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MVP Fest Rocks Out in Support of Music Venues

During the pandemic, performances and shows came to a staggering halt.

Artists, Musicians, venues and more from the creative community suffered from the loss of revenue.

Crosstown High senior, Joseph Baker, became aware of this issue and the current  circumstances of local venues who are still struggling to recover financially. 

For his senior capstone project, he found a mission that aligned with his values and put his energy behind it. Baker put together MVP Fest, a 2- day local music festival that benefits the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).

NIVA helped preserve and nurture local venues, including The Hi-Tone, during the pandemic. 

“The National Independent Venue Association has been a big contributor to saving venues in the wake of the pandemic, including our own Hi Tone."
Joseph Baker
Crosstown High Senior

Even Baker’s band, Lavendear, is set to play on the second day of the festival with longtime rockers Pezz, Lipstick Stains 901, and Public Strain901. 

Credit: Dalton Miller

“Pezz formed when we were teenagers, and we’ve always looked to play shows connected to causes,” co-founder Marvin Stockwell said. “It’s great to see the next generation of bands looking to give back, and venues are a critical partner to local bands, so it just makes sense.

Baker’s band started as a way to strum the blues away during quarantine but has shifted into an Indie Rock Band.The punk rock band also includes Olivre Heck, 17, on bass and guitar, and Joey Eddins, 16, on drums. 

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“Now that we’re getting back to being able to play live shows again, what better way to celebrate than by playing music to support the nonprofit that helped our local venues weather the pandemic and come through on the other side,” Baker said. 

“NIVA’s hard work helped get the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Act pushed through Congress,” Brian “Skinny” McCabe, Hi-Tone owner, said. “Thanks to their support and the support of those starting to come back to see live shows, we’re excited to get back to doing what we do best, presenting the best local, national and international talent around.”

The pandemic had significant impacts, and the music scene in Memphis looked bleak. However, live music is deeply rooted in the Memphis culture and in the bones of everyone who walks the streets. We are thrilled to see it coming back. 

Head to MVP Fest to be a part of the cause.

Check out the line up below ⬇️

day one @ society Skatepark

Music starts at 7. All ages. Cost is $10. 

  • Joybomb
  • Killbosby
  • Pan de Muerto
  • Shorty and the Grooves, Switches
  • Nick Armstrong
  • Big Woof
  • G33PMANE. 
MVP Fest kicks off on Friday, May 6th!
day two @ Hi tone

Music starts at 7 p.m. All ages. Cost is $10.

  • Pezz
  • Lavendear
  • Lipstick Stains
  • Public Strain. 
All MVP Fest profits benefit NIVA, the National Indpendent Venue Association.

Rock out & Learn more about Lavendear

Rock out & Learn more about Pezz

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