Presenting more than 50 bands in multiple venues over the course of four nights as well as Friday’s educational conference at The Savoy (with Chuck D of Public Enemy, among other industry visionaries) and Saturday’s Block Party in the Funk Zone (with Gardens & Villa, Y La Bamba, and other buzz bands), New Noise 2012 is being widely praised as the best fest yet, promising even more growth and impact in the years to come.
“The organizers behind the New Noise Music Conference and Festival are great examples of Santa Barbara’s next generation of emerging creative artists that bolsters our cultural economy,” said Mayor Helene Schneider, who attended multiple parts of the event this year. “This year’s success added to our renewed economic vitality Downtown and in the Funk Zone, and was a lot of fun for all ages to enjoy.”
The mayor’s praise was only icing on the cake for the very pleased New Noise team. “Speaking for our board, our staff, our volunteers, and everyone else who made New Noise happen this year, we cannot be more proud of what we’ve built, and how it all went down in 2012,” said Jeff Theimer, co-founder and executive director of the New Noise Music Foundation, which hosted the first New Noise Santa Barbara in 2009. “Many thanks to the sponsors, foundations, and individuals who supported our cause of bringing live music and industry insight to the masses. Next year will be our fifth anniversary, so we are already hard at work developing ideas to make 2013 even better, bigger, and badder than ever before.”
Though official numbers are still being tallied, New Noise provided a big boost to the downtown economy once again, bringing in many out-of-town visitors for overnight hotel stays, putting more people in seats at restaurants all over town, and helping draw attention to the wineries, retailers, and other businesses in the Funk Zone and on State Street. “Our ability to attract visitors from the Los Angeles and Bay Area markets continues to grow each year,” said Theimer. “But we’re also still the best place for local musicians to be heard, and for Santa Barbarans to get out and experience a half-week of cutting edge bands for one affordable price.”
The two big changes — the conference’s move from the Canary Hotel to The Savoy at 409 State Street and the Block Party in the Funk Zone — also proved to be overwhelmingly positive evolutions for New Noise. At the conference, hip-hip pioneer and leading music industry thinker Chuck D called the event “priceless,” and there was an overwhelming sense of enthusiasm for aspiring musicians, with more than one panel informing the crowd to stay dedicated and be good to fans, customers, and colleagues in order to achieve success.
At the Block Party on Saturday, more than 1,000 people came down in the chilly wind to watch seven bands for just $10, peruse the booths of local companies and nonprofits, park more than 120 bikes through the Bici Centro bike valet, and enjoy beer from Pacific Beverage Company and wine from Funk Zone wineries including Municipal Winemakers, Pali Wine Co., Santa Barbara Winery, and Oreana Winery.
More leading sponsors and supporters of New Noise Santa Barbara 2012 included the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission’s Events & Festival Grant (which is funded by the City of Santa Barbara), The Santa Barbara Independent, Dos Equis, Sonos, Cox Communication’s Back Beat, KCSB 91.9 FM, Playback Studios, KJEE 92.9 FM, Numbskull Shows, LA Weekly, RND Vodka, J7 Surfboards, Horny Toad Clothing, Oniracom, Jensen Audio-Visual, Mutiny Studios, Sonos, Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau, Pace food + drink, KRUZ 97.5 FM, Shelter Social Club, Tito’s Vodka, Whiskey Richards, Velvet Jones, SOhO Restaurant & Music Club, The Savoy, and Muddy Waters Cafe.