Boston has a long and rich history of being on the cutting edge when it comes to music, with many area residents being able to recollect time spent listening to any number of independent, alternative radio stations. It also used to be the home of countless local venues, and is responsible for breakout alternative acts including Pixies, The Cars, The Dresden Dolls/Amanda Palmer, The Lemonheads/Evan Dando, Mission of Burma, and more. However, consolidation and budget cuts have meant that much of this history is exactly that: history. Except for WERS.
Today, WERS stands alone as Boston’s home for music discovery. Our small but mighty staff of students and professionals carry the torch and are the only radio station dedicated to featuring local artists. This is done on a daily basis through conscientious programming, but also through special features like Wicked Local Wednesday. This weekly celebration of local artists is a great way for us to activate our performance studio while also living out our mission, and is something that membership is able to use as a core case of support during fund drives.
Our vision for the festival was to take Wicked Local Wednesday out of the studio and into the community, accomplishing everything the feature does but on a larger scale with greater community interaction. With this in mind, we set to work on our first-ever Wicked Good Festival.
Our goal for the festival was to highlight both rising Boston stars as well as breakout groups that call the city home. Additionally, we wanted a headliner that would attract a younger audience making for a multi-generational event. Lastly, we wanted a strong emphasis on diversity of artists as well as genres.
What resulted was a one-day music festival on the Boston Common attended by an estimated 10,000 people. Membership was able to leverage the event for both mid-level and major gifts, underwriting collaborated with corporate sponsors and marketing/programming were able to create an on-brand cornerstone event to reach new audiences. This level of cross-departmental opportunity is one of the reasons why we considered this event a success, and are looking forward to growing it in the years to come.