Inaugural Revival Fest Brings Small-Scale Luxury Concert Experience to Austin


Curated performances. Access to expertise and influencers. Luxe lodging. Even vitamin B-12 pictures within the morning to place a spring in in a single day company' step.

The inaugural Revival Experience, a one-day music fest held Wednesday (March 13) on the sprawling Camp Lucy simply outdoors Austin, went off as marketed. A truth made all of the sweeter given the occasion carried the specter of one other like-minded gathering that didn't fare so nicely.

"The largest concern for us? Fyre Festival," Trey Diller, co-owner with Mike Niam of manufacturing outfit Inspire Productions, advised Billboard seated stage-side underneath the bluest of Texas skies. "I've talked to 200 folks as we speak, and I child you not—each single individual has mentioned one thing about Fyre Fest. They knew we'd put one thing collectively, however they thought perhaps it was going to be one other Fyre. Today they've been saying, 'You guys killed it.'"

The pilot for what Inspire hopes to parlay into an idea it could actually repeat a number of occasions a yr was mild years from the debacle within the Bahamas. Motor coaches transported company from Austin to the venue, the place just a few hundred ticketholders sipped domestically sourced libations, snacked on gourmand bites, perused items from native artisans and mingled in a backyard party-like ambiance. A backyard occasion, that’s, whose leisure was hand-selected by Delta Spirit entrance man Matthew Logan Vasquez and included an acoustic set by Nathaniel Rateliff and performances by Shakey Graves, Patty Griffin and a reunion of Vasquez's most up-to-date band, Glorietta, amongst others.

Delivering on its promise of a free-range fan expertise, with boundaries blurred between company and artists, Revival was greater and boujee-er than your typical home occasion and extra intimate than, say, Willie Nelson's beloved Luck Reunion, which attracts about three,000 yearly to Nelson's close by ranch.

Between units on the primary stage, followers—who paid $497-$547 for a day go—may wander into an onsite chapel to catch a recording session with one of many featured acts. Those who rented a luxurious cottage on the grounds had been handled to unfastened late-night jam classes that kicked off at midnight with the Texas Gentlemen.

The customized expertise, after all, comes at a value. Key to the Revival enterprise mannequin is having a curator, Diller mentioned, each to assist with artist connections and contract negotiations and function a great will ambassador. Vasquez—who was introduced in by former C3, now Inspire companion Haden Shibley—was in from day one, which was solely about 5 months in the past. Revival Experience got here collectively shortly, as Vasquez rounded up an A-list of Texas Hill Country-centric expertise.

"Once we determined what it was going to be, they gave me carte blanche to choose whoever I needed. Of course, my first name was to Nathaniel, as a result of we've been associates perpetually, after which I referred to as Ali [aka Shakey Graves]. And Glorietta made full sense," mentioned Vasquez, whose solo album Light'n Up was launched on Dine Alone Records in late February.

"[We wanted to create] one hell of a invoice and a very relaxed surroundings the place you're not compelled to compete with folks to observe it or be in a scenario the place it’s a must to awkwardly stand in entrance of the stage if you happen to don't really feel prefer it, and it's not a zoo of individuals," he mentioned. "It's an awesome vibe. I'd like to see it go yearly."

"He's giving us an excellent fee on each side of the desk. He's tremendous into it and it's all good," Diller mentioned of Vasquez. "In this trade, in life, it's who you realize. Going by means of companies and expertise bookers, generally you don't even get a response. He was a significant, main position on this."

Even so, the inaugural run, with each cease pulled out, operated as a loss chief for Inspire, largely by design as the corporate strives to assert a brand new area within the crowded competition subject. Of the 500-max capability attendees, together with company, expertise and workers, solely about 200 had bought tickets, with the remaining reserved for invited company. And of the roughly 80 occasion staffers on website, 80 p.c had been volunteers, Diller mentioned.

"We minimize off gross sales at 200, the others had been all the time going to be complementary to trade folks. We needed to get them right here. I don't ever wish to do it this fashion once more, and I gained't ever do it once more, however this can be a child proper now and to have the ability to have a captive viewers… it made a whole lot of sense," he mentioned.

The plan is to woo potential companions. "This is an idea we'd wish to take doubtlessly wherever on the planet," Diller mentioned. "We're already occupied with doing three to 5 subsequent yr." California, Florida, New York and Washington, DC, are on the brief checklist, he famous, though the subsequent Revival Experience could also be near dwelling once more. Inspire is speaking with Texas nation artist Parker McCollum a couple of potential subsequent run. "That's a style we'd wish to faucet into," he added.

But Inspire is pondering greater in geography, if not measurement. Diller cited attaching an expertise to multiday fests like Lollapalooza. The timing and proximity of Revival's maiden voyage to Austin's huge South By Southwest convention and competition was no coincidence.

"Our expertise purchaser has been within the trade for 15-plus years, Haden's been at it eight years and I've been in it for 4—and none of us has seen something like this produced earlier than. This will not be made for each musician, neither is it made for each individual. But sure, we'd wish to take it to any style, and perhaps merge some genres," he mentioned.

With that in thoughts, "We thought, 'Let's invite a whole lot of trade folks to come back expertise it,'" Diller mentioned, citing executives from C3, Live Nation and ScoreMore Shows among the many crowd. The dialog he hoped to have with them would go one thing like this: "'How about it we don't compete and as a substitute, let's collaborate and create?' This is an analogy we've used typically as we discuss to them: In 5 years we'd wish to be on a non-public yacht with 75 gusts paying $100,000 a ticket. But on that yacht we have now Paul McCartney, Elton John and Neil Young. Super intimate."

To additional assist telescope the occasion, Inspire additionally hosted a bevy of distributors. Film manufacturing firm Cinderblock captured the Ian's Chapel recording classes. And in what was maybe a unconscious nod again to Fyre, the staff introduced in documentary filmmakers Backstory to doc the day.

"We're all mic'd up and doing a documentary kind factor all concerning the idea and the expertise, how we're placing this all collectively," Diller mentioned. "We're going to put all of it out like a Netflix doc."