GROOVE U was started and is run by veteran music industry professionals, and is a revolutionary music career program built on a creative campus. Everything they do is guided by the principles that the music industry is creatively engaged, apprenticeship based, and relationship driven. For more, you can visit them here.
The people at GROOVE U created a battle of the bands called Instaband. Imagine the best high school band in central Ohio winning a recording contract complete with a professionally mastered EP, music video, website, booking support, merchandise and mentoring with a music industry pro. That was the grand prize for the winner of the GROOVE U 2013 Instaband contest.
There were three semifinal rounds – East, West and Central. The top three bands from each semifinal advanced to the final round, along with one fan-voted wildcard band. The Instaband contest benefited three music-centric Colubus-based nonprofit organizations which instill appreciation of music in youth and young adults every day. Proceeds from ticket sales were equally divided among the Dick & Jane Project, Music Loves Ohio and Through Mind’s Eyes.
I was contacted by GROOVE U to be a diamond sponsor for the Instaband contest. My responsibility is to create a merchandise rollout for the winning band. I was flattered to be asked, and jumped at the chance to combine my two passions, design and music.
Having experience designing merch for the Jared Mahone band, and others, I thought it appropriate to set up my booth like a band would set up their merch table. My wife, Krista, and I took all the merch I designed for Jared Mahone and set up our booth. I took my business cards, a one-sheet about page for my design, and an iPad with my website for the center of the table.
I wasn’t quite prepared for such a large influx of people, but the place was packed each night. I was even more surprised to hear how great some of these high school rock bands were! Congratulations to A F(r)iend In Me, Christopher Robin, Hollywood Red, Midnight Coast, Mirror Image, StereoDrift,Underground Magic, Under The Docks, Viktor Lillard, and We Got Caught for making it to the finals! Special congratulations to the winners, A F(r)iend In Me, from Groveport Madison High School. I’m looking forward to designing your new merch rollout.
I had a great time meeting all the bands and getting to know the vendors. Thanks to Dwight Heckelman, Founder/Director of GROOVE U for asking me to be a part of this great event. Thanks also Ann and Sarah for working directly with me during the process.