by Dalisia Brye
Special to The New Tri-State Defender
The 1884 Lounge was filled to capacity as it kicked off the seventh installment of Dreamfest this past weekend. Acts from across the Mid-South performed in front of indie music lovers selected from hundreds of submissions.
Brought to life by CLE Events creator Catherine Evans, Dreamfest initially started as a birthday party but eventually shifted into one of Memphis’ biggest platforms for independent artists throughout the years, making this year its biggest to date.
“My birthday is Jan. 16 so when I kicked everything off seven years ago, I just wanted a party with my favorite acts,” said Evans. “The show was not only sold out, but it lasted nine hours as well. I totally was not prepared for that and it made me realize that I needed to make this into something more.”
Originally called “The Festival of Dreamers,” the foundation of Dreamfest was centered around Martin Luther King’s birthday to promote diversity in music. “Memphis has such amazing talent, but it lacked diversity as well, and with Dreamfest I wanted to bring that to the table,” said Evans.
From poets to singers, the two-hour concert headlined some of the best upcoming artists from Memphis, such as Lyfe is Dope headliner Izzy Moore, Suavo J, Queen Tyki X. Leonzo Arnold, better known under his stage name as Tha Kidd from Marz, was ecstatic to showcase his talent in front of the sold-out crowd.
“I’ve participated in Dreamfest before when I participated in an IMBL Cypher a few years ago, but this is my first year headlining the show,” said Arnold. “This show has been a huge platform for me. It’s like people take me more serious and I plan to take this platform and use it to jumpstart my career in music.”
Despite the snow postponing the original date of the show, Evans states the support for Dreamfest has been overwhelming. “Usually we had to come out of pocket to put this show together, but thanks to our sponsors and citywide support, we managed to have another successful year, and I’m very happy.”
For more information, contact Catherine Evans on Dreamfest Weekend’s Facebook page.