“This definitely isn’t a one-time deal. We plan on growing from here and have already been tossing around ideas for next year’s headliner.”
With Brand New, Cold War Kids, Bad Books and PMToday, 2014 is Ghostlight’s biggest chapter yet.
What made you choose the genre of band’s for the festival?
Well, I wouldn’t say there really is one genre of music at the festival, and that’s sort of the point. We put together a list of bands we feel are in very high demand, whether that be because they’ve never played here, haven’t played here in years, or in PMToday’s case, broke up and are doing a one-time only reunion show. There are similar festivals out there in Dallas, but we are doing things a lot differently than those. We didn’t load up a bunch of stages with a bunch of bands no one really cares to see, with just a few big names at the top. We set out to have exclusive big names and focus on just that.
Where did the name Pegasus come from and why did you choose it for the branding of the festival?
When we were working on this festival in the beginning, we came up with a name that no one else really seemed to like… so one of my partners on the this festival, Robin Phillips (of AEG Live), had the idea for Pegasus. I really liked it and couldn’t believe that I couldn’t find another festival out there that had already taken the name! Pegasus just worked out perfectly.
How would you compare Pegasus Music Festival to others in the DFW/TX region?
Well, first and foremost – it gets really hot in Texas in the summer. Why hasn’t anyone ever considered an indoor festival? With seats? Most festival music goers like to jump around and have a good time, and we have a pit area that holds about 1,000 people just for that. Personally, I like to sit back and be able to enjoy all the bands without having to worry about the guy who is taller in front of me and my legs getting exhausted after ten hours of standing up, all while fighting heat exhaustion and a headache. This is when I decided to change it up a bit and have the option for seating. I’m not saying Pegasus will always be indoors, because the larger it gets, the harder that is to pull off, but it’s a nice difference nonetheless.
Where do you hope to go with this festival in the future?
This definitely isn’t a one-time deal. We plan on growing from here and have already been tossing around ideas for next year’s headliner. I think within a few years you’ll see this at a bigger venue with bigger bands. But I do hope we always are able to find artists that people are truly passionate about, and that no one else is really booking (for whatever reason that may be).
What is your experience in music and what got you into promoting shows in Dallas, Tx?
I’ve been booking in Dallas/Fort Worth as a serious promoter since 2006. Before that, I was in a local band who would rent out venues, hire a sound guy, book the other bands, and take all the financial risk for at least a couple of years… so I guess you could say close to ten if that counts?
My first really big show (at least to me) was in 2007. It was Emery at Fat Daddy’s Sound Shack in Lewisville, TX. There was around 850 people there and it was a big moment for me. I started when I was young and saved everything I could to do bigger shows. I saved just enough to have a little bit of money to fall back on if things didn’t go as planned (which happens to promoters quite often). I branched out and learned every aspect of running a show, including running sound, working the front door, working for bigger companies to learn about advertising, bar-tending, stage managing/loading, and have even cleaned a bathroom now and again. I think that’s helped me appreciate everyone’s jobs and be able to run an event smoothly, since I’ve pretty much done everything there is to do to run one.
How has your passion for shows changed since the beginning?
My passion for it has wavered somewhat to be honest. I think that happens to anyone who has done something a long time. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Sometimes listening to the same-sounding local bands over and over really burns me out, and when people invite me out to see a band play, it’s the last place I want to be with what little free time I have. It’s kind of like if you worked at Six Flags 40 hours a week for the past 8 years, and on the weekend got invited to go to Six Flags with some friends. It’s a really fun place and maybe you love working there, but would you be able to enjoy going as much as someone who didn’t work there 40 hours a week? It’s also hard to go out to shows sometimes without feeling like I should be doing something that involves work.
What really motivates me is giving people an opportunity to come together and enjoy music, regardless of what genre that might be. Additionally, festivals have always been a very big part of what I do and what I keep striving to grow with. Ha! What actually first got me into promoting if I really think about it was watching Wayne’s World 2 and seeing them put on ‘Waynestock’. I was like, “I bet I could book some bands on an all-day event and get people to come out.”
I think Pegasus is really the first time I’ve experienced a true feeling of “I can’t believe this band is playing this show.” If there has been any doubt of if I chose the right career path, that definitely helps remind me why I got into it in the first place.