WXPN to Host Kids Indie Music Festival KindieComm
KindieComm is a convention for artists in the family music genre that will help aspiring “Kindie” (kids indie) musicians network with and learn from some big names in the biz. Rookies and veterans of the industry are excited to see a comeback for the event after the Brooklyn version fell apart.
KindieFest closed its doors last summer due to the conflicting schedules of organizers, but Robert Drake and Kathy O’Connell, the producer and host of WXPN’s Peabody Award-winning Kids Corner decided that their 25 years in kids’ radio gave them plenty of experience to take over the show.
“It was sort of surprising to all of us, because the most recent KindieFest in April was their largest attended festival,” Drake says. “Kathy O’Connell and I were in the middle of our 25th anniversary for Kids Corner, so I said, ‘It seems like if anybody’s gonna pick up the dust and build the phoenix from the ashes, it should be us.'”
O’Connell will give the opening remarks at the June 28th kickoff. Other notable speakers include Grammy winner Dan Zanes and Emmy winner Barry Louis Polisar. Robert Drake credits Polisar as the founder of the Kindie movement. “When he first started playing in ’75, librarians and auditoriums actually started kicking him out because his music was too radical for kids. [He was singing] about throwing up in your brother’s stuffed toy bunny and picking your nose. But this was the era when everything was G-rated, be good to your parents’ mentality.”
Polisar’s workshop will complement a lineup of workshops and networking opportunities that take a more casual tone than the goings-on at the now-defunct KindieFest. The breakout sessions will allow the mix of experienced industry leaders (from musicians to booking agents) and new talent the opportunity to find each other and make important professional connections. “The genre gets very little attention,” Drake said. “If I was a musician trying to reach a kids’ market, I would feel like I need to know more. This is a great opportunity to make a lot of contacts and talk to a lot of people and walk away with a lot of information. Hopefully, it would help me expand my career.”
But the best part, if you ask me, is the culminating Kids Corner Music Festival. The grand finale — for industry folk and families alike — will feature performances by fan favorite Dan Zanes (warning- link contains a serious earworm and should be clicked with caution), Latin Grammy winner Lucky Diaz, and the absolutely ridiculous (and lovable) Trout Fishing in America.
The conference takes place Saturday, June 28th. The concert is Sunday, June 29th. You can register for both here: $75 early bird registration for KindieComm until May 1 and the Kids Corner Music Festival is $15 extra. Tickets for just the music festival will be made available to the public (parents and kids) later this spring.