Good local music events are hard to come by in south Utah County; Zac Freeman and Mayhem Sound are doing something about it.
Payson, UT - Sat, June 4 - The usually quiet, white pillar stage in the middle of Payson park is anything but quiet today. Families, picnickers and curious passerby are listening to a song being performed by a local group called The Lovecapades. The crowd is modest in size, but the scene is extraordinary for a Saturday afternoon in the small city of Payson. A massive PA system is set up and the stage is littered with amps, guitars and mics. The 3rd annual Burst Your Own Bubble music festival, an all-day local music event, kicked off earlier that morning and would continue to rock and croon well into the night.
16 bands, two stages, two separate event production crews and an affinity for music is all Zac Freeman needs to get his own local music event off the ground. He and his friends from Mayhem Sound Event Production have planned, coordinated, and executed the BYOB event for three straight years. The brainchild of Zac, this event is free to the public and offers a showcase of eclectic musical talent. A pop/rock group playing on the acoustic stage is followed immediately on the main stage by a heavy metal group featuring a female vocalist and a bass player with a purple mohawk. From solo comedy acts like Mister Tim to full screamo groups such as I Capture Castle, fans and curious music lovers get to hear a wide range of style at the BYOB. The musicians love it, the crowds seem impressed, and Zac and his production crews get some valuable face time.
“We want to create a neutral ground for music lovers.” Says Carlton Heywood, co-founder of Mayhem Sound. The lack of a good local music scene drives entrepreneurial musicians like Carlton and Zac to action. There aren’t many places for local bands to play in this area and most of the groups don’t have the money to rent a venue like the Booth Bros Music Theatre in Spanish Fork. Carlton adds, “We don’t want money to be an issue for the bands or the fan base.” The idea of a free concert appeals to the many fans who come to listen throughout the day and the music can be enjoyed from anywhere in the park thanks to the sound system provided by London Sound on the main stage. Eidolo, a psychedelic rock group ends the festival with their own light show complete with smoke machines.
The event is successful, drawing good crowds all day and providing the bands with much needed exposure. One band, determined by crowd surveys, will win free recording time in a professional studio and all participating groups will receive a discount at that same studio. This year the recording time has been provided by David Elijah, who has worked with the Warped Tour and has had a Myspace record deal.
Zac himself performs at the show as a one man group called the.freebie. As a musician himself, he shares the passion that all the other bands have. Zac is a proponent of the independent music scene, “It’s all about the independent musician now. You empower yourself.” Zac believes that local musicians can synergize and help one another in the industry. Synergy has never been a defining attribute of local music groups, usually they adopt the ‘dog eat dog’ philosophy when working with competing music groups. Zac on the other hand thinks that these local musicians would benefit much more from working together.
Respect. The Burst Your Own Bubble music festival has the goal of developing mutual respect between local musicians. The night ends right at 10:00 p.m., when the city sound ordinance kicks in. 11 hours of completely original music has been played and the local music scene has made another big step forward in south Utah County. Zac and Mayhem Sound have created a neutral ground where local talents can come together and change the local music atmosphere.
Article by Spencer Healey