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Can Everett become the next Northwest music hotspot?

Everett-natives The Moondoggies headline the inaugural Fisherman's Village Music Festival, the latest effort to create a vibrant music scene in Everett. (Hardly Art)

When you think of hotbeds for Northwest music, it’s safe to say Everett doesn’t exactly come to mind. But some music lovers are working hard to change that.

“Everett just wasn’t getting its fair share of talent coming in to play. People played Seattle or Bellingham and for some reason we couldn’t figure out why no one was playing Everett,” says Ryan Crowther, co-founder of the Everett Music Initiative.

Created in 2012, they started putting on shows in Everett in hopes of drawing bands to town as well providing a place to play for local bands.

“We’ve been throwing a couple of shows a month and it’s been fun to watch it grow,” he says.

Everett doesn’t have many notables that have called the city of just over 100,000 home. But it can boast singer/songwriter Mary Lambert of Macklemore’s “Same Love” fame, who grew up there and attended Mariner High School before moving to Seattle after graduation. And rising indie-rock favorites the Moondoggies also hail from the city. Other acts gaining acclaim on the local music scene include Fauna Shade, recent participants in EMP’s Sound Off competition and I Will Keep Your Ghost, Crowther says.

“There’s a lot coming out of here right now, and that’s what’s exciting is through our work we’ve been able to find some of these folks that probably wouldn’t be able to branch out otherwise.”

Crowther and his cohorts are ready to take their effort to the next level. They recently announced the inaugural Fisherman’s Village Music Festival, a two-day festival in downtown Everett featuring some top names on the local music scene including The Moondoggies, Rose Windows, The Grizzled Mighty and Shelby Earl, headlined by popular Santa Barbara, Calif. based indie rock band Gardens & Villa.

“We’ve been looking at ways to take it to the next level and we really felt like creating a unique experience with as many as 65 of people’s favorite bands would be a great way to do that,” he says.

The festival will span four separate venues with the historic Everett Theater serving as the mainstage. While there are plenty of other festivals in the area including Doe Bay and Timber, Crowther says there’s plenty of room for one more – especially appealing to fans up north.

“I think some of the value is just the intimacy of our shows. We’ll probably have just over 4,000 people the entire weekend, so it’ll be pretty intimate.”

If they’re successful in putting Everett on the musical map, Crowther admits they just might have to start looking for bigger places.

The Fisherman’s Village Music Festival will be held May 16-17, 2014 in downtown Everett. Tickets are $55 for the two days and available now online.

Listen to Ryan Crowther discuss the Everett Music Initiative on Seattle Sounds podcast with Josh Kerns here.

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