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Interview: Summer Time Radness Festival’s Martin Hacker-Mullen

Saturday Event Seeks to Bring Punk and Indie Relevance to Winnsboro
By Free Times
Friday, June 13, 2014 |
By Dade Driggers

Rising high school senior Martin Hacker-Mullen teamed with The Friends of Winnsboro to arrange the Summer Time Radness Festival, a 10-band benefit to support youth in music. Oneforall, Hacker-Mullen’s own trio, anchors the lineup, drifting from crunchy pop-punk covers to acoustic originals that lean on the sophomoric couplets common during the genre’s last decade. Columbia’s Two Fell In a Foxhole bridges the lineup’s genre-spanning gaps with melancholy lyrics tied to mellow rhythms and somber guitars with syncopated percussion. **Free Times** caught up with Hacker-Mullen to find out more about the event.

Free Times: How did Summer Time Radness come about?

Martin Hacker-Mullen: My best friend Jake and I were talking about how we have a music venue in Winnsboro, but still have to travel to Columbia or Charlotte to see bands that we actually enjoy. And we needed another venue to play our shows to an audience that wants to hear our bands. He had mentioned that it would be cool if Winnsboro held a music festival directed towards a younger audience that could put Winnsboro on the map as a place for not only Americana, blues and country acts, but also punk, indie and hardcore bands. I didn't know how serious he was about that statement, but I thought it was a great idea. So I thought I'd make it real.

What: Summer Time Radness Festival
Where: The 145 Club, 145 Club Ln ., Winnsboro
When: Saturday, June 14, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
With: Unsettled; Oh, Deceiver; Definitely A First; Sunnyvale; Dr. Roundhouse; South Harbor; The Melatonins; Oneforall; DYEL; Two Fell In A Foxhole
Price: $15 ($18 under 21)
More Info: the145club.com
Is this the first show that you've arranged?

Yes. I know it's a bit extreme for the first show I've arranged to be a small festival, but I knew that it would be doable with help from my friends and family.

A four-band show at a small pub can be hectic for a booking agent, let alone a 10-band bill for a high school senior. How did you end up organizing such a large event?

I grew up in a home where art meant everything, mainly music. When my mom [Elfi Hacker] and her late partner Steve Hobson started The Friends of Winnsboro and The 145 Club, I spent years observing as they booked shows and communicated with musicians. After learning how to get a wire on musicians, talk to them and book them, I decided it was time to organize the festival that my friend and I talked about. I asked my mom if we could use The 145 Club to hold the festival, and she agreed, so I began brainstorming who to book and how to make the show work. It's a learning process, and there are lots of details. I'll find out what I missed on June 14.

How did you decide who to book for the bill? Was it a matter of local contacts, or did you reach out to any particular bands?

I decided that since my friends and I mostly listen to punk, indie and hardcore music, I'd reach out to local bands within those genres. As a performing musician, I had already played with a few of the bands on the bill, so they were easy to get in touch with. Some of the other bands are people I've been friends with for a while, so that made things easy, too. I contacted 30 well-known bands that I really like. Although most of them are from the Columbia area, I also contacted some bands from Myrtle Beach, Spartanburg, Charlotte and Savannah. 11 bands confirmed to play. Unfortunately, one of the bands recently announced that they have broken up and will no longer be playing shows, so they had to drop off of the bill.

How much help did you get with putting everything together?

I had all kinds of help putting Summer Time Radness together. If my mom didn't let me use The 145 Club as the venue, the show probably wouldn't even be happening. My sister was also a huge help for making the poster for the show. I also have to give credit to my friends for helping me come up with the idea to do this and for spreading the word about Summer Time Radness to their friends and coworkers. On top of it all, I have to give the bands the biggest thank you. Without the bands that confirmed, I wouldn't have a show to put on.

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