Total Bummer, Total Blast

The weekend of August 29th through the 31st was special for indie electronic music enthusiasts in Orlando. Particularly, for those who have a love for the growing local music scene in Florida. Total Bummer brought musicians like Helado Negro, XXYYXX, Levek, Saskatchewan, Javelin, Trails, and many others. Different locations in the Mills area such as The Peacock Lounge, Will’s Pub, Uncle Lou’s, and the Orange Gallery (a repurposed warehouse) gave a space for, not only dozens of musicians to play, but also made sure to have a space to showcase the art of many growing local artists which include Boy Kong and Guillermo Casanova. Despite how young this fest seems to be, after three years, it’s safe to say that Total Bummer is becoming something really special for Orlando.

Here is what one of the organizers of the TB, James Martin had to say about this fest that every year is becoming bigger and bigger:

Q: Where did the idea for Total Bummer start?

A: Total Bummer started in Gainesville in 2010. The biggest reason for it happening was to show bands out of Florida that there was a positive music and art scene in Florida and to bring as many Florida bands together to meet and share with each other what they were creating. It always feels a little weird to talk about this because we do not want to come across as the voice of Florida. We are one of many groups that are trying there best to create an encouraging environment for bands in Florida. It was a simple idea that has grown every year through friendship. Another very important factor in the history of TB are the people that were so incredibly encouraging to us as this was beginning. So many people believed in the idea of TB and helped us along the way.

To put it simply, this is our summer camp. A time for musicians and artists to come together once a year and share with each other what they love. That is the driving force behind TB.

Q: Who organized TB?

A: TB was created by JT Bringardner. All of us who help him were in a band together called Oh Fortuna. Spirit Cat (a Florida music and art collective) was just an idea when the first few TB happened. After seeing the positivity and success of TB, we got motivated to create the website and Tape Label. We wanted to capture and create the TB attitude through the blog and label. We hope to use those two mediums to encourage and bring musicians together throughout the year.

Q: How long TB it been around for?

A: It started in 2010 in Gainesville, then moved to Tallahassee in 2011 and then Orlando in 2012 and 2013.

Q: Why Orlando?

A: Orlando has been a great location because of its location in the state and the amount of supporters we have there. We have always enjoyed moving it through the state but Orlando has provided us the chance to keep the Fest growing.

Q: This year I noticed that there was a prevalent electronic music motif going on…. Was this your intent?

A: It has always been an electronic heavy Fest. That is the type of music that we have always loved. Although, each year we have tried to create a diverse collection of bands to highlight all of the different scenes in Florida, we always love when different genres cross-pollinate creatively and socially. It is important for us to support all music in our scene because music is an outlet for us. You can find similarities in all types of music. By creating a diverse Fest, we hope to open up people’s opinions on different types of music.

Q. Why The name “Total Bummer”?

A. The name was very important to us. We wanted it to portray our sense of humor. We work incredibly hard 9 months out of the year to make this Fest happen. The name Total Bummer is there to remind us and everybody that we are there to have a good time. We also thought it was hilarious that we could have such a blast at something called Total Bummer.

About Maria Paz Gutierrez

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