April 24, 2017
Reverb Fest returns to Charlotte with its fifth installment and one of the most diverse line-ups yet. Helmed by Phil Pucci, a local Charlotte musician and organizer, the fest was established in 2014 and has showcased a plethora of local talent, as well as acts from cities all along the East Coast. Pucci had been deeply involved in the Charlotte music scene before his move to Portland in 2009, but felt that he had never “done anything to contribute” and started the fest in order to give back to the music community.
The idea was sparked in front of local NoDa bar Sanctuary, where he and his now-fiancé talked the idea over and decided to launch the fest in the wake of local festivals like Recess Fest and Treasure Fest. He credited his fiancé Shirley Griffith with the idea to donate the proceeds to the charity that she was involved with at the time, the Chronic Illness Relief Fund, and from there Reverb Fest grew into what it is now.
The latest edition sports a hefty lineup, featuring local and regional acts such as Alright, Hectorina, and other North Carolina groups like Wilmington’s Infinity Crush. This year’s fest continues the tradition of featuring a few nationally touring groups, most notably Athens-based experimental band of Montreal and the always entertaining singer-songwriter-producer, JMSN. With such a stellar lineup this year, and in years previous, it’s impressive that one guy has booked and organized the events year after year. “I looked for out of town acts first; anything that I’ve been hearing about lately or listening to, anything that’s come through Charlotte that I’ve seen and really liked,” Pucci said. “From there, I shot for the moon and tried my best to get my first choices. With this fest, I got pretty lucky, and most of my first-picks were into it. After that, I just thought of some of my favorite local bands that I wanted to situate alongside those acts, and before I knew it, I had a full lineup.”
After hosting four successful festivals and going strong into the fifth, the question is not whether there will be another Reverb Fest but, instead, where Phil can take the fest from here. Pucci said, “I had the thought that it would be cool to maybe make next year’s fest less guitar-centric and maybe something a little more beat or electronic oriented. Other than that, I’m hoping that we can make next year’s fest something like a two or three-day fest instead of one day…I don’t have any direction in mind as to how big I want to make it, I just have to see what I can pull off.”
Reverb Fest stands as a testament to the talent and diversity that Charlotte and the surrounding areas have to offer and it’s not a fest you want to miss out on. This year, Reverb Fest will be held on April 29, with four shows throughout the day at Lunchbox Records, The Station, Snug Harbor, and Neighborhood Theater. Catch your favorites, discover new bands, local and national in the Queen City.