The do-it-yourself ethos is strong with Eric Gagne; he lives by the notion that if you want something done - and done well - you may as well do it yourself. To remedy a lack of noteworthy concerts in his humble hometown, Eric, along with a few close friends and his wife, started the The Thing in the Spring. Jimdo recently caught up with the musician to learn more about the fourth installment of the music festival.
What's the story behind this homegrown event?
The Thing in the Spring started basically because my buddy Ryan Wilson and I started putting on shows and designing posters together, and kind of kept coming up with different ways to manifest the Fillmore, Woodstock, and various cultural phenomena involving poster-making, and amazing concerts. We live in Peterborough, which is a pretty small hamlet in southern New Hampshire; not a lot of groups that we wanted to see were really coming here, so we decided to just start writing to bands we were into.
My wife and Ryan put the idea of *broke: The Affordable Arts Fair together, which is an art fair where the vendors sell their work for $50 or less. And then we thought, hey let's just book concerts all around this. Really we are just trying to book groups we are really into; luckily it's a small world, so we can get inquiries to folks pretty easily, and they generally like what we're doing and how we're doing it.
It's all born of that same DIY ethos; f*** ticketmaster, f*** paying $50 to see a band, f*** waiting for someone else to do what you want to do... etc.
What's the most challenging part of doing things on your own? On that note, what's the most rewarding part of this process?
Well it's always a challenge getting the money together. Ticket sales all go to paying for it too but since we try to keep the prices down as much as possible in order to keep it accessible, we do have to solicit donations and try to get the surrounding businesses to contribute. The most rewarding thing is just having it all paid for before it starts so we can all relax and enjoy the weekend. Though, that hasn't quite happened yet, but it's looking promising this year. In general just seeing folks enjoy themselves, and getting to hear the amazing performances is plenty worth all of the work.
You have another project, The Glass Museum. Tell me more about it.
The Glass Museum at first was just my kitchen; I used to live above the pub here in town. I taught myself screen printing, and started designing and printing posters for the shows there, blasting Coltrane into the small hours of the morning. Now we try to put out records when we can, we make prints, books, posters, and put on shows at the Toadstool Bookshop here in Peterborough.
When you're not working on either of these projects, what are do you do in your spare time?
I also play in a couple of bands. One, Redwing Blackbird, has been playing and making records for a little while now. We tour over most of the eastern seaboard, and out to Chicago from time to time. Another group is rather new, and called The Dweller on the Threshold. I love reading, records, and film.
Tell me about your experience with Jimdo.
I hate computers, more or less. They are always breaking on me, or confounding me to no end. I asked my buddy Louis McDavid, a secret archivist and insurance man, to help me to make a website for our label and The Thing in the Spring. He told me about Jimdo, and said he'd call me one night to walk me through how to set it up. While I waited for his call, I totally figured it out on my own. Any time I have had a question, it's been answered expediently and clearly. I have even gotten mail from you guys! It must be because you are European. Americans don't give a s*** about service (generally speaking!).
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