So, a couple of weekends ago, I went on a trip with a few friends of mine down to the tiny, ‘western’ encapsulated town of Bisbee. We journey 4 hours south to see and be a part of this newborn music festival called the “Side Pony Express Festival”. The friends I went with were part of the band Field Tripp, but there were plenty of other people there we knew.
The neat thing about this festival was that it was composed of all in-state, but primarily Phoenix valley based bands. The talent is incredible! The bands performed all day and late into the evening, and in between shows you could venture around the main downtown part of Bisbee. This was not just fun, but a great way to advertise a lot of the well-refined work from the local artists. I didn’t just get a look at the town, I could really grasp what kind of artistic culture surrounded the place. I heard from a few artists that after graduating from art schools from the main cities (Phoenix, Tuscon, Flagstaff), that Bisbee was a great place to move to for a couple of years and focus on building a portfolio of work. The rent in studios is relatively cheap, and art in Bisbee is more than an appendage of society, it is society.
Grant it, to be real, it isn’t necessarily your charming San Francisco. There are economic and social set backs, Bisbee being birthed from a mining town. A lot of people around the area struggle with business, and some even struggle with keeping their house, and the remoteness of the area has caused some depression in some of the residents living there. But a lot of the people native to the town have said that festivals like this are really healthy for the town; the exposure, the rise in sales, and the general excitement was really helpful for the small city.
And I heard in the grapevine that this might become an annual thing! Let’s keep our fingers crossed. I’d love for ya’ll to come down next time and enjoy the scene that I experienced!
Here are a few pics I took from the trip. I really wish I thought more about it, I would have purchased a thrift store camera and taken more formal pictures of the band mates, sets, and artists. Enjoy!