LLF Kickstarter Effort Takes Them to SXSW, March Showcase & Panel Announced

“So basically we’re making a food truck, that serves music!” —Chris Naoum

The founders of Listen Local First understand the effects of the triple bottom line. They have a strategy that can be summarized in one word: exposure. Inspired by the Eat Local/Buy Local movement, LLF rounds up the trifecta of social, environmental, and financial goals in an effort to create sustainability within DC’s community of musicians and music lovers. Local businesses involved have spread music like the gospel.

Now Chris Naoum and Rene Moffatt are upping the ante. They launched a Kickstarter campaign to create an experience dubbed a “Mobile Music Venue.” Instead of using a stationary venue for play and promotion, the LLF team will travel by van with a sound system with a portable backline and employ a video team to drive down to the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas (March 13-18).

Along the way and at SXSW, the team will document their journey to share to the blogosphere. Like guerrilla filmmakers, the LLF team will host a number of pop-up showcases and document the live music performances of local DC bands for a web series and short documentary about LLF and DC music. They used the Kickstarter network to raise $5000 before the March 5th deadline to fund the trip out West.  Though anyone can contribute (minimum suggested pledge $5), LLF also encourages traditional word-of-mouth and social media promotion. There is a prize associated with every unit of donation, so keep on donating! As of today, LLF is $500 above their goal.

In the early stages of fundraising, the stakes were raised for businesses and individuals to donate over $500.  Those who did will get their name painted on the side of the van that will be used as a set piece for all of their live shows.  The Kickstarter platform allows users to see where donations are coming from. For donors that contribute by way of an affiliated DC business, LFF encourages the latter to tell the donors to leave a little note in-house saying they decided to donate.

The whole Listen Local First outfit began last summer, when Naoum and Moffatt sat at a local DC coffeehouse listening to pop music and a valid question dawned on them: Why were they not listening to the music of  local artists making great music here in DC?  Through partnering with Think Local First, a non-profit, and working with independent businesses, consumers, and policymakers to grow a sustainable local economy in DC, LLF found an avenue to begin to answer this question.

Learn more about the Listen Local First Kickstarter campaign, check out the video above, and pass on the good word or make a donation yourself. You have less than three days.

And don’t miss Local Music Day coming up this Wednesday, March 7th. Since October, between 20 and 30 local businesses across the city have partnered with LLF each month to promote our awesome and diverse local music community. In return, artists and music fans promote and support the local businesses that have been playing their music and supporting their art.

Featured artists for March 7th are:

Afrobop Alliance
Ms. Director
Dance for the Dying
Justin Trawick
We Were Pirates
Parlor Soldiers
Flo Anito

March 8th will feature a panel discussion between music writers and bloggers from across the city at Mellow Mushroom in Adams Morgan before performances by Parlor Soldiers, Dance for the Dying, Flo Anito, and Mike Boggs (We Were Pirates). Brandon Wetherbee is moderating, and the panel will cover the responsibility of local bloggers and writers to cover local music.

Updated: The panel now includes our very own Jon Meyers of The Vinyl District! The other panelists are as follows:

Jon Fischer – Washington City Paper
Philip Runco – Brightest Young Things
Valerie Paschall – DCist
Gio Russonello – Capital Bop
Marcus Dowling – Free Lance Journalist

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