I have covered a ton of music festivals over the last 10 years or so. Most have been great and some have done much good for many different subjects and individuals that needed assistance or to bring about awareness in the music scene. The one thing they all have in common is that they are looking to expand on what New Jersey has to offer for both musicians and fans alike. Sometimes that happens through benefits and sometimes it shows itself through education and hands-on interaction.
That’s why I’m happy to give some press to this next bunch of New Jersey purveyors of constructive assistance.
Bill Bourke and his crew are back again for the latest installment of TechFest. Combining live music with industry panels, TechFestSix has become a bona fide multi-directional mating of a festival, learning and the pursuit of music industry excellence.
As the festival honchos themselves tell us, “The OCVTS Audio Recording Program and The Performing Arts Academy proudly present ‘TechFestSix,’ a fund-raising music festival that provides scholarships for students interested in pursuing a career in the technical field and allows aspiring artists to be discovered.
Offering two performance stages, the festival will incorporate live performances that range from fresh, young artists with limited experience to the best in the business. You will be able to enjoy food, concessions and artist merchandise, along with quality entertainment. The benefit is organized, operated, and monitored by the students of the OCVTS PAA Tech Club, Mr. Bill Bourke, and Mr. Zack Slater.”
This process is a journey with all the right directions. Mr. Bourke and Mr. Slater teach each tech club member the proper way of hosting a fund-raising festival. The students train throughout the year to perform tasks that include stage and sound setups, mixing, lighting, and live recording. “TechFestSix” offers the students the opportunity to work hands-on in a real world concert atmosphere.
This year is dedicated to Bill’s father Dennis Bourke, the creator of the audio program. Dennis Bourke was a prolific musician, songwriter, engineer and producer. He said that they had changed the name of the scholarship fund to his name as a memorial of sorts, so it’s now known as the “Dennis Bourke Hopes & Dreams Scholarship Fund.”
He goes on to tell me, “We now have a GoFundMe for TechFest, which is a game changer. We now have the ability to donate to the students 24/7, 365 for this scholarship fund. So every time we are in the public’s eye and tech a show, host a concert, or perform, and people see how well the students are doing on-stage and off-stage; they can support them by donating towards their future, online.”
When it comes to other particulars to TechFest Bill continues, “For the second year, we are creating radio commercials for TechFest, which is a way for us to connect the students directly and professionally with other jobs and opportunities. I believe we are starting another new scholarship for the students who create the best radio jingle.”
This year has a great lineup of performers. Being their sixth year, they’ve had many people contact them interested in playing; but they’ve had to make cuts after 20 bands. That being said, the performers they decided on are a very good group of choices.
Many of the bands are local from the Ocean and Monmouth area and include John Gilman, Olivia Bec, Yawn Mower, Wicked Hollow, Tyler Veit, Bone And Marrow, Cold Weather Company, Rose Lees, Radio Flyers, Mad Feather Group, Hannah Craft, 18th And Addison, Jonathan Stamper, The Wrecks, Brittany Byrne, The Music Academy, Izzy Mizell, Split The Dollar, and Idol Time Vocal Academy.
Bill also tells us that, “We are working with Chauvet lighting. They are helping donate some lights and a workshop on lighting for the students. Guitar Center and Eightsixteen Music Studios are donating the back lines.”
One of the most interesting and downright exciting sections of TechFestSix will be the addition of the hosting of a discussion panel featuring Alan Douches from West West Side Mastering. “I think this will be a great addition to the event. It will be from 12-1 pm before TechFest starts. There will be more details to come in the near future, and another poster promoting that. It will be open to the public. I think our direction is helping the young artists/engineers write and record good songs, publishing, copyrights, distribution, promotion, social media, etc. Like I said, working on specifics, but I’m thinking a title like ‘Music Industry Discussion Panel – The artist and their art as a business’.
Support New Jersey artists and aspiring high school students performing at their best. Be there at the Brick Presbyterian Church in Brick, New Jersey on April 9, 2016. Doors open at 1 pm, with our first act kicking off at 2 pm. Tickets are 10 dollars, and the proceeds go to the ‘Dennis Bourke Hopes & Dream Scholarship fund’ which offers two annual scholarships to our students.”
If you cannot attend but would still like to donate, you can make a check out to OCVTS, memo “TechFestSix.” Or visit techfestmusic.com for up-to-date information and other ways to support.
I’ve known Bill Bourke since he was a little kid in his father’s studio and personally he’s come a long way as a musician and has added a lot of good to the scene for all of those wishing to be part of it. So jam out, have some fun, eat food, bring friends, and spend money. It’s a party for a cause!
For further information, please contact Bill Bourke at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact him at (732)-300-3987.
And please email me at email@example.com for any other organization or music group you would like to see on this page.