The founders saw that music festivals and conferences had become far and few between in recent years, and that a destination like Martha’s Vineyard would be ideal to attract music industry professionals, artists, fans and folks who love good music and enjoy connecting with people while learning about the industry and having a good time.
What are your expectations of this year’s event based on how last year’s went?
Last year was more or less a proof of concept (POC), with one artist, the conference, a beach BBQ and jazz brunch. What we witnessed was that a mixture of music idioms suited the demographic we targeted and participants embraced the concept with great enthusiasm. This year’s events will take it to an entirely new level, as we feature more than 11 different artists, DJ’s and entertainers, several Grammy winners and nominees amongst them. I expect that the world will take notice of a unique event centered around bringing folks together to learn, laugh, play, and get down to business, all in an atmosphere which is magical and tasteful. We will begin to cultivate new relationships and bring old ones back together with the Martha’s Vineyard Summer Madness Festival becoming a springboard for new talent, where industry experts and business people coalesce and in a creative atmosphere, spawning the evolution of new music creation and relationships within a myriad of genres.
What’s the significance of blacks vacationing in Oak Bluffs?
Black folks vacationing in Oak Bluffs play a significant part because it is a place where people want to be during the summer. My partners and I were fortunate enough to grow up in families who became homeowners in Oak Bluffs more than a half century ago, so we would spend time on Martha’s Vineyard with our families in this special place, where a great deal of our highly valued life experiences occurred and life-long friendships born and maintained throughout our lives. Our motivation is to share this unique environment with more people so they might be exposed to its rich history and enjoy its magic, while experiencing good music, making new connections and having fun.
This year’s theme is “Ladies Firstâ€ and it’s basically an all-ladies lineup. Â Why is that?
MV Soul Concepts will develop a new theme for our events each year and we wanted to follow up with a celebration and recognition of our women, because it’s the mothers, sisters and wives who are the backbone and strength of our families, supporting our men and families as business opportunities are pursued. We were desirous of acknowledging this during the 40th Anniversary of hip-hop and spoken word artistry by putting “Ladies First.â€ It also coincides with Queen Latifah and Monie Love’s “All Hail the Queenâ€ album released in 1989. The industry has underestimated the power and influence of women and we want to not only acknowledge our women’s talents and skills set, but also educate and remind folks in the industry, and in general, just how important and significant our sisters are as agents of creativity, evolution and taste in music and entertainment.