Interview: Bill Donabedian

Interview with Bill Donabedian, Founder of Bunbury Music Festival

July 11, 2014

The New LoFi: I know you play music and were in a band – what were your favorite venues in Cincinnati to play?

Bill Donabedian: I’m currently drumming with Messerly & Ewing. In my early days, I really enjoyed playing at Southgate House and The Barrelhouse. The Southgate House had the largest stage and it oozed history; it was definitely ‘the’ venue if you were a local musician. The Barrelhouse had the best beer.2) What inspired Bunbury? Other Festivals/ experiences in your life?

TNLF: What inspired Bunbury? Other Festivals/ experiences in your life?

BD: Bunbury was inspired more by co-founding MidPoint and the programming I was doing on Fountain Square. I had never really been to a multi-day, multi-stage festival, but success with MidPoint and the Square led me to believe that Cincinnati was ready for this kind of experience.

TNLF: What are you listening to right now? Can you share five songs/artists/albums? And what are you listening to them on? Spotify? Vinyl? 

BD: I’m listening to Foo Fighters (Walk), Young The Giant (Cough Syrup), Fitz and the Tantrums (The Walker), The Swell Season (Falling Slowly), and Jeff Buckley (Hallellujah). I listen to music on iTunes, Spotify, etc. I don’t have any vinyl as I have a one-year old boy and four-year old boy. I don’t think the vinyl would last very long with them around.

TNLF: What advice would you give someone trying to jump start a city’s music scene like you have in Cincinnati? 

BD: Start small and realize that nobody cares about what you are doing. You’ll hear more criticism than praise. Use that to build a tough skin and keep moving forward. You’ll eventually find others that share your vision and want to see it come to light. Invite them along; let them help. Eventually, you’ll all get there.


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