Interview with Music Waste Festival Coordinator Dustin Bromley

Callander Girl: For people who aren’t familiar with Music Waste could you go into the History of the festival. Tell us how it got started. How long it’s been going on for.
Dustin Bromley: It’s Music Waste’s 17th year. It was started by a couple bands in 94, as a protest against New Music West’s admission fees. Or at least that’s the legend as I heard it. Terminal City magazine took over the fest later in the 90s, and then Only magazine in the early 2000s… and now us. We don’t have a magazine.

What’s the concept behind the Music Waste Festival? What’s with the lobsters?
Every year we have a different logo. Last year was a toilet with a bow tied around it, the year before was a dollar sign guy wearing a dollar sign bling, the year before that was Madonna coming out of a banana peel. We have local artist Sean Maxey to thank for those wonderful creations.

The concept of the festival itself is to put a giant spotlight on our local music and art scene, and keep it at a low price that’s impossible to resist.

What is the festival looking for when it’s comes to deciding what musicians, comics, and artists perform during the festival. How does one make the final cut?
Comics and artists are curated, either by the participating venue, or our Comedy and Art organizers. Submissions are also considered.

As for music, we put out a call for submissions every year. There’s no fees, just email us your band name, contact info, and a link to your music. Each year, we lock ourselves in a room for 7-10 hours and listen to each and every one of the submitted bands. While listening, we all vote YES, NO, or MAYBE. At the end of this marathon, with a little luck, we’ve whittled down the ~400-500 submissions to around 100. If we could, we’d love to host more bands, but we all have day jobs and work on Music Waste on volunteered time. That’s the basis behind Go Your Own Waste. Any bands/promoters are welcome to submit a GYOW show, and we’ll promote it just the same as the shows we’ve booked ourselves. The only rules are the cover has to be $5 or less, you have to accept MW passes, and the money from the door after expenses is to be split between the bands.


In the beginning how hard was it to convince so many venues in the city to be apart of the festival? Because The Music Waste Festival pretty much takes over the city for five days.
I can’t really speak for the organizers in 94, but nowadays the venues we contact are mostly excited to be a part of Music Waste, and want to help support the local music scene where they can. We’ve had great reactions and cooperation from venues, and hope that continues in the future.

Tell us some things that attendees should expect to see this year that is different from past years? Any little hints to any surprises?
All ages shows! This is something we haven’t been pushing enough in the past. Last year we had a bit of AA, with the daytime record store shows. In addition to those, this year we also have Lana Lous restaurant, which has shows every night of the fest, and permits all ages to attend. (booze will be for sale too, drunkos). The Sunday BBQ at the Waldorf will also have AA and 19+ sections.

We have an iPhone app! We were on a hell of a quick timeline with this guy, and we’re so excited it is up on the itunes store in time. Plan your Music Waste shows FROM YOUR PHONE! The future is now!


Passes are on sale at the following record stores. Quantities are limited, and sell out fast so get
yours now!

Full schedule and lineup can be found here.

Please address all media inquiries to

Check out last year’s promo hilarious promo videos.

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