Pause. Is everyone sure its 2019? Because a festival exists where you pay less than a drink will cost you in some Miami establishments for two nights of live music.
Why are you still reading this? You should literally be purchasing tickets right now. There is a limited quantity available, and even if you don’t go who cares. Its $20 and it supports artists.
Being a business minded woman I was curious on how this could even be a thing. Planning a single day event with a single artist can be a huge task. Steven Rullman, the founder behind Bumblefest created the festival to “showcase as many bands as possible in one night, and on one block so people could discover and sample as many bands as possible for a low ticket price.” Fast forward eight years, and the festival has expanded to be two nights, but kept the low ticket price.
Rullman is also the visionary behind PureHoney. A free printed magazine featuring local businesses and music news that is distributed across South Florida. The magazine will celebrate its 8th anniversary, 96 issues, this year.
Being the creator of the magazine Rullman has had a front row seat to the South Florida music scene. He’s watched it change over the years in a variety of way. “Each county has had it’s moment in the sun” he said. He continuing to say that in his opinion “at the moment miami seems to have the most variety and energy.” Having been in the industry for over two decades he longs for the days before Instagram, the internet and cell phones.
“Homogenization, media consolidation and information overload continue to greatly plague our daily lives, scenes and communities. Personally, if I could go back to pre-internet and pre-cell phone I would.”
While I agree that content consumption, control, and filtering is a challenge the thought of giving up Instagram, Spotify, Snapchat filters, or even access to the PureHoney website makes me shudder.
Learn more about Rullman in the interview below. If you’re thinking about putting together a festival of your own, he’s shared some tips.
Photo of Steven Rullman courtesy of Roberto Badillo Photography
“Despite barely making a living throughout my career, I wouldn’t change much.” Steven Rullman
What is the most challenging part of planning a festival, and what advice would you give to someone trying to plan their own festival?
If you’re looking to start your own festival start small. The biggest challenge is not losing money and finding great bands from elsewhere that are routing your way. Get to planning early. If you get a late start touring bands will have to travel in to play a one-off.
What have been your career highlights or some memorable moments?
I’ve been fortunate to just do what I do for many years. I handled bookings and marketing for Respectable Street from 1998-2006. I booked The Faint, Death Cab, Calla, Luna, Album Leaf, Dick Dale and many others. Despite barely making a living throughout my career, I wouldn’t change much. I’ve had the opportunity to own a record shop and all ages venue, I dj’d a ten year radio program, and put out records by bands I loved. I’ve booked thousands of shows. I’m also proud of the Propaganda concept I launched in 2008 receiving “Best Venue” from New Times two years in a row. The most memorable show there for me was Vivian Girls. Two years ago I helped open Voltaire, arguably the best sounding small venue in South Florida.
If you could bring any artists to Bumblefest who would it be and what is the reason?
Whoa… That list is very long. Lee Scratch was almost this years headliner but they chose to postpone until Spring.
Short wish list: Acid Ghost, Allah Las, Bass Drum of Death, Beach Fossils, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Chastity Belt, Fat White Family, Fidlar, King Gizzard, Mystic Braves, Prince Rama, Luna, New Candys, Together Pangea, Viagra Boys, Wooden Shijps… that’s only about 10% of what I’d love to book.