By Colleen Goodhue
This September, music co-op and record label What Doth Life celebrated their tenth anniversary in the best possible way: by throwing a music festival. They started by booking some of their friends, and then “it spiraled out of control,” said WDL’s Kiel Alarcon.
Pretty soon they had a lineup featuring eleven bands from Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. They rocked downtown Windsor for more than eight hours. The day began at the Windsor Farmers’ Exchange with a 25 minute set by the business suit-clad band The Jobz. Not all bands have a three hour set they can bust out, so for Alarcon, this format was an opportunity for shorter performances. What Doth Life bands Derek and the Demons, Faux in Love, Carton, and The Pilgrims played alongside Chodus, hip-hop ground Maiden Voyage, and White River Junction’s The Law Abiders. Boston’s garage-metal band Death Pesos rattled the wood beams of the Farmers Exchange and Brattleboro’s synth-pop band Dune Hunter performed a banging cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.” At the end of the night, the party moved to Windsor Station Restaurant for rock-and-rollers Moxley Union.
“It’s basically all our friends. We’re trying to raise visibility for all of them, promote them and that’s why it’s a DIY festival. Do it yourself,” Alarcon said.
The event was donation based and fees were waived for all local vendors; thrift shops, food trucks, even a music podcast. “We’re not making money off of this. We’re probably losing money,” Alarcon said. “That’s ok. We’re doing it for the love of doing it.”
Colleen Goodhue is a videomaker and writer living in West Lebanon, NH. She loves archives, long layovers, and all kinds of friendly competition. She performs with Valley Improv, the Upper Valley’s best and only improv troupe.