Music / Photography

A Look At So What Music Festival

This year, So What Music Festival turns 10, and it’s only the beginning. Three days, numerous stages, a variety of bands, and thousands of fans later, SWMF was an experience like no other.

Earlier this year, we spoke with the founder of the festival, Mike Ziemer, about his journey to one of the most anticipated music festivals in Dallas, Texas and he explained to us that the goal of this festival was to fit as many cool bands as possible into one show with four stages and he did it. When some think of “cool bands,” they think of the biggest names they can see from miles away. When we at Cliché think of cool bands, we think of the ones that are newer to the scene and are getting bigger by the minute.
Something I loved about this year’s So What Music Festival was the large range of artists; from bands that had never played before to bands that were 10 years running. Here, we chat with some of the bands about the iconic festival.

Invent, Animate

“So What Music Festival is a big deal to us,” explains Ben English of the Texas Native band, Invent, Animate. “Being our favorite Texas festival, it is an honor playing such a huge event for the third time. Every single year we get to see not only the festival’s growth, but our growth as a band overall. Seeing the crowd’s reactions and people going crazy drives us to continue pushing towards everything we want to be.”

The Happy Alright

“I think it’s really special that Dallas, Texas has this music festival. We get to watch some of our favorite bands play and then play ourselves,” said Mason Steeger from another Texas native band, The Happy Alright, that took the So What stage for the first time along with his bandmates.
“It’s cool and inspiring to be playing something as big as this and to experience it this way. It’s one thing just going to the festival, but it’s another thing to actually play it. I’m blown away that we’re even playing here,” Jonathan Ballew from The Happy Alright explained.

It’s cool and inspiring to be playing something as big as this and to experience it this way.

“What’s cool about this festival is that they book local acts and it’s a great opportunity for those bands to get to play to people that might not have seen them,” Sterling Gavinski said. “It’s awesome that the reason why these bands get picked is because the people that put on this fest notice that they work really hard.”
When asked what advice they’d give to those starting out and wanting to get involved in the festival, Gavinski said, “Work hard, be polite, and just do it. Those are the big three rules.”

Something More

“Honestly, it’s surreal to play here and play songs that we really feel passionate about, that represent who we are, and what we’re trying to do,” Tim Jagielski from the Baltimore, Maryland band Something More said after the band took the stage for the first time.
“Being here and being included in this festival to share our music with all these random people that have never heard of us before is just really mind-blowing. This has been the best weekend of our lives,” Nate Swartz expressed.
“This is one of those stepping-stone moments for us,” Phil Rasinski added.
It’s safe to say that this festival means a lot to not only the fans that attend, but to the artists that are a part of it. This is a look at So What Music Festival.

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A Look At So What Music Festival: Photographed by Imani Givertz

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