A Good Day in RVA 3 brings 14 bands to Hardywood for free this Saturday

by | May 18, 2016 | FESTIVALS & PARTIES

For three years, the good folks at Good Day RVA have been creating something truly special and uniquely Richmond. I’m not talking about their live and official video series which is amazing in its own right; no, this time I’m directing you to their 3rd annual A Good Day in RVA festival which happens this weekend.

Working with the folks at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Chris Damon, Kate Rivara, PJ Sykes, Coldon Martin and many more volunteer Good Day members donated their time to put on A Good Day RVA Festival as a chance to support often under-represented music in one of RVA’s most unique venues.

“Good Day has always been first and foremost about exposure and exposing the community, and we just thought there was this great synergy with Hardywood because they really fostered kind of this new way of thinking about what a venue could be in Richmond,” Martin said. He pointed out the free show is like a typical Hardywood event but on steroids, bringing more than 12 bands that don’t usually share a stage, and “putting them all in a blender.”

In Good Day’s eyes, this blending of bands helps unite Richmond’s music scene. Martin, who is the guitarist and singer for local favorites Lightfields, has fond memories of the togetherness the festival created among the bands that performed in the past.

“I remember just hanging out on two sides of the fence,” said Martin. “Richmond has such a diverse music scene.”

This diverse music scene creates little niche communities among the music acts of RVA. The festival, however, aims to transcend such boundaries. It bridged gaps that most didn’t even know existed, and put all of the bands on the same page, according to Martin.

“For us, we never thought we would be playing alongside Navi, for example,” he said. “We never thought that we would play a show where Clair Morgan goes on before Sleepwalkers. You don’t really see that… Now we’re close friends with both of those bands because of that experience.”

Sykes, a famed musician and photog in his own right, said he was also continually impressed with the final product. “I go to see that and I’m like, ‘What is happening! This is crazy! This is awesome!”

The inception of the festival started with convos with Hardywood about how they could get a new kind of annual event together. Sure enough the brewery was into the idea and Damon and friends started asking as many bands as they could to sign on.

While the music could have been enough to bring the crowd out, Good Day RVA is known for their visually appealing videos as well as their high quality live recordings. So bringing the visual element to the show was paramount to making it a true Good Day event.

“The location of these live performances, it’s just as important as the music,” Damon said. “You want the location to be a character as well.”

Luckily, Stuff Redux, a local collection of goods saved to be repurposed into art, was storing a number of items in a space near the brewery around the same time the festival was coming together. They allowed Good Day to use their materials and space to build the year’s first decorations. While themeless, that year still ended up with some unique visuals like cityscapes made of cardboard boxes, patterned fabric, and colored duct tape windows. There was even a working smoke stack made of cardboard tubes and aluminum foil.

But one of the most memorable moments from the day was when when Navi’s set got overtaken by some drunk women:

While the visual integration created a whole other obstacle for the band of videographers-turned-festival planners, it didn’t stop them from investing time, energy and money into their production. The next year featured a defined theme of Dinosaurs and the Future in a nice form of contrast.

While this allowed for some creative output from the Good Day folks – including some impressively painted dinosaurs – it also gave a great chance for the bands to get in on the fun.

“Toxic Moxie and Murphy’s Kids both took it extremely seriously,” Martin said with a laugh. “Murphy’s Kids played in caveman attire, but then Toxic Moxie came on the stage out of a spaceship.”

A Good Day in RVA 2: Christi – “Cry” from Craig Zirpolo on Vimeo.

The success from that year lead to similar inspiration for this year which will feature an Outer Space/Mars and Deep Ocean theme. A giant squid arm and angler fish were among the ideas that were floated around.

Along with a new theme, expect 14 bands that you’ve probably not seen live yet too. Among them are Spooky Cool, Goo?, The Wimps and many many more.

“This year is gonna be rock and roll right out of the gate,” Damon said. “It’s cool because even if you are the deepest of hermits you can go to this one show and walk away with your finger on the pulse of the scene. One step away from being able to say, ‘I like their earlier stuff better.’”

That inspiration to educate and inform Richmond about the sounds in their city is sure to please any local, and with no cover charge, A Good Day in RVA is easily one of the best shows of the year.

But don’t forget to have a few beers while you’re there – a portion of the proceeds from booze sales go straight to Good Day RVA and their future filming ventures.

“This isn’t money that just disappears into the ether,” Damon said. “As a fundraiser (their largest of the year), we put it directly back into the music scene.”

So if you love local music, Good Day RVA, Hardywood Beer and exposing yourself to new things, please head on out to Hardywood this weekend from 2PM to 10 (Rain or shine!)

Find out more info about the event here!

James Miessler

James Miessler




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