A fiery Fourth 

'Just a bunch of bands and good times' at Pyro Fest

Twenty-three performers, spanning a bucketful of genres from punk to blues, country to hip hop, jazz to rock ‘n' roll. And you've probably never heard of any of them.

The idea behind Saturday's 12-hour Pyro Independent Music Fest, says organizer Jon Darling, is to showcase those bands and artists that don't play regularly at the same old downtown nightspots. "They put on great shows," Darling says. "But they're always like the opening acts."

Pyro Fest, at Café Loco on Tybee Island, is the sort of free-spirited music event Darling - one of the founders of Savannah's hip hop collective Dope Sandwich - thinks the area desperately needs.

"There aren't a whole lot of gatherings like this," he says. "There's no just let loose, free-for-all type days where it's just a bunch of bands and good times."

That's the main reason there are no "headliners," acts with a rabid audience that will come to Café Loco, then leave the party when their favorites have finished their set.

Darling and his cohorts personally invited a few performers they were especially enthusiastic about, and then issued a "Call to Artists" for musicians interested in fleshing out the bill. About half of the acts are based in Savannah; the rest come from Florida, the Carolinas and (in a couple of cases) even farther afield.

Dope Sandwich and its co-producing partner Insomniac Sound put on the Taste art event at the M.E.A.T. building in April. That event drew more than 1,000 people.

Pyro Fest - on purpose - is the polar opposite of the Savannah Music Festival, The Savannah Jazz Festival and other such multi-act events.

"Savannah doesn't have this type of thing that reaches out to the locals - it's always out of town acts," Darling believes. "They try to appease the tourists and completely overlook the fact that there's a lot of original groups around here.

"And the problem is, once those local bands get good enough they leave town. They have to leave because they're just not getting enough support behind them."

The bands will perform on two stages - one indoors, one outside - with no sound ordinances threatening to cut things short or crank down the volume. There'll be vendors, a graffiti wall and other delights.

"It's really just an excuse to party," Darling enthuses. "No matter what time you come, there's gonna be a live band going on. Food, drinks and a bunch of friendly people."

 Pyro Independent Music Festival

Where: Café Loco, 1 E. Highway 80, Tybee Island

When: 3 p.m. Saturday (until 2:30 a.m.)

Admission: $8 per person

Online: www.dopesandwich.com


Outside (starting at 3 p.m.): Soul on Fire (Savannah), Honey Chamber (Jacksonville, FL), Kid Syc (Savannah), Chicken and Whiskey (Jacksonville, FL), Tough Junkie (Jacksonville, FL), Dali Drama (Charleston), Seeds of the Revolution (Savannah), Cymarshall Law (New Jersey), The Union of Sacred Monsters (Savannah), Sinister Moustache (Savannah), Unnamed (Savannah), Dead Man's Waltz (Mayport, FL)

 Inside (starting at 6 p.m.): Dinko's Bones (Savannah), S.A.M. (Savannah), Julian Anjuan (Savannah), Mike Lowry Band (Savannah), Mr. Al Pete (Jacksonville, FL), Hakusai (Savannah), Projekt Lotus (Greenville, SC), Stoned Rejects (Savannah), Central Intelligence (Shippensburg, PA), Chris Cannon (Savannah), The Memphibians (Jacksonville, FL)






About The Author

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung was Connect's Arts & Entertainment Editor from May 2009 to August 2014.

More by Bill DeYoung


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