Locals Only Fest at Oswego County Event Center Saturday

Sixteen bands.

Ten bucks.

The exchange is in your favor, people.

Syracuse’s 95X has put together the Locals Only Festival, a one-day fest hosted by the Oswego County Event Center, to take place Saturday, August 9.

From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. the playbill promises a load of hard-rocking talent who dares people to call them anything buy “local” – If Hope Dies, Era, Stone Soul Foundation, Nasty Habit, After Earth, Snapmare, The Afro Nips, Ohne Ka & The Burning River, One Step From Falling, Ah! Ethernauts, Department, Feast of the Superb Owl, Human Lanterns, Bridge Under Fire, Damon Larus, and Civil Servants.

“The boys in Era and I just wrapped up an awesome jam session,” said Barry Huribut last week through the event’s Facebook page, “and we are gonna be debuting some BRAND NEW brutality at this event.”

Era, who earned Syracuse’s Sammie Award for Best Heavy Metal band back in March, is among the headlining acts from a quickly emerging music scene.

“The local music scene in Syracuse is rich with talent,” said 95X radio personality, Scott Dixon. “We have a plethora of amazing bands in a multitude of genres.  From straight forward radio ready rock like Cry To The Blind and Jeremiah’s Razor to post rock stalwarts like How To Disappear Completely and Ohne Ka and the Burning River to hardcore from Thoughts In Reverse and Snapmare to college/indie rock standouts like Department and Feast Of The Superb Owl.

And, those are just the bands that fall into an easy category.”

Dixon is a veteran to the scene. In his 20 years, he proclaims having booked more than 2500 shows. He has seen almost every local band over each stage of their existence. He name drops Nathan Angell as an example of the “hard work pays off” idiom, but explains there are dozens of locals who have persevered and reaped the benefits from a strong work ethic over the years. Dixon finds inspiration in such examples.

“That is what inspires me, seeing things move forward,” he said. “The better the scene gets, the more inspired I am to do more shows.”

Labeling a band as “local” often times presents a limitation; watering down each complimentary adjective that follows, because it seems to suggest the band is only adequate for local audiences. But, the Locals Only Fest turns that moniker into something equivalent to “VIP”.

“The goal of 95X Locals Only Fest is to demonstrate to the listeners in our area that we have a very talented and diverse local music scene,” said Dixon, “and that they deserve their own festival. … In a self-serving way, it’s also a chance for me to see 16 bands that I adore on a big stage with big production in front of what will hopefully be a big crowd.”

Dixon also suggests that the festival provides an opportunity for these bands to network and collaborate on ideas to help each one succeed, a chance to establish a community.  A far different environment from the competitive scenes other locales endure.

Wagner 3000 Out for Locals Only Fest

Named on the original list of headlining acts, Wagner 3000 is a scratch from the Locals Only Festival’s playbill due to an accident that has left the band’s lead singer happy to be alive.

So, I got injured pretty bad,” stated Dan Wagner, on the band’s Facebook page on August 1. “[I] shattered my heel, fractured my pelvis, and shattered some back bone.

No other details were released on the nature of the accident, or when it took place.

Wagner 3000 is an alternative rock band that formed out of Syracuse back in 1997. They are known for providing a unique blend of music inspired by Cat Stevens, AC/DC, Nine Inch Nails and King Crimson.

“We will be performing later on in the fall,” stated Wagner. “Really bummed to not be able to perform, really glad to not be dead. Be safe, Dan Wagner.”

Damon Larus, a four-piece jam band that focuses on a wide variety of genres – blues, metal, funk, classic rock, alternative – was announced as a replacement on July 28.