Justin McCarthy: Valentines's Day was available at The Midway, so it became our anti-Valentine's Day event. Nothing says romance like The Midway. Kellie Cardone: Musicians and bands and love songs…nothing but love songs.
Kellie Cardone: We brought together three acts from the first festival (Chris North, So Sol, and Riding Shotgun) to perform at our now-sponsor Tres Gatos. Margie Nicoll: Just an amazing line-up of some of our favorites and a great night of food and drink at Tres Gatos. Everyone had so much fun!
Shamus: I can't remember who came up with this one. Me? Patricia? I remember meeting with Chris Lohring from Notch Brewing to create their Squirrel Brew that we could sell around JP to spread awareness and make money.
Ferris: In 2013 we worked with Portico for a special batch of Fuzzy Squirrel beer.
Shamus Moynihan: Kind of came out of Sunday dinners at Bethany’s I think. Charlie McEnerney: Lots of people made great chili and we had great music. The square dancing was a hoot, though getting people to square dance in the middle of the afternoon can be daunting…Justin McCarthy: I have no knowledge of this event.
Justin McCarthy: An evening of cover songs from other favorite Boston bands. Everyone had plenty to choose from. Set list is on the Facebook event page. Charlie McEnerney: We thought it was a brilliant name. Then we discovered someone else before us thought it was a brilliant name. Thankfully, Allston is in another country so we won’t be sued.
Justin McCarthy: Rick Berlin came up with this one…it was more complicated at first, with original songs. Rick Berlin: Every night at the Brendan Behan, John Casey (or Adam Wells) plays drums on the bar and/or sings. I told John he should at least front a band once in his life. He laughed and then the Battle of the JP Bartenders (improved name was JP Bar Wars, from Justin) was born and almost over night 11 bars/restaurants jumped in. The point being that in JP and in the bars and restaurants, there is a lot of (maybe buzzed at the time) musical talent. We figured the friendly competition of all these venues would fill up the Midway pronto. Lo and behold it was a smash, sold out, and likely to become an annual fundraiser for us. Charlie McEnerney: The Fireside won, by the way, and they’ll be performing a set at the festival as their prize.
Shamus Moynihan: Randace Rauscher Moore and I were doing a lot of art shows for Centre/South Main Streets and First Thursdays so we took the idea from that and asked tons of local artists for donations. They are very generous to us every year! Justin McCarthy: Randace had been doing art auctions for charity for over 20 years. It’s a great idea and we weren’t ashamed to “borrow” it.
Running a free community event like the JP Music Festival is great fun — even behind the scenes.
The festival itself brings together the people of JP and Boston (and many Brooklinites sneak over the border) to celebrate great, local, live music. Every year the thousands of people who come discover just how much amazing musical talent lives and works in our ‘hood.
As a group of JP residents (okay, a couple of us have migrated to Dorchester), part of the fun of putting on a free community event is raising the money to pull it all off. The committee is led by Rick Berlin and Shamus Moynihan as co-producers and the festival committee is currently Margie Nicoll, Kellie Cardone, Justin McCarthy, Ferris Mueller, and Charles McEnerney.
This year we have an amazing array of local sponsors supporting us (Galway House, JP Licks, Tres Gatos, JP Seafood, The Midway, Sam Adams, Bukhara Indian Bistro, The Goods, The Haven), in-kind sponsors, and we’re holding some cool house parties with food, friends, and live music. BUT we also always raise more than $5,000 every year through smaller fundraising events that lead up to the festival itself.
Chris Helms of Jamaica Plain News recently asked us how we came up with such inventive ideas — many of which get offered up at our Sunday meetings and coalesce as we all pipe in and brainstorm with ways to make the fundraisers perfect — so we wanted to share some anecdotes and stories about how we’ve come up with the fundraisers that we’ve held over the last four years…before we all forget.
Flip through the gallery above for posters from previous fundraisers and commentary from the organizers.