Jul 13, 2016, 1:35 PM | Updated: 2:13 pm

CHANNEL is a Seattle based record label festival, taking place on July 16, 2016 at Fred Wildlife Refuge. It’s the first one ever (see: inaugural) and from what I’ve heard it promises to be an absolute blast.  CHANNEL is bringing together over 30 local indie record labels so you, dear music lover, can have the chance to meet label owners, discover new music you will love and then purchase that new found music you now love!

The daytime portion of the event is Free and All-Ages and runs from 12pm-7pm while the evening portion of the event is $12 and 21+ and features an exciting line up of four highly notable local bands: Hibou, Gaytheist, SSDD and Roladex.

I had a chance to chat with part of the CHANNEL team, Marianne Goldin and Jordan Rundle, about the event and why it matters.

the mixtape: What inspired CHANNEL Seattle Record Label Fest and why is its existence important?

CHANNEL Fest: Most people who run small, independent labels will tell you that, by and large, the endeavor is deeply time-consuming, financially unsound, and often times thankless. And yet, we in the Seattle music community are fortunate to have so many people devoting themselves to facilitating and amplifying the unfathomable diversity of music being created in our backyard and beyond. We started CHANNEL to celebrate these folks and to bolster the community through the lens of the label, and to hopefully bring more awareness to the small players who are hustling on the ground to bring sounds to ears. We feel that labels are an important, but frequently invisible, connective tissue of the Seattle music community. Indie labels have so much on their shoulders, having to focus on being “producers” to stay afloat. We want to bring them to to forefront as curators and as cultural entities in their own right. 

tm: Does this fest include most if not all record labels in the Seattle area?  If some were left out, why did you choose the labels that you did?

CF: We tried to be as comprehensive as we possibly could. Space was really our limiting factor! We started with a very long list that we built with the help of our associates and advisers and selected labels based on a set of rather clear-cut criteria. Is the label local (Washington state; preferably Puget Sound)? Could it be described as indie? Was it active in the last year or so? Does it participate in promoting its bands and in the local scene? We wanted to ensure representation of a wide variety of genres and musical communities; as well as labels run by– or promoting– people of color. Just because our event is on Capitol Hill, we didn’t want it to be limited to a Capitol Hill “scene”.

Our master list was over 70 labels long; Fred only has space for 30 exhibitors under comfortable conditions. But we reached out to as many as we could, and were pleased to hear back from most.

There are certainly some labels that we wish we could have gotten on-board.  But we are beyond thrilled with our lineup, and don’t pine for a thing. Our hope is that with success this time around, we can broaden our reach and have even more folks represented next year.

tm: What do you hope attendees of CHANNEL take away from it?

CF: A sense of community and a feel for the real Seattle scene, a list of newly discovered labels and artists, and of course lots and lots of music in their bag!


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