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Gavin's Underground

Utah Music Festival

by Gavin Sheehan
- Posted // 2009-08-27 -

Festival season is starting to wind down, but not before some of the more local-driven ones take their turn to showcase the finest Utah has to offer. Starting this weekend up north.
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The Utah Music Festival kicks off this Saturday at the Ogden Amphitheater, featuring an slew of local artists from reggae, hip-hop, rock, plus DJ's to entertain into the night and urban art galore. All for just $10 the day of. You may have remembered our prior interview with Jason Rodriguez from Studio 801, and he's back to quickly chat with us again about the festival and all that we can expect this year.

Jason Rodriguez
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http://www.utahmusicfest.com/

Gavin: Hey Jason, how have you been since we last chatted?

Jason: I've been doing great. I have been hard at work in the studio and on this years Utah Music Festival.

Gavin: For those who don't know, what is the Utah Music Festival?

Jason: The Utah Music Festival is a celebration of Utah music at its best. The event is held in downtown Ogden at the Ogden Amphitheater on 25th and Washington Blvd. We will have live performances from Hip-Hop, Rock, Reggae, and Acoustic musicians.

Gavin: How did the idea first come about for the fest?

Jason: I've always wanted to put together an event to showcase the best the Utah music scene has to offer. It has been a dream of mine since performing at my first Juneteenth Cultural Arts Festival in 2002.

Gavin: Seeing how you're in Ogden I know the location must make you happy. But was Ogden your preference or were you looking for other venues at the time?

Jason: We were considering venues from Ogden to Salt Lake. We ultimately decided to do the show in Ogden because the folks at the amphitheater loved the idea. They have given us an amazing amount of support and the festival would not have been possible without the help of John Nichols and the staff at the Ogden events office.

Gavin: Last year was the first event, what was it like for you planning and running that inaugural event?

Jason: It was a test of our determination and desire. I actually had quite a bit of help from my investors financially, but it was up to me and my staff to get things put together quickly. We started putting the event together in late April, so we only had four months to get everything planned, organized, and finalized.

Gavin: What lessons did you learn the first time around that you're now applying this year?

Jason: I learned the importance of an early start, four months seems like a long time but for an event of this magnitude it's barely enough. I started earlier this year which actually saved the event because almost all of my staff from last year didn't return, so I ended up doing a lot more work personally. Last years festival turned out great, but I'm more excited to see how this years event goes because I have a lot more personally invested.

Gavin: What artists have you got on board for this year's festival?

Jason: From Salt Lake City- Drop Dead Julio, Emerson Kennedy, Mr.Beny Records, Roots Rawka, Silver Glen, Hogg Boss, Self Expression Music, Bre, Definition, Zayn Jones, C-Note and more. From Ogden- The Smash Brothas, Jebu, Young William, Itai, Young Prod, Soulshakers Music and more to come.

Gavin: Are there any other events or activities we can expect to see there?

Jason: We are going to have a B-Boy battle, Graffiti battle, Hip-Hop dancers, Dj's, and contests and prize giveaways too!

Gavin: Are you currently looking for volunteers for the event? And if so, how can they join in?

Jason: We are always looking for help, for this years festival as well as next year too. Email studio801@mail.com if your interested in volunteering, or message us on MySpace.

Gavin: Is there any last minute stuff we can expect or will things pretty much go as planned?

Jason: We are ready to go! We haven't considered too much last minute stuff, but you never know. You'll just have to come out and see for yourself!

Gavin: Real quick, what's the info people need to know to come check it out?

Jason: The 2nd Annual Utah Music Festival will be held Saturday, August 29th at the Ogden Amphitheater on 25th and Washington Blvd. Tickets are only $6 pre-sale or $10 at the gate, and are available online at our website. You can also get them at the Music Shop located at 158 25th St. in Ogden.

Gavin: Any last minute stuff you wanna plug or promote?

Jason: Soulshakers Presents: The Diverse City - a compilation album featuring some of the hottest 801 hip-hop artists from all over the Wasatch will be releasing soon, so stay tuned!

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