Launching new music scene in Oswego

A local entrepreneur began an online fundraising campaign this month in support of the development of a local music scene in Oswego.

The project, known as “Launch Oswego’s Music Scene,“ has set the goal to raise $15,000 in 46 days, beginning April 1, with all proceeds going toward funding local concerts, recording efforts and merchandising. A major initiative is to establish a concert venue that holds a retail space and recording studio.

“Local and touring acts can put music and [merchandise] on retail shelves on a consignment basis,” local entrepreneur Sam DeCross said. “[A] recording studio will be used commercially, and for getting bands something they can give out to fans to gain a base. Even a three-song demo will help people get comfortable with your music.”

DeCross co-founded Love At First Listen Promotions in 2007, a company that made use of social media and street marketing to connect bands with fans. He also launched Crossed Productions (recording and production) United Music Source (concert promotion) and EsDeck Entertainment (artist management).

According to DeCross, raising $15,000 in 46 days is not realistic, especially considering no prior advertising or promotion time. He explained that by setting a deadline in a limited time frame will set positive motivation in obtaining a goal and hopefully gain a curious response from the public. With only a short amount of time, there is potential to connect people and inspire a stronger work ethic.

“It’s time to make a mark on that slate that we’ll never forget,” DeCross said. “Starting today, we need to come together and build a scene. The clock runs out in 46 days. Let’s get to it.”

The income earned that will be funding various prospects in the project is structured in phases and stages:

Use $15,000 seed money to put together shows with high capacity and popular headliners.

Bring popular local and regional acts together to release sampler CD mix-tapes.

Establish a permanent venue with a retail space and recording studio, where large shows can be held. Local and touring acts can put music and merchandise on retail shelves on a consignment basis. A recording studio will be used commercially and provide bands with something they can give out to fans to gain a base.

After talking to an old friend, Jake Behr, DeCross gained his interest in the project. DeCross described Behr as a dedicated musician who spoke of organizing fundraiser shows that will remain continuous throughout the campaign. Currently, there are six shows already booked, with event details being released to the public soon.

DeCross explained that those who are involved will be able to gauge the current scene after a few shows and encourage involvement. He believes there can be a strong base of participation coming from high school and college students, as well as young adults still living in Oswego. His biggest worry is finding a high capacity space for a low cost.

“Raising money is for gaining resources,” DeCross said. “There can’t be shows without a venue, there can’t be CDs or mp3s without a place to record, and there can’t be a scene if there are no shows or music.”

Currently, recording facilities, equipment and merchandising material will be prepared “in house,” meaning that the beginning of the project will be done independently. DeCross states that by eliminating a “middleman,” all efforts will remain more efficient.

DeCross said that the biggest goal right now is to raise $15,000 by June 1. After that goal is achieved the project will officially be put into action. For more information on “Launch Oswego’s Music Scene” the public can visit www.indiegogo.com/oswegomusic. For questions and inquiries, contact Sam DeCross at samdecross@gmail.com.

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