In May, the International Pop Overthrow event hits Liverpool for the 17th straight year. It has become central to my social calendar with “Is it May yet?” being somewhat of a running joke among my fellow event goers. (Though, I do recall that the first two were actually later in the year.)
Why all the fuss? Well after 17 years of attending the festival I have gained so very many friends that to have that many people I love all in one place is pretty overwhelming.
Way on back in year dot for the Liverpool event, it was my friend Jean Catharell who initially got me involved, in fact she was the driving force in getting David Bash to bring the event over to the UK. For a few years I rode the Merch Table, selling CDs and various paraphernalia for the bands playing each night. This is how I met some of my most awesome friends. Eventually the long hours took a bit of toll and I became just an attendee. This meant I got to see more bands. Mind you I don’t think you are ever “just an attendee” at IPO – the gathering of regular faces is as much part of the event as the music for me. Once people start to arrive I feel at home, it really has become quite the community.
And it is a community that grows each year as we all find new bands that pique our interests and eagerly share our finds with our friends. More often than not the bands hang around at the venues after their slots giving opportunities to say hello and offer appreciation. Every year the roster of lovely souls that I know gets longer.
The modern wonder of social media means that a lot of us stay in touch between events and the friendships blossom and bloom continuously. We have all both gained and lost friends along the way, but we all seem to be travelling on the musical journey together.
Having recently moved all my music posts to this blog it’s possible to look back and see that I do tend to post a lot over the event. This year will probably be no different, and I make no apologies for my enthusiasm about it all.