It's all going down at the Howard Johnson St. Louis Airport Hotel (4530 North Lindbergh Boulevard) -- a great place for a one-night stand if ever there was one -- in 35 hotel rooms, the bar, the breakfast room and the second-floor ballroom of one of the hotel's four buildings. Hotel rooms? That's right -- the bands will play in hotel rooms (sans furniture, for space considerations), turning each numbered enclave into one tiny honeycomb in a screaming beehive of rock. An entire building is dedicated to the event (which is co-sponsored by the RFT), so attendees are invited to book a room upstairs and stay the night. It's a hotel party of epic proportion -- with plenty of security on hand, of course.
The logistical genius behind this whacked-out colossus is Daniel Brewster, head of Soulard-based DiMBy Productions. He says he searched "about three months" to find a hotel willing to do what he envisioned; as to what spawned this vision of excess, Brewster just says, "Who knows what goes on inside my head?"
While there have been large-scale hotel music events in the past -- Miami's Remix Hotel, a three-day DJ extravaganza, comes to mind -- that might make the event seem familiar, this is the first time it's been attempted in our city. "It's definitely a unique event, and St. Louis needs some more like it to wake [the city] up," says Brewster. As of press time, more than 70 bands have confirmed, and Brewster says there are "150 on the fence," which should make for a plethora of three-chord wake-up calls. And what kind of music should fans expect? "Hard rock, indie rock, pop rock. For the most part, rock." But of course.
As if the chance to play a gig where you literally crash on the floor when you're through isn't incentive enough, there are prizes to be had for two lucky bands. In true democratic form, attendees vote for their eight favorite bands of the day. Starting at 11 p.m. (the hotel-room shows finish at 10 p.m.), the big eight will play a set in the ballroom, where they'll be judged by an impartial panel of industry-types. The winner gets 1000 copies of a two-song CD demo courtesy of recording studio AmpStl (who will also provide the panel of judges), and the runner-up receives a six-month booking contract with Occupy the City, a Columbia, Missouri-based booking agency.
"Sometimes bands need help," says Brewster, "and we'd like St. Louis to be a place where bands can get it."