"Talkin' KanawhaPalooza With Brad"

by Bobby Torres
Sponsored In Part By
Try Me?

Well, another year and another KanawhaPalooza has passed. The event, in its third year, held in Kanawha, WV on January 19th and 20th, is the brainchild of Robert (Brad) Bradley. Brad, who was recently elected V.P. of local 136 of The American Federation of Musicians in WV, told me the story.

After coming up with the idea, he presented it to his localís president at a meeting. He said, "They were behind it from the start." Just at about the same time, they were approached by the Ronald McDonald House to help raise funds for their cause. That was the beginning!

The first KanawhaPalooza was held at the areaís Civic Center and featured seven bands out of about 23 applicants; it also included merchant exhibits. After that, Brad decided for the next one it might be good to have representatives of the industry do some seminars and workshops to give anyone interested the opportunity to get educated. The only logical venue to be a host was the Charleston House Holiday Inn; they had conference rooms, and because of proximity he could also still have the bands. The Holiday Inn is located within walking distance of five local clubs that expressed interest in participating. Knowing that the seminars would probably not be of interest to the average music fan, it was perfect. Since he now decided to include performers from outside the area, they, along with the industry speakers, could stay at the hotel with easy access to all the events offerings. By now, he also got the interest of local radio and TV and private and corporate sponsors. The band submissions had also grown to about 83.

This year's KanawhaPalooza was no different. The band submissions were now over 100 -- more sponsors, embraced by local media, exhibitors, industry reps, and acts from Toronto to Florida. "I expect that it will grow even more," Brad told me. With seminars including "How to Start Your Own Record Label," "How to Protect Your Music Rights," "Using the Internet to Promote Your Music," etc., with panelists including managers, promoters, music attorneys, and publishers. The acts would also run the gamut from country to core. Seven clubs, the WVSC Capitol Center, and the Charleston House would provide the stages for what was now 31 acts. Everything was well attended, and everything went well. After all was said and done more money was raised this year than in the two previous ones.

Brad is already busy on next year's event which is expected to be even bigger.

If you would like to participate or send in a submission to perform, you can send submissions to Brad at: KanawhaPalooza, c/o AFM Local 136, 1562 Kanawha Blvd. East, Charleston, WV 25311. (Everyone is encouraged to submit.)

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