Val's Blog 6.11.17

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 
Some girls wish for a pony. 

Some girls wish for a diamond ring. 

I wished for a music festival with my name on it.



Be careful what you wish for...









                                                                    a note from Val Haller founder/CEO Valslist Music



F or 10 years I've been talking about this bucket list item of mine. 
I've been completely obsessed with the idea and won't relax until I've gotten to do it.  I've stated it boldly to anyone who will listen -- friends, relatives, the guy sitting next to me on the train. And I always describe it the same way:  

Bucket List Item + Why.          

I've talked about doing this for so long that I honestly believe my own story. You'll understand because you've done it too. You know, pretend-dream and brave-brag about something, believing the words that are rolling off your tongue, like you're really going to do this thing, spewing about strategy, details and execution  -- speeding up the discourse as the unlucky listener's eyes glaze over -- you blabber onward with bottomless banter. We all do it: S tand on a proverbial table. Beat a proverbial chest. Proclaim a proverbial pipe dream.  Yep, that would be me. 

And all is good until someone calls you on it. Because sometimes the only bridge between bluffing and bonafide reality is an unexpected phone call.

Let's go back to the bucket list item:
Ever since I launched my music business  (Valslist.com) 10 years ago I've wanted to create a music festival for adults.   Why? Because no one's doing it ... 

Be careful what you wish for.

... My bucket list fest would showcase the newest emerging artists.   Valslist would curate the lineup with hand-picked acts - best of the new (whose sound is reminiscent of the past - with a twist), my venue would be a comfortable setting - that's not too crowded, not too hot, not too loud, not too late, not too remote, not too insane, not too mosh-pit-ish, not too beat-driven, not too teen-run. 
Why?  Because there are enough of those already.  

Be careful what you wish for. 

... My bucket list fest would be for the mainstream music fan - not the rabid super fan who would endure extreme elements to be in the front, claustrophobic, water-depleted, hot & sweaty, boa-constrictive row. I want to provide access for the non concert-goer, in his own backyard, with a killer lineup, and some great but not over-the-top amenities, and feature artists of all genres, with wide age appeal, and offer it for a day, maybe day and a half, and think of everything that I hate about most music festivals and try to prevent those things from happening... 
Why? Because most people are mainstream music fans, not superfans ...

Be careful what you wish for. 

If you're not going to music fests, I will bring my bucket list fest to you. And I will do all of the heavy lifting. I will research and discover the best up and coming talent who's getting buzz in the music industry. I will feature those bands on my playlists, website, mobile app, TV spots, and private gigs to introduce them to you. I'll meet their managers + booking agents and let them know how Valslist is promoting and paying their artists and introducing their music to a brand new audience. I'll book them for my popular Valslist House Concert Series  to get to know the bands, bring them a packed house of 125+ listening guests for an intimate one hour concert, and pay the bands a LOT of money via my artist tip jar (we've raised over $100,000 in six years for starving artists who deserve to be paid and heard.) My bucket list fest will bring those artists together to create a kumbaya-kinda fest by a kumbaya-kinda girl. A bucket list item that's easy to brag about...
Why? Because it probably will never ever happen at my age.

Be careful what you wish for.

Sooo, for ten years I've been minding my own business (mid-dream and mid-life) doing what I do - working on my music startup. It has grown sizably over the years starting as a playlist website, expanding to live events, and a whole lot more. It's pretty crazy busy, this thing I've created, but I wished for it, worked for it, and persevered. Many people, opportunities, ideas, partnerships, luck and serendipity have come my way.  And I've said yes to most of those, figuring I'd figure it all out later. I manage it all, as every obsessed entrepreneur does, with a more-than-occasional breakdown... and in this industry there's an additional fatigue that comes as we watch our beloved artists give us their art + heart + soul - and we watch the industry and the world simply not put them first -- they're not paid enough, we're noisy at their shows, we stream their music for mere cents, and we treat them like a commodity for everyone else's gain... 

This has caused me great angst. 

As a grown up in this industry, I want to change that. I want to put the artist first again. The old school way. Where we buy their music, engage with them on stage, and thank them for their art. I must make this happen before I'm done. I absolutely must. I got the biggest compliment of my entire career by a music manager this year when he introduced one of my house concerts: "Most in this industry put the venue first. Val, a music tastemaker/influencer puts the artist first. Every time." He was referring to my popular house concert series. At my house I only have two requests: listen and engage with the artist during their set, and fill the tip jar on your way out. Everyone does just that. They also swarm the artist for an after show meet & greet and buy tons of merch. This is what grown ups do. I always say we're not your sexy audience (those would be our kids who are talking during your downtown show and not buying merch) -- we're your lucrative audience. The artist needs both.

I've created a music career (monster)  that chases me down 24/7. I'm now buried in business self-help books on how to budget my time and manage schedules. I've got 1000 post-its on my office wall, wake up to my cell phone and work through dinner. I don't get to the gym and set an egg-timer on the hour to stand up and stretch since I read that sitting is the new smoking. I host house concerts and keep bands overnight, I do speaking engagements, TV, radio, and live music most evenings. To save time I dictate all texts now, fully accepting the 15 typos that will render my text worthless - or worse yet -- negligent (or worse yet - sexual: yesterday I dictated the words "band logistics" and it typed "bama just dicks".)  I now read Entrepreneur magazine from cover to cover simply to validate that I'm not the only crazy one, and often read excerpts from said mag out loud to my husband Mark hoping he'll buy into "your loved one is not crazy, all entrepreneurs are like this"  hoping he'll believe it if the magazine says so. Bottom line, I couldn't possibly fit one more thing into this entrepreneurial sado-masochistic ecstasy I've created for myself. 

Then the phone rang. 
And a voice I recognized casually asked, "Val, how would you like to co-launch a music festival in our town this summer?"  I went quiet and I couldn't feel my face.

Why is reality such a buzz-kill?  

The voice on the other end was Scott Myers. Great guy. Retired. Local resident in my town. He's a visionary who spearheaded the massive campaign for Chicago's bid for the 2008 Summer Olympics. His vision and leadership impressed everyone. He has a new vision. It was same as mine. I knew this was trouble. 

How could Scott have possibly known that this is my top bucket list item in the universe (well, second to Fashion Week NYC - shallow I know.)   And after all of the wishing and hoping for this, sadly and ironically, I knew my answer would be no. How could I possibly take on this project?  I could feel the head-trip and back-pedaling begin:  I have negative free time, Mark has forbidden me to say yes to anything else, I'm going to be 60 in June, I'm going to be a grandmother too,  I'm way over my age limit in this industry already, a music fest -- what the hell was I thinking? Then the angst of saying goodbye to a dream began; the years of daydreaming about this, the hundreds of strategic back of napkin designs, the people I've told, the pages of notes I had for my dream fest were fading furiously fast... And with my heart knowing it was a no-go, and my logical brain saying no, I mumbled, yes.
 
may I proudly present:

 
A FREE Music Festival

Lineup Listed Below - click to listen


INAUGURAL YEAR :
PREMIER  BOUTIQUE MUSIC FESTIVAL
WINNETKA ILLINOIS
EMERGING ARTIST SHOWCASE
NORTH SHORE OF CHICAGO :  BEACHFRONT COMMUNITY  
LINEUP CURATED BY VALSLIST MUSIC  : 
5 SPONSORS
WXRT 93 DAYS OF SUMMER : CRAFT BEER : FOOD TRUCKS
4 STAGES : 2 MAIN STAGES
FAMILY STAGE : CHAPEL STAGE (with jazz)
4 INDOOR ACOUSTIC STAGES : STREET BUSKERS  
 
ON METRA TRAIN LINE (Winnetka stop) : VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
BANDS HOSTED BY LOCAL RESIDENTS : FEST PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY
LIMITED PARKING : TAKE THE TRAIN : RIDE YOUR BIKE : WALK 
NORTH SHORE ART LEAGUE ART FESTIVAL (north of fest)
GREAT FATHERS DAY GIFT : ENTERTAIN FRIENDS : COUSINS IN TOWN
INVITE FRIENDS : KID GROUPS : BRING GRANDPARENTS
GRADUATION CELEBRATION : GREAT DATE : EMPTY NESTERS 
INDIE ROCK : FOLK : SINGER-SONGWRITER : BLUES : R&B : SOUL 
FUNK : POP : ALTERNATIVE : ELECTRONIC POP : JAZZ   : RAP
  
AMBIENT
: CLASSICAL : CLASSIC ROCK : PSYCHEDELIC : JAM BAND
MUSIC INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO - "INSTRUMENT PETTING ZOO"

* FRIDAY JUNE 23 - KICKOFF CONCERT 6:30 & 7:30 PM
* SATURDAY JUNE 24 - MUSIC ALL DAY 11AM - 10PM

* SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER here
* BUY A STREET BANNER WITH FAMILY NAME   val@valslist.com
* FESTIVAL WEBSITE   here  
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK here
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER  @winnetkafest
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM  @winnetkamusicfestival

VALSLIST MUSIC WEBSITE here
VALSLIST RADIO MOBILE PLAYLIST APP here

  


  




 

 









 







HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE




 


 www.valslist.com

 

     A boutique music website that helps busy adults keep up with new music.  Effortlessly.

 

                                                      

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