GTG (Good Time Gang) Fest, held in Ionia, is a yearly celebration of mid-Michigan's musical talent that has been held for the past two years every July. This year's event, held Saturday July 10, 2010, will be no different says the co-founder of GTG and member of The Plurals, Tommy McCord, via email. "The main reason we wanted to do this is pretty simple: we wanted to celebrate the great music that can be found in the mid-Michigan music scene, and we wanted it to be something that everyone could just enjoy themselves at" he says. This year's celebration will feature Johnny Unicorn, The Cartridge Family, Narc Out The Reds, as well as McCord's own bands The Plurals, The Break-Ups and Drinking Mercury.
The beginnings of GTG Fest can be traced back to lack of venues to play in Ionia County, according to McCord. "...There have been no stable venues for live, original music in Ionia County for quite some time (some people would argue there never have been) so whenever we wanted to do a show in the area we would have to get creative" says McCord.This creativity lead them to playing shows behind McCord's Farm Market and in 2007 they began what would later become the true GTG Fest by creating...GTG Fest.
He recalls that the first "GTG Fest" was held in downtown Portland, MI to coincide with another festival but says that there many problems. In his words, "the city basically didn't take us seriously when we approached them with the concept of a block of live music from local, original talent, so we decided that if we wanted to have some sort of GTG showcase festival we had to do it on our own terms" he said. This idea of doing it on their own terms would bring them to where they are today.
The current incarnation of GTG Fest is held at McCords' parent's house and says although you might think they would have disapproved, the bands and fans alike have been very well behaved. He says "I kind of tricked my parents into GTG Fest in a way, by having a small party with The Plurals and a couple other bands at their house, and using that to say 'see, everyone was well-behaved, so it shouldn't be a problem to do this again.' 'Again' was something like 14 bands (in 2008), but after my parents saw how good of a time everyone had and how there were no problems they just sort of assumed it was going to happen again." This small party to a full-blown festival in Mid-Michigan can be attributed to a few things. The locality of the musicians that play at GTG Fest adds to the local feel of the festival. "The focus of GTG Fest is the mid-Michigan music scene, with Lansing being most prominently featured by the simple circumstance of it being where we live and base our operations and therefore where we know the most people."
McCord says that this year's festival may be the last in its current incarnation, however. "Of course, I'm sure something called 'GTG Fest' will continue after this year, but I'm ready to figure out a different incarnation. So... anyone still on the fence about coming this year... be warned that this will be the last one like this!".
Visit http://www.myspace.com/goodtimegangrecordings for more information on GTG Fest
Check GTG Fest out on Facebook for a full lineup and schedule