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20 Bands, 2 Days: MT Independent Music Fest Takes Over The Boro

Kill City

The 10th Middle Tennessee Independent Music Festival is right around the corner, set for Feb. 23-24 at The Boro Bar & Grill, featuring 20 independent bands from the area.

Unlike most major festivals, one doesn’t have to wait a year for an MTIM to roll around.

MTSU grad Jacob Roberts, a WMTS radio show host, member of the Backwoods Heathens and founder of 373 Promotions, has organized and promoted 10 of these events in less than two years.

“In April, 2011, we did one in Chapel Hill at our guitarist’s house,” said Roberts. We had 7 bands and did it for free.”

In the following months Roberts staged events at The Muse, The Walnut House, Big Jim’s Boobie Bungalow and the Muddy Beaver in his hometown of Columbia, Tenn.

The latest incarnation will kick off at 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 23 and 24, at The Boro.

“It’s five dollars a day, and you get to see 10 bands in one day,” Roberts said. “We’re just trying to pack the place out.”

Similar to the trending theory behind many of the major music festivals, Roberts enjoys involving bands of various genres, in different stages of their independent musical careers.

“There’s metal bands. There’s punk bands. There’s straight up rock ’n’ roll bands. There’s a little something for everyone,” Roberts said of the multi-genre approach. “You may not like screamin’ metal, but maybe you like more proggy-stoner stuff. Or the alternative bands like The Radio Symphonic.

Scott Fernandez

“Scott Fernandez is made of camouflage; he can fit in with any scene,” Roberts said, laughing. “He can fit right in with metalheads or with the artsy, independent rock scene.”

Roberts said it’s all about a spirit of collaboration, not competition.

“It seems like every band where I’m from (Columbia) looks down their noses at each other. It’s like it’s a competition, something to win.”

Roberts said he just wants to see The Boro filled with music fans, and introduce people who may have come to see one band, to nine other good area bands in the same day.

Thirty Three

Saturday, Feb. 23
3 p.m. Intent City
4 p.m. Cove
5 p.m. Tuscarora
6 p.m. ThirtyThree
7 p.m. Soliam
8 p.m. Redline Zero
9 p.m. An Abstract Theory
10 p.m. HeXenbanner
11 p.m. Straight-Jacket
12 a.m. t.b.a.

Sunday, Feb. 24
3 p.m. The Buddy System
4 p.m. Rising From Ruin
5 p.m. Dirty Dee and the Sweaty Meat
6 p.m. Omnivus
7 p.m. The Radio Symphonic
8 p.m. Scott Fernandez
9 p.m. Kill City
10 p.m. Backwoods Heathens
11 p.m. Lobo
12 a.m. Judas Tree

Click here for more on the Middle Tennessee Independent Music Festival weekend

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About the Author

Bracken, a 2003 graduate of MTSU’s journalism program, is the founder and publisher of The Murfreesboro Pulse. He lives in Murfreesboro with his wife, graphic artist and business partner, Sarah, and son, Bracken Jr. Bracken enjoys playing the piano, sushi, Tool, football, chess, jogging, spending time in his backyard with his chickens, hippie music, climbing at The Ascent, bowling, swimming, soup, tennis, sunshine, revolution, defiance and anarchy. He can cook a mean grilled cheese, and can fry just about anything.

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