COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the live music scene, forcing it to adapt or die. Kylie Slabby, creator of Black Mold Booking, experienced this first-hand while trying to plan the fourth annual Barnacle Banger Festival on her own.
“It’s not happening in person anymore, but it was going to be in the biggest venue yet and all-ages, which I guess it’s still all-ages because it will be online,” she says with a laugh. “I’ve seen online stuff done before and I remembered that and I thought, maybe I shouldn’t cancel and just keep trying to pull this off.”
After deciding to move the July 18 festival online (streaming for free at location still to be determined), all the previously booked bands were happy to send in a video rather than perform live. It’s even a better option for Los Angeles-based band Egg Drop Soup, which will no longer have to make the trek to Tulsa. “They’re friends of mine. I love them so much, and I’m happy they’re going to be a part of it. I’m really excited for Tulsa to be introduced to them,” Slabby says.
That isn’t the only pro of the festival moving online; Slabby says it gives her space to make it bigger and better. She is still adding bands to the lineup, which includes locals like Graveyard Party and Slabby’s own Ramona and the
Phantoms, as well as out-of-towners Remains to be Seen and Kill Vargas from Wichita, Kansas. The genres of music performed will span the spectrum, including electro-pop, rock and acoustic.
Since bands are submitting their own performance videos, there is space for them to show personality and a different side of themselves. Viewers can see what their practice spaces are like, for example.
“I think it’ll be cool and different because I don’t know what kind of sets bands are going to submit. It might be more acoustic or like a different style, or it might be how they normally play,” Slabby says. “So it’s definitely going to be a lot more unique.”
Slabby is excited to see how the festival takes shape for its first year online. She’s also proud to put on the festival for another year all on her own.
“When you put on something successful it just feels really good afterward,” she says. “I’ve met so many bands and people across the country because of it — people who are my friends to this day. People who have helped me when I go on tour with my band, so it’s really cool to have that.
“I’m just looking forward to continuing. Not giving up. It’ll be nice to have another year I can say that I’ve done it.”