Kansas City is a world-class destination for entrepreneurial musicians and artists hoping to hit high notes in business, said Dominic Roy.
“I’m a singer-songwriter who’s trying to make it. I don’t want fame or glory or anything like that. I just want people to relate and I want people to feel what I’m trying to say and I want to feel them feeling me,” Roy, founder of the Dominic Brian Roy Band, said of why he’ll play a free gig Saturday at PorchFestKC — states away from his home in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
“I honestly think just coming up [to Kansas City] is gonna help me out. I might be able to find somebody who knows the places I can play a gig or I might just meet like-minded folks and listen to some music,” he said, noting that each PorchFestKC performance pays its artists in value — which rivals cash.
PorchFestKC is a one-day music festival across three Midtown Kansas neighborhoods wherein 152 bands are expected to take the stage on 68 residential porches. Artists are paid only through tip donations from the crowds.
Click here to find out how PorchFestKC comes together.
Click here to view a full list and maps of porches at PorchFestKC 2019.
“I want people to connect and relate through my music … and I’m excited to come out and play somewhere different [to see if that happens],” Roy said.
Like the Arkansas artist, the duo behind Deucharme-Jones — a husband and wife act from Des Moines — is also excited to tap into the Kansas City music scene by playing at PorchFestKC, they said.
“We’re kind of new to the Midwest and we haven’t gotten down there to play,” said Annie Deucharme, detailing the couple’s recent move from Austin, Texas, to Iowa.
“Hopefully we’ll connect with some other folks and start working on making some return trips [to KC], maybe play PorchFest next year too,” she said. “We were thinking about maybe bringing our electric guitars and doing a little jamming at Knuckleheads the next day.”
With chords and connections, festivals like PorchFestKC might seem like fun, local celebrations, but to performers like Deucharme-Jones, such events are networking opportunities that could take their business to the next level, noted Dave Deucharme.
“It’s pretty much what we do for a lot of our living. Fortunately for us, our band sort of started to catch fire and have a life of its own [in Iowa],” he said, citing local festivals as a marketing springboard.
“When you start a business, word of mouth catches on and people start showing up and that’s exactly what’s been happening for us. And we couldn’t be more thrilled,” added Annie Deucharme. “We’ve had just amazing support from Iowa and the music community. Venues have reached out to do bookings. We haven’t had to do a lot of that. They’ve found us.”
Such reach landed the duo on various radio stations across the country earlier this year, they said, offering an example of how playing a single gig can set an artist down a path where potential snowballs into real success.
Finding opportunity through PorchFestKC is just the beginning for a budding act realizing its entrepreneurial dream, added Derek Tarwater of The Woodsmiths — a Columbia-based band that will play PorchFestKC for the second time.
“I have value as an artist — more than just being able to write songs and perform. There’s actually a tangible dollar amount you can put on your craft to some extent,” Tarwater said of the realization his band could become a business.
“I don’t think anyone’s really making a lot of money in my area that I know personally. No one’s driving nice cars and living in fancy houses and stuff [but the opportunity is real],” he added.
Although it’s free, playing PorchFest could help Tarwater and his band secure return trips to Kansas City — making them money in the future, he noted.
“The Columbia music scene is kind of trash, honestly. Everyone’s real petty with each other and it’s all super competitive. There’s only two venues to play at,” Tarwater said of why he band hopes to establish a stronger reach in Kansas City through PorchFestKC.
“PorchFest is just a really cool vibe and it seems like people are there to appreciate the music,” he said. “There’s no admission or anything, it’s not one of those types of festivals where It’s all people trying to make money.”