Music Festivals: Creating New Communities for a New Generation

January 25, 2013, 12:30 P.M. - 9:30 P.M.

Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre/Frank Sinatra Hall, 3507 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90007

The Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities @ USC, the USC Libraries, USC School of Cinematic Arts, and Visions and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative invite you to attend

Music Festivals: Creating New Communities for a New Generation

12:30 P.M. - 9:30 P.M.

Friday, January 25th, 2013

3507 Trousdaly Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90007

About Music Festivals:
Creating New Communities for a New Generation

The recent popularity of music festivals is dramatic and global, and flies in the face of the woes of the music industry, the tough economy and the rise of virtual communities.

From a two-day festival in 1999 that drew 25,000 people, Coachella has expanded to sell-out crowds of more than 80,000 for each of six days, spread over two weekends. Lollapalooza, which began in 1991 as a farewell concert organized by Perry Ferrell of Jane’s Addiction, is Chicago’s largest music event of the year, with lineups of more than 140 bands. It has expanded to South America, with Lollapalooza festivals in Santiago, Chile and São Paulo, Brazil. At the venerable Newport Folk Festival, a staple since 1959, tickets starting selling out in 2011 – a first in its history. Bonnaroo, South X Southwest, Pukkelpop and Glastonbury draw music pilgrims from around the world. Electronic dance music festivals play in packed venues everywhere.

At USC, Visions & Voices is sponsoring a one-day film festival and panel discussion on Friday, Jan. 25 that looks at this phenomenon. “Music Festivals: Creating New Communities for a New Generation” has been organized by the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities @ USC, the USC Libraries and the USC School of Cinematic Arts. All events will be held in Norris Cinema Theatre.

The panel discussion, held at 4:30 p.m. and moderated by popular music scholar Josh Kun of USC Annenberg and the American Studies department, will include a creator of festival environments (Dede Flemming, a founder of The Do LaB), a festival producer (Simon Rust Lamb, COO of Insomniac Inc,), a booking agent whose bands play festivals (Amy Davidman of The Windish Agency) and a festival tastemaker (Jason Bentley, KCRW’s music director).

They will be looking at questions such as:

What meaning do festivals hold for a new generation in the age of social networking and virtual friendship? As forms of listening changed over the last decade, what have those changes meant to music festivals? Can music mobilize a culture – as it did for an earlier generation?

Three documentaries about music festivals will be screened that day, from oldest to newest. At 12:30 p.m. will be Monterey Pop (1968), a film by D. A. Pennebaker that captures performances by Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe and the Fish, The Animals, Simon & Garfunkel, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, the Mamas & the Papas, The Who and Jimi Hendrix, who set his guitar on fire at the end of “Wild Thing.”

Immediately following at 2:30 p.m. will be a screening of Wattstax (1973), a documentary by Mel Stuart on the community of Watts and the 1972 Wattstax festival, held at the Los Angeles Coliseum, that was called “the Afro-American answer to Woodstock.” Jesse Jackson gave the invocation and musical acts such as Isaac Hayes and The Staple Singers are interspersed with interviews with Richard Pryor, Ted Lange and others.

At 7 p.m., the final film, Electric Daisy Carnival Experience (2011), will screen, followed by a Q and A with the film’s director, Kevin Kerslake, and Simon Rust Lamb of Insomniac, Inc., which produced the festival. The documentary covers the 2010 electronic dance music rave held at the Coliseum, which featured more than 150 electronic artists, including Deadmau5, Above & Beyond, and Moby. After an unexpected mob at the premiere prompted police to close Hollywood Boulevard, its theatrical release was cancelled by nervous theater chains.

Schedule of Events: 

12:30 p.m.: Screening of Monterey Pop (1968)
Directed by D.A. Pennebaker, 79 minutes.

A concert film from the June 1967 festival held at the county fairgrounds in Monterey, California. Camera operators include famed documentarian Albert Maysles. The film includes incredible performances by Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe and the Fish, Simon & Garfunkel, Otis Redding, The Who and Jimi Hendrix, who set his guitar on fire in an unforgettable performance.

2:30 p.m.: Screening of Wattstax (1973)
Directed by Mel Stuart, 98 minutes.

“The Afro-American answer to Woodstock” was held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and focused on the community of Watts. Jesse Jackson gave the invocation, and musical performances by Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers and others are interspersed with notable interviews, including one with Richard Pryor. 

4:30 p.m.: Music Festivals: Creating New Communities for a New Generation
Panel discussion with Jason Bentley, Dede Flemming, Simon Rust Lamb and Amy Davidman, moderated by Josh Kun

A panel of experts will discuss the music-festival phenomenon: Dede Flemming, co-founder of The Do LaB, a Los Angeles–based company specializing in interactive environments, event production and creative lighting design for festivals and events around the world; Simon Rust Lamb, a music writer, lawyer and COO of Insomniac, Inc.; Amy Davidman, a booking agent with The Windish Agency who works with rock bands playing festivals around the world; and moderator Josh Kun, a professor at USC Annenberg who directs the Popular Music Project at the Norman Lear Center.

6 p.m.: Reception, Queen’s Courtyard 

7 p.m.: Screening of Electric Daisy Carnival Experience (2011)
Directed by Kevin Kerslake, 97 minutes.
Followed by a Q&A with Kevin Kerslake and Simon Rust Lamb

This techno and house music rave was the last one held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Featured acts included Deadmau5, and Moby.

About the Panelists

DEDE FLEMING, Co-Founder, The Do LaB

Dede Flemming, along with brothers Jesse and Josh, are the founders of The Do LaB, an event creations company based in Southern California that produces the annual flagship event,  Lightning in a Bottle Arts and Music Festival.  Dede focuses most of his attention on leading the operational, political and logistical components of the festival from year to year as well as other creative projects and environmental spaces that The Do LaB curates, including stage and art areas for Coachella, Boom Music Festival and beyond.

JASON BENTLEY, Music Director, KCRW: Host, 'Morning Becomes Eclectic'

Reflecting on a lifetime of music, Jason Bentley is still listening carefully, with a youthful anticipation of that next brilliant sound. "I have always been fascinated by the power of music, from translating the most intimate moment to commanding the masses, it's a profound connection between us all. It's with respect for that connection that I approach my work every day."

For Jason, that work includes serving as Music Director of KCRW and host of their signature program Morning Becomes Eclectic, as well as a distinguished career as a Music Supervisor for film and advertising, and an exhaustive DJ schedule in bohemian Los Angeles. Bentley is a tireless champion of new music and culture with an influence close to home and around the globe.

"I think being passionate about music is fundamentally what enables me to be successful. I'm driven to share that excitement, whether it's DJing at an art exhibit, working on a film project, or broadcasting from the radio station every day. It gives me a sense of purpose." That purpose has taken shape growing up at KCRW, beginning as a phone volunteer the Summer following high school, scoring a nighttime air shift in 1992 with Metropolis running for 16 years and, more recently, being promoted to Music Director of the station.

Jason is no stranger to the business side of music, having worked in A&R at Maverick and Island Records, music supervising the Matrix trilogy, and consulting for countless advertisements, video games, and live events. "As a natural extension of DJing, music supervision allows me to apply my ideas to different formats. The reward is in seeing things develop and flourish in the mainstream." One of his most recent projects is the highly anticipated TRON Legacy score, on which he worked with Daft Punk. "I think of myself mostly as a facilitator, coming up with ideas, discussing them with artists and managers, and hammering out a way forward."

Jason's DJ itinerary is as busy as ever, with recent sets at Coachella, elite industry Oscar parties, and underground dance clubs. "I like to stay in touch with the artistry of live DJing along with everything else. It's such a creative wellspring for me." While acting as the music director of the station where he’s grown up – literally and figuratively – is a challenging task, Jason is devoted to leading KCRW’s team of talented DJs into a new era.

SIMON RUSY LAMB, Esq., COO & General Counsel, Insomniac Inc.

Simon Rust Lamb has dedicated his career to producing positive, memorable, one-of-a-kind events.  With over 20 years experience in the live music space, he has navigated all facets of this dynamic business, from legal, press and permit acquisition to venue relations, local politics, crisis management, and collaborations with police, fire, and other public departments.  An avid entertainment observer and scholar, Mr. Lamb has written numerous national articles on arts and media, and teaches Select Topics in Live Entertainment Law for Southwestern Law School.  He champions electronic music culture throughout all of his endeavors.

AMY DAVIDMAN, Agent at The Windish Agency

Amy Davidman has been a booking agent with The Windish Agency for the last six years. In her 15 years in the industry she worked closely with Frank Riley at High Road Touring for five years, with David Lefkowitz at DLM Management doing day to day on Les Claypool/Primus and others, and beginning her career in the booking office at the Mercury Lounge and Bowery Ballroom in New York City.  She opened the Los Angeles office of The Windish Agency 2 years ago after a year living abroad in Santiago, Chile. She works with acts such as Little Dragon, Mexican Institute of Sound, Bomba Estéreo, Caribou, Cut Copy, Pink Martini, Ana Tijoux, Kinky, and José González among others.

FULL ROSTER: A Place To Bury Strangers, Ana Tijoux, Architecture In Helsinki, Bajofondo, Bebel Gilberto, Bomba Estéreo, Caribou / Daphni, Cut Copy, Fool's Gold, Free Energy, Geographer, Helado Negro, High Highs, Holy Fuck, iamamiwhoami, JBM (aka Jesse B Marchant), Jesca Hoop, Junip & José González, Kaki King, Kinky, Ladytron, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Lindsey Buckingham (solo, of Fleetwood Mac), Little Dragon, Mexican Institute of Sound, Micachu, Mr. Little Jeans, Pink Martini, Sandro Perri, Sea Wolf, SMOD, Systema Solar, The Presets, The Sea and Cake, Tortoise

KEVIN KERSLAKE, Director of Electric Daisy Carnival Experience

After appearing in a couple Warren Miller films in his early teens, Kevin Kerslake embarked on a path to emulate Miller and his other childhood hero, Bruce (Endless Summer) Brown, making surf, skate and ski/snowboard films throughout his hormonal years. Upon graduating from Loyola Marymount University’s film program, Kerslake became one of a handful of directors responsible for forging the visual identity of the MTV generation, directing award-winning videos for Nirvana, Green Day, R.E.M., the Rolling Stones, Smashing Pumpkins, Rise Against and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

With a trendsetting visual style infused with the urgency andkineticism of action sports but now working within larger themes, Kerslake’s iconic music video work, in particular, encouraged kids to give their parents the finger and bring the Establishment to its knees. At the same time, he was directing commercials for corporate giants like Nike, AT&T and Coca-Cola (which were subversively filled with subliminal messages that went undetected by the suits).

While Kerslake kept his seat at the table in those shorter formats, his work in longer ones was also keeping kids up late at night. With iconic core culture films (notably Nirvana: Live! Tonight! Sold Out!, The Ramones: We’re Outta Here! and Quiksilver’s Continuum), network dramas (Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich’s sci-fi series The Visitor, and Fallen, a four hour mini-series), plus over two hundred live concerts, Kerslake has consistently had his finger on the pulse and shown a remarkable knack for eluding the authorities. In addition to appearing in numerous group and solo photography shows, Kerslake served as cinematographer on several Robert (The Americans) Frank projects, as well as having two pieces of his own included in the Whitney Museum’s Beat Generation and the New America exhibit.

Last year’s premiere for Kerslake’s Electric Daisy Carnival Experience sparked so much rabid fan interest that 10,000 people unexpectedly showed up to the invite-only premiere, prompting the riot squad to pay a visit, as well (with party favors – tear  gas and rubber bullets), forcing a total shutdown of Hollywood Boulevard.

Contact Information

Name: Allison Engel
Phone: 213-740-8556