Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Music Blog Launches Music Festival June 4-5 in Washington, DC

Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Music Blog Launches Music Festival June 4-5 in Washington, DC


May 18, 2011 (WASHINGTON, DC)—If you’ve ever tried to book a show, you know it’s a soul-sucking process in which you must juggle dates, deal with (other) flaky bands, and then beg venues who are sure they can find someone who will make them more money if they just. Wait.  A little. Longer.  However, none of that stopped Dave Mann from putting together the inaugural Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pies (STPP) Music Festival (which, by the way, is free).

When Mann showed up on the DC music scene in 2008, he was a godsend:  An unflappable musician with good taste who decided to skip the politics and attitude and just went out and found his own venues to book.  “I didn’t have any experience other than getting my own band(s) booked,” says Mann, “But I wasn’t under any impressions that it was difficult.”  Ahahahahaha!


Mann was only half right:  Finding good bands that needed gigs was easy, but dealing with the venues was harder, so he “retired” from booking venues so he could focus on his own band (at last count he had three).  But Mann loves music, his own and other people’s, so he started Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie (www.sweetteapumpkinpie.com), a blog “devoted to the review of bands big and small.”  Then he began booking shows at not one, not two, but three different venues.  It makes sense that he was only one night of binge drinking away from deciding he could put on a festival.  That binge took place during SXSW.


“I did a lot of walking in Austin, travelling from venue to venue,” says Mann, “and the idea of something like that in DC seemed like it could be a reality if someone just did it.”  Sure enough, as the new venues started presenting themselves and Mann launched his site, the two not-dissimilar worlds collided and the STPP Music Festival was born.  Spread over six venues (with the possibility of adding a couple more) within a five-block radius of each other (and the venerable 9:30 Club), the STPP FREE Music Festival will include more than 120 bands over two days (June 4th and 5th), with pre-parties being held on Friday, June 3.


Although most of the bands are based in DC (such as critics’ darlings the Jet Age and actual-people’s darlings Loose Lips), the acts come from all over the mid-Atlantic and range from the Stones-y (Annapolis’ The Dirty Names) to the goth-y (Fredericksburg’s Ceremony) to the old-timey (Takoma Park’s Sligo Creek Stompers) to pitch-perfect indie rock (NYC’s the Yes Way).


“I wanted a variety of acts to reflect what the blog is all about,” says Mann.  “STPP doesn’t assume that it has any sort of authority on one particular genre or a ‘buzz band’ so, with that being said, I wanted different genres–under the umbrella of rock and roll–involved that could bring out all sorts of crowds that could very well enjoy the entire event.”  Because of the diversity of music (and venue sizes),Bella, Ghion, 1920, and Almaz will host the more rocking acts, while Queen Makeda and Dukem’s NEW VIP Lounge (Upstairs) will host the quieter sets and singer songwriters (the full schedule, by venue, is attached).


The pre-parties will include live podcast coverage by You, Me, Them, Everybody (http://www.youmethemeverybody.com/) and karaoke with live cover band Northeast Corridor (http://www.northeastcorridor.net/index.html).  A panel of local celebrity judges will pick winners for a sing-off at the end of the night.  What makes this night extra special is that the pre-party happens to take place on our regular scheduled “First Friday” series event which features local and non-local artists and photographers who get to hang their work up on the walls for an entire month before they have to hand over the torch to the next batch of artists.  The month of June will be hosted by Jeffrey Everett (El Jefe Design) and three other artists.  That event can be found by clicking on the following link http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=105204229565831


All of these events are free, and are 21+.  It’s been a trial by fire, but Mann’s planning on making sure there’s a second STPP Music Festival.  “I’d be lying if I said it was easy,” he says, “but it’s been a blast.  We’ve got 120+ acts for you to choose from; I think we’ve got several somethings for everyone who likes rock and roll.”  And did we mention those somethings can be seen for free?


Contact: Dave Mann

Email:  info(at)sweetteapumpkpinpie(dot)com







www.stppfest.com (The full schedule will be up no later than Monday, May 23)

The venues are as follows:


Bella Cafe & Restaurant (900 Florida St. NW, WDC)

Ghion (2010 9th St. NW, WDC)

1920 (1920 9th St. NW, WDC)

Queen Makeda (1917 9th St. NW, WDC)

Dukem’s NEW VIP Lounge (Upstairs) (1114 U st. NW, WDC)

Almaz (1212 U st. NW, WDC)



When it’s all said and done, I think there will be a total of around 120-150 bands.



Bands to feature (all of my headliners/2 headliners per day at each venue)


The Jet Age (DC)

Loose Lips (DC)

a stick and a stone (Philly, PA)

Brice Randall Bickford (DC)

The Torches (DC)

Sami The Great (NYC)

The Yes Way (NYC)

Southwork (Philly)

Jette Kelly (NYC)

Amy K. Bormet (DC)

Frau Eva (DC)

Sligo Creek Stompers (DC)

Ceremony (Fredericksburg, VA)

Screen Vinyl Image (Virginia)

The Dirty Names (Annapolis, MD)

Modern Man (DC)

Gary B & The Notions (Baltimore, MD)

Sam Cooper & The Sleepwalkers (DC)

+ more on the way