Dawn of the Microfestival
“The big thing I learned is not to overbook yourself,” says Shane Frasier, the 26-year-old behind Saturday’s Behemoth Music Festival—Albany at the Hudson River Coffee House.The idea began in 2010 when Frasier attempted to put on an event in Saratoga Springs called the Mountain Man Music Fest but was unable to follow through.
“I was disappointed,” says Frasier. “We worked very hard to try and accomplish it, but it just didn’t happen.” Frasier attributes Mountain Man’s failure to both a lack of funding and miscommunication. Still, despite the odds, Frasier has persisted in pursuing his dream of creating a music festival. Behemoth Music Fest is the result. The name comes from an old ’50s monster movie called The Giant Behemoth.
Although the festival is in its early stages and not nearly as big as Frasier hopes to grow it, the event takes some of its inspiration from the Warped Tour, which moves its entourage around the country for multiple festival stops. There have been two shows in the Capitol Region so far. In March, the Behemoth festival was held in Troy at the SwordPaw HQ, and in May at Putnam Den in Saratoga. Earlier this year, Frasier had booked the Albany edition of the Behemoth Music Festival at Red Square, but when the venue fell through, Frasier began looking for alternative venues in Albany. What could have been a booking nightmare turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
“I had been in contact with Deanna DeLuke, from the Lucky Jukebox Brigade, and she had told me about the Hudson River Coffee House,” says Frasier. “It looks like a perfect spot for the show.” Within the Pine Hills community, the cafe has become known for its live shows, hosting regular sets by local acts as well as a weekly open-mic night.
“I had a number of friends that attended the first Behemoth at SwordPaw and raved about it,” says Anton Pasquill, who is the owner of the Hudson River Coffee House at Quail and Hudson Avenues. “When the opportunity came up, I was all about it.”
Frasier hopes to take the festival national next year, although the only shows planned are this fall in Burlington, Vt., and Northampton, Mass. “I’m looking to stop the shows sometime in November because it’s hard to travel,” he says.
The Behemoth Music Festival will be held Saturday (Aug. 11) at 8 PM. Tickets are $6. The event will feature Ben Karis-Nix, the Disposable Rocket Band, Birthdays and the Sun Burdens.
“When I get a chance to host something like the Behemoth, I dive headfirst. It’s the sort of event Albany needs a lot more of,” says Pasquill.