Bill Sundahl is the mastermind behind the annual Crossroads Music Fest. The Pitch caught up with the busy organizer to ask him about this year's local music extravaganza, which takes place on six stages in the Crossroads September 11.
The Pitch: What's new and exciting this year?
Bill Sundahl: Last year was the best yet. Barring a tornado, it should sell out this year. The Safes are coming in from Chicago. We have added a new venue this year: Kansas City Café, across the street from Czar Bar. We have also stopped doing the kids' show this year. It has been one of my favorite parts of the festival to see children dancing, but it just wasn't working out, attendancewise. Last year, a marching band spontaneously erupted, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a repeat.
What goes into compiling a festival of this size?
It encompasses your whole life. I handle the booking, marketing, graphic design, publicity, sponsorship and many other things, right down to putting up posters and distributing tickets to the venues for presale.
How do you balance throwing a festival and having your band, the Columns, play in it?
It can get stressful, to be sure, but it is worth it when I'm dancing in the middle of a crowded venue. Even better: a crowded venue dancing to my music. I have a great band beside me and some new material that I am very proud of.
Are there any cool pre-parties or after-parties?
This year, we have decided to focus on the festival, since I just had a baby girl and knew that would cut into my time. Next year, we are going to a two-day festival on Friday, September 9, and Saturday, September 10.
Assuming you have time to actually check out bands, which ones are you most excited to see?
I don't get a lot of time to stay long at one place, but I am very excited to see the Safes, Dead Voices, and Diverse backing up Les Izmore for his set. Of course, Hearts of Darkness will be a highlight.
How much of the selection process was drawing from bands you know personally?
I make it a point to introduce myself to talented people. For this festival, it is more about great artists than how many people they can bring. I always try hard to not put on the same show every year, and luckily there is always a wealth of talent to choose from.