Richard Dreyfest V a big hit, plans laid for next year

Organizers of Richard Dreyfest V are calling the event a big success, and they are already laying plans for Dreyfest VI.

“All in all, we were really stoked about how it turned out,” said musician and writer Phillip Griffin, one of the main organizers of the punk-inspired music and arts festival. “The event got off without any major hitches, which was something of a surprise because no one in this year’s organizational core had done it before.”

Held Aug. 11 and 12 at eight venues in downtown Billings, Dreyfest V attracted an estimated 400 people, Griffin said. They were entertained by 32 musical acts, eight poetry acts (most of which featured collaborations between artists and musicians), 11 comics and eight visual artists.

The comedy show and the poetry event, offered this year for the first time, were both successful, too, Griffin said.

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Mary Kate Teske

The crowd at Smiling Dog Records sways with the music of The Budgets.

“To me, it’s really great to have multimedia offerings because most of us, artists and enthusiasts alike, have interests beyond our focus,” he said. “We’ll definitely include comedy and poetry next year.”

Including visual art was also new this year. Griffin said one of his favorites was the video synthesis projection show by Bozeman artist Ernav K. (which you can see in some of the photos above). Griffin  said he’s already been in touch with a visual artist in Missoula who does something similar, “so we’ll have even more of that next year.”

Organizers are thinking of putting the festival on next year on Aug. 1o and 11, to keep it a Friday-Saturday event. They also hope to restructure things so that no more than three events are underway at any given time. At one point this year there were four events happening simultaneously — the poetry event and three musical performances — which took a lot of work to deal with.

For next year, he said, they also hope to pick up some more sponsorships, “so we can snag a bigger act or two and make the fest that much cooler. We’ll also have more time to organize, which will help overall. And we’re going to do a submission process, at least for the music aspect, to open things up and get more new talent at the fest.”

Then there are the hopes of bringing in Richard Dreyfuss himself, the actor whose name, sort of, more or less anchors the whole festival. As we reported earlier, Griffin and Brie Ripley, a reporter for Yellowstone Public Radio who also helped with Dreyfest, had a pre-festival interview with Dreyfuss, which became the highlight of a 24-minute podcast they produced.

During that interview, Dreyfuss said he would come to next year’s festival and “talk about any issue you want.”

“We’ll follow up with Richard (I can’t believe I’m saying this) here pretty quickly, to improve our chances of getting on his schedule,” Griffin said. “I think we’ll also send him a swag bundle with a T-shirt with his face on it, some stickers, a poster with his face on it, a hat with his face on it, and whatever other fest paraphernalia we’ve got.”

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  1. Pingback: Artists, poets team up for ‘living room’ show | Last Best News