Showcase at the Mahaffey Theater, April 2022. Photos by Donna Green
Due to Covid, we were forced to explore outdoor spaces for our Listening Room Festival Showcase. Thankfully, we were able to rent the beautiful courtyard between the Mahaffey Theater and the Dali Museum.
This was a technical and financial challenge, as it was the first time we had to rent a stage, sound, and light in addition to the performance space. Our production choices worked out well, and Donna Green was able to capture some of our best pictures ever with this new setting.
We were also forced to scale down in terms of artists, selecting only TWO traveling acts instead of our usual 4 or 5. Joy Ike and Chris Trapper enjoyed enthusiastic audiences at house concerts as well as the showcase, and we were privileged to showcase local act Kristopher James as the opener for the showcase.
When we started LRFest in 2012, it felt like a moonshot. I wanted to create a gathering to celebrate house concerts, and to create a music showcase opportunity in the middle of a profitable tour. Most importantly, they build a base of friends, fans and potential gigs in Florida that will pay dividends for years to come.
As is the case with house concerts, the sweet, listening vibe and profitability are the obvious rewards that mask the more important developments of community and connection. On this front, each year, we see more hosts and fans travel to Tampa Bay area to attend shows and make new friendships. We see them cooperate for routing, lodging, and even for volunteer help at each other’s events. The festival community is creating a rich, cultural tapestry of music support in our region.