Donna Lenz Wright/The Week
(Published Sept. 19, 2007, 1:54 p.m.)
Alpine Valley Music Theater has been in our own back yard for all of these years, yet we’ve always somehow been on the outside.
Once we decide to attend an event, we’re just another face in the crowd of people from far and wide to see bands many times from other countries.
But last year an Elkhorn woman wanted to make her fiancé, Matt McGuinness,’ birthday one to be remembered and broke that chain with just an idea and a phone call.
“A month after our son (Elijah) was born our house burned down,” said Courtney Waller. “So I wanted to do something really nice for him because he’s done so much for me.”
So Waller came up with the idea to organize a mini-independent music festival of local bands that she knew and/or enjoyed. After getting several bands to agree to perform, she needed a venue—so she started at the top.
“I called Alpine Valley,” she said. “Everything has a price and I figured the worst they could do was say no, not call me back or the price would be too high.
“But they did call back and the price was reasonable, so I went for it.”
Who would have thought it could be that easy to book stages—blessed with the presence of the world’s most gifted talents for decades—with our own gifted talents?
She got six bands and one stage with no advertising and it was a great success, so much so that Waller and friends decided to do it again this year.
“Everybody had such a good time we decided to make it an annual event and take it as far as it can go,” she said.
This year, the now-named music festival—Fall Music Menagerie—will have 12 (and counting) bands on two stages. Some bands are returning for another year and others are newbies, hand-picked by Waller for their family entertainment-targeted array of genre value.
And while the event is locally organized, booked and located, everyone from everywhere is welcome to come and see some of the talent that calls Walworth County home.
“Walworth County has tons of really talented musicians who stay in the area and don’t go on big tours,” Waller says. “We need to pay attention to them because they’re very talented musicians and here all the time.”
Music genres vary and should appeal to all music fans, Waller said, adding that all will be family friendly.
The Fall Music Menagerie is this Saturday, Sept. 22 1-9:30 p.m. at the Alpine Valley Music Theater, 2699 Highway D,
East Troy. Tickets are $20 online at www.fallmusic.org or $17.50 at Bobby Rockets Restaurant & Bar, 6291 Hospital Road, Lyons and Kashmir Music, 200 S. Rochester St., Mukwonago. For more information visit www.fallmusic.org.
Fall Music Menagerie
---Hobie and the Leftovers-blues/rock
---Dave Tamkin and Company-acoustic rock
---Big in Japan-rock/classic rock
---Road Agent Spin-rock
---Last to Begin-indie/acoustic/rock
---Crosswire-rock/Southern rock/classic rock
---Hard Boiled-2007 Mukwanapalooza Battle of the Bands Winners-experimental/progressive/hardcore
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