BandSwap is a unique intitiative from nonprofit SpokeBUZZ that takes Colorado bands on tour to play in host cities and then brings host bands back to Colorado for a festival. BandSwap is entering its third year and is not only successfully helping bands build audiences and connections but also developing related creative and community events both in Colorado and in host cities.
SpokesBUZZ came to my attention two years ago with their crowdfunding campaign for the first edition of Bandswap though their history of promoting the music of Fort Collins, Colorado predates that campaign.
The first time around Bandswap took 6 bands from Fort Collins on a tour of host cities where they opened for popular local acts. Then the host city bands traveled to Fort Collins for a weekend festival.
That first year was documented with the below video:
SpokesBUZZ has a number of programs but BandSwap seems the most unique.
Last year's BandSwap saw bands from Denver joining Fort Collins acts with a weekend of shows in both cities for bands from host cities. In addition concerts in host cities made additional connections, for example, the involvement of UK musicians in Nashville for the UK/Nashville Songwriter Exchange Collaboration.
2014 BandSwap details were shared in an emailed announcement:
"This year, the program will send seven Colorado bands to play shows with partner bands in seven partner cities across the country in late September, then bring the bands and their partners back to Colorado for a series of 'Homecoming' shows and events in early October."
"Returning as partner cities in the BandSwap 2014 program are Madison, Chico, Lafayette, Portland and Nashville; Athens and Charleston make up this year's freshman class."
Additional elements include:
- Educational opportunities and networking events via SynchroniCITY parties hosted in every BandSwap city
- InnovationSwap: a chance for various BandSwap cities to share ideas and entrepreneurial energy
- Farm-to-table cuisine, craft beer, and other local flavor on offer in BandSwap's inaugural Cultural Spotlight
SpokesBUZZ apparently conducted an impact study and found that:
"BandSwap 2013's participating cities saw concrete results from the initiative's idea that fostering and attracting creativity improves the economic health of any community."
"In 2013, an estimated 9.5 million people were reached via marketing and publicity efforts, $68,000 creative workforce dollars were spent, $45,000 was paid to musicians, and $93,000 was directed toward the cities."
BandSwap's an excellent example of creative innovation in the music industry that connects with and directly benefits the larger community.