The upcoming Crucial Fest, hosted by Exigent Records, will feature more than 60 local and national bands from the harder end of the musical spectrum, all playing over the course of five days at different local venues.
Jarom Bischoff, festival organizer and owner/operator of Exigent Records, said that he hopes that the advent of this festival marks the beginning of a new era for both Exigent and the Salt Lake hard rock/ hardcore scene.
Bischoff, who bought the label last year from founder Colby Houghton, said the amount of talent and support in the scene warrants more attention from the community-at-large, and hopes that cultivating a long-running, home-grown festival will produce the spark that sets the whole scene aflame.
“There’s not a festival like this here, and there should be. There are so many good bands here in Salt Lake. Utah has a really good music scene and has fans that support both touring and local bands. It just makes sense,” said Bischoff.
Bischoff explained that the festival is laid out so that each night has a different theme to it—some more focused on punk, others focused on hardcore, and other nights will feature other avenues of Salt Lake’s hard rock scene. Bischoff explained that the nighttime shows will be much harder than the main event Saturday afternoon at Liberty Park, which features the more accessible groups in the lineup.
In addition to the 23 bands playing on three stages in Liberty Park that Saturday, Bischoff explained that a variety of local artists will be peddling their wares at the festival; along with companies that have played a role in the fostering of local music.
Exigent Records was founded in 2004 and made waves in the hard rock scene with the release of the Salt Lake band Gaza’s debut EP, East. Gaza’s popularity soared and the band went on to larger labels, but Bischoff said that this release was the catalyst that set the label rolling, and for Exigent to press forward and do more for the scene, working with bands like Loom and Accidente (pictured above). Bischoff said that the role of Exigent in the local scene has grown and that the majority of the larger independent hard rock bands from the Salt Lake area have released material on the label.
According the Bischoff, the scene that he is trying to bolster is vivacious, but still a bit disjointed. By holding Crucial Fest, he aims to change that.
“The scene is around, it’s just not very unified. People don’t all go to enough of the same shows but a festival like this could definitely energize it,” said Bischoff.
The festival kicks off on June 15, and runs nightly through the 19th. Concerts will take place at The Urban Lounge, Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Bar Deluxe, The Shred Shed, Kilby Court, the U of U Graywhale Location, and Liberty Park on Saturday. For a full concert listing and more details, visit the festival home page or find the fest on Facebook.