FoCoMX to return for 11th annual weekend

Julia Trowbridge

band members perform on stage
Amy Morgan and Ed Ziehm with Post Paradise perform at the Aggie Theater for the 10th annual FoCoMX. Post Paradise is a Colorado band that performs indie alternative rock music. (Julia Trowbridge | Collegian)

The music scene will take over downtown Fort Collins next weekend.

The Fort Collins Music eXperiment, also known as FoCoMX, is returning for its 11th annual weekend, showcasing over 300 bands at over 30 venues April 26 and 27. The two-day show, nicknamed “The Biggest Little Festival in America,” features local music and art along with many other events like a silent disco and a mental wellness meetup

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One important aspect of the festival is the focus on local music rather than designating a headliner for the festival, according to Greta Cornett, one of the co-founders of FoCoMX.

“I feel like for me in particular, as a musician but also as an organizer, I feel like it’s really important to present our community just like it is,” Cornett said. “It’s such a collaborative community; we’re all in this together, and we want to showcase what’s here and not try to bring things in that aren’t really here, and really try to focus on local.”

With narrowing down band submissions and fitting bands into venues, Cornett said the organizers try to make sure the festival represents all types of genres and bands of all levels of notoriety.

“We try to be super diverse because that’s one of the things we can do with FoCoMX; we can have noise, and we can have avant-garde music,” Cornett said. “We can do whatever we want; it’s our music scene. We try to have a little bit of everything so everyone can find their place.”

Christian L’Orange, a fan of the festival, said the number of bands performing can make it difficult for people to see every band that they want to see. Because of this, L’Orange and his wife created an app so people can organize a schedule and make all the shows they plan on going to.

“FoCoMX is a festival we really enjoy going to, but it’s also a massively large show,” L’Orange said. “So the downside of having that many shows is it can be challenging to find all the shows you want to go to, remember what shows you want to go to and be efficient about all of that. … So we developed an app, and when we went to go last year, we were surprised to hear they didn’t have one.”

For the first time, the Little Shop of Physics is partnering with FoCoMX to put on a free interactive event April 27 combining music and sound. Adam Pearlstein, assistant director of LSOP, said those people organizing FoCoMX reached out to LSOP and asked them to join. LSOP accepted because it seemed like a really cool event.

The full lineup for FoCoMX can be found on the FoCoMX website

“I think it’s a natural partnership honestly,” Pearlstein said. “There’s a natural connection between physics and music and sound, and I think it’s a great way to get kids who might not necessarily think of themselves as scientists interested and excited in science based on their interest in music.”

For the second time this year, the 53:14 Music Video Experiment, which is a 53-hour and 14-minute competition for 10 pairs of filmmakers and bands to make a music video, is showcasing their music videos April 27 at Washington’s.

Co-creator Doug Usher said that when it comes to putting together the music video experiment, they look for diversity in sound and location of the bands and filmmakers, and the pairs don’t know who they’re working with until the beginning of the 53 hours and 14 minutes.

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“It’s really cool to see this high level of creativity that comes out of an event like this when it’s under such a serious time constraint,” Usher said. “It’s really cool to see the way the creativity and collaboration happen between the band and the filmmaker to make something really original. If we were to put a different filmmaker with a different band, you would get a totally different result.”

Usher said he’s excited for an awesome turnout this year and to be more involved with the festival itself.

Between art showcases, music and science and 300 bands in northern Colorado, Cornett said FoCoMX is made for music lovers as well as people unfamiliar with the music scene, no matter how people approach the events.

“I absolutely believe that people should support their local music scene always, because that’s how it keeps thriving, but I also believe that we have so much talent, that even if you’re not familiar with the scene …. you always have to start somewhere,” Cornett said. “Some people, it’s kind of like a ‘choose-your-own-adventure.’ Some people just plan their weekend with no plans at all. … I’ve heard so many people do it so many different ways, but that’s part of the fun.” 

Julia Trowbridge can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on twitter @chapin_jules.