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Electronic music artists from all over the globe will fill the Townhouse Lounge for three nights this weekend. In its second year, the Sacramento Electronic Music Festival (SEMF) will host 28 live acts, with bands playing simultaneously on two floors.
Doors open for the Festival at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.
Each artist will bring something different, said Adam Saake, the festival’s organizer. Some will incorporate synthesizers, visual projectors and laptop programs, but all of the performers will still fit under the umbrella of the electronic music scene.
Saake said his motivation for starting SEMF was to give something back to Sacramento.
Being a supporter of music, and electronic music in particular, Saake added, “it’s a nostalgia for the old scene.” He had the idea as far back as 10 years ago, he said, citing the desire to bring together and create a platform of local, national and international acts.
But, as Saake emphasized, that’s no easy task. It started by gathering as many acts as could be found on the local level, and along the way people also found him.
One local band, The New Humans, is playing for its second time in the festival.
“We participated in the event last year and really enjoyed it,” said Cole Cuchna, 27, who plays piano, synthesizer and electronic programmer for the band. “It was a well-promoted, well-organized event, which is oftentimes rare in Sacramento.”
For Cuchna, like Saake, the festival is good on a local level.
“It’s important to both the development of Sacramento’s music scene and to the city in general,” Cuchna said.
He said multi-day festivals like SEMF are a good way to generate attention and focus on what Sacramento has to offer. It could provide a “real interest in independent and underground music,” he added.
“I think people realize the importance of events like this, and how their success is important to Sacramento’s cultural development,” Cuchna said.
Terra Lopez, singer for the local band, Sister Crayon, said she felt it was also important for Sacramento, its culture, and music scene. But, Lopez also said that, for her, SEMF is important because it brings together musicians, DJ’s, and fans under one roof.
“It’s important to create a camaraderie,” she said. And that at events like this, “meeting people is so inspiring” for her and others.
Lopez said Sacramento has a lot of electronic music and a big fan base, but it lacks headlining acts such as Daedelus and Bonjay. Such acts, she feels, could bring more support and attention to the music scene.
Saake met members of both groups at last year’s South by Southwest music festival and mentioned what he was doing in Sacramento.
“We met Adam,” said Pho, one of the two members of Bonjay, who hails from Toronto, and “we all hit it off and kept in touch.”
Pho, Bonjay’s beat and effects maker, said one thing they’ve found when touring “is that the best shows are often in mid-sized cities like Sacramento.”
The reason, Pho said, is that building an event in a city similar in size to Sacramento “usually takes a lot of dedicated effort from some passionate people.”
Though this year’s event is expected to be larger, Saake said he doesn’t want to set any expectations.
“This is a grassroots thing,” he said, “I don’t want to blow everything on one big event.”
Saake said he wants to help foster a haven and support base to “slowly build this thing so its gets better and better every year, and it can become sustainable.”
The Townhouse Lounge is located at 1517 21st St.