Saturday there will be two locations in which you can purchase tickets on that day. Friday tickets will be offered at Court Square Theater and Garibaldi’s Mexican Restaurant. Saturday tickets will be offered at Court Square Theater and Memorial Hall. Court Square Theater will accept credit and cash where as the other two satellite locations will only accept cash. MACRoCk has never accepted credit the day of in the past and excited about this new opportunity for our attendees that was gained after parting ways with JMU and their business office’s ticketing policies. You can purchase your weekend badge online early and save funds in doing so. For more information about ticketing, check our website.

24 Responses to “MACRoCk Q&A”

  1. Bryan says:

    i’m gettin’ giddy

  2. Annie Hololob says:

    Who’s going to the Valkyrie show? ME!

  3. Jason W. says:

    As an old friend of Brent’s, and as someone who used to live in VA, who has participated in MACRoCk, and who lurks on hburgnews, please forgive my blatant comment spam:

    My friends Auld Lang Syne got accepted to play the MACRoCk Americana set at The Little Grill on Friday night. We’re all driving down from Western NY for the show and I really hope some of you can come out.

  4. finnegan says:

    I’m definitely going to check out Auld Lang Syne at the Little Grill Friday evening.

    And hopefully Unwed Sailor and Maps and Atlases, as well.

    It’s worth mentioning that is, and always has been, hosted by Jason W.

  5. Andy says:

    Many great bands coming — thanks for the links to preview.

    I am very excited to see Black Moth Super Rainbow:

  6. Draegn88 says:

    Once again, no one that I would be interested in seeing.

  7. chrisfb says:

    Sorry they couldn’t get Skrewdriver for you this year Draegn.

  8. Bryan says:

    dudes, let’s start a band. no seriously though. we’re gonna get up early tomorrow and we’re gonna make this happen. and i’m not just saying that cause i’m drunk. meet at my place around 11…

  9. finnegan says:

    I used to be in a band. Same band that Jason W. was in.

    We may or may not have a MySpace page still up.

    I quit doing the band thing for the same reason I quit skating in high school: too much work for not enough payoff… Kinda like blogging.

  10. Lowell Fulk says:

    A great name for your new band would be

    False Papers

  11. Lowell Fulk says:

    Good name for your new group 88 would be:
    Draegn88 undt ze PaK

  12. Lowell Fulk says:

    Talk about the potential for a “Battle of the Bands”…

  13. TM says:

    My band got the big thumbs down from the MacRock powers that be… We found out the day we played on WXJM Live. Maybe next year…

  14. charlie chenault says:

    I think this is going to be a great recurring event. I just wanted to thank Harrisonburg Downtown Rennaisance and its staff for their help on this event. Any yes, this old man is looking forward to it. In fact, thanks to all.

  15. Draegn88 says:

    TM, did MacRock give you any reason for being turned down?

  16. TM says:

    Not that I heard but, not that they need to. My guess is, so many bands apply to play and the idea is to bring in bands that don’t play in the area often… that are probably actually on a label or something.
    Despite the small amount of bands I’ve heard, I’m still looking forward to discovering a new favorite band. Hope I can get into the Black Moth Super Rainbow show.
    And I hope I see Charlie ripping it up in a circle pit somewhere.

  17. David Miller says:

    I too am pleased with MacRock’s choice of venue. I have dreams of Charlottesville’s downtown venue in our future.

  18. Phil C. says:

    I’m glad to see MACRoCk back in town! I always catch one or two acts that I wasn’t familiar with before that become instant additions to my personal rotation at home and in my car.

  19. Phil C. says:

    Oh yeah, and if I can go (gotta clear my schedule), you’ll probably catch me at Blue Nile on Saturday night.

  20. Josh says:

    Here’s a set of links to MacRock bands that have free music downloads available, in case you’d like to sample some music. I didn’t include any links for bands that only offered streaming. And I put this together pretty quickly so please post additions!

    Enjoy! :-)

    April 3 update: The MACRoCk website has links posted now:

  21. finnegan says:

    There’s a feature in this week’s Rocktown about how and why MACRoCk moved from JMU to downtown.

  22. finnegan says:

    MACRoCk gets a mention in Pitchfork today.

  23. finnegan says:

    There’s another MACRoCk story in today’s Breeze.

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