Mission Creek Festival begins today

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 28, 2011 7:20 AM

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With the weeklong Mission Creek Festival beginning today, we spoke with development director Nathan Gould to fill us in on the festival.

Daily Iowan: How many workers/volunteers does it take to set up Mission Creek Festival?

Gould: The Mission Creek staff is 13 people strong. We all wear numerous hats and help with programming, production, sponsorship, and marketing/design. Outside of the core staff, there are countless advisers, partners, and supporters who make the festival happen.

DI: What is your specific role with Mission Creek?

Gould: I’m the development director and work to connect local businesses with the festival. Whether it be a financial sponsorship, having a band dine in their restaurant, or hosting an event, we are grateful for the tremendous support Iowa City provides.

DI: What’s the hardest thing about preparing for Mission Creek?

Gould: This might sound silly, but with the festival being a week long, you really have to prep yourself. It’s nonstop all week. Getting some sleep, catching up on work and life outside of the festival, and hydration are all key.

DI: What does Mission Creek mean to Iowa City?

Gould: In many ways the festival is a celebration of the cultural vibrancy we have here in Iowa City. Mission Creek is a unique collection of music, literature, and art. We are able to showcase the vast talent in our community, while bringing national and regional acts into Iowa City.

DI: Take us through the process of booking big names such as Jeff Tweedy and John Waters.

Gould: A lot of brainstorming happens as a group in our meetings, and then the programming staff makes contact with the bands and booking agents. There is a lot back and forth in the group, and the final lineup consists of artists we are passionate about. We also work with community partners to curate events. … The Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth) lecture is a special example of these partnerships. Professor Kembrew McLeod and the University Lecture Committee were key in bringing them.

DI: How far has Mission Creek come along as a prominent music festival in the Midwest?

Gould: Being multifaceted, with the music and literature components, the festival is a demonstration of Iowa City’s cultural environment. We work to highlight our special community, while bringing in some fantastic artists.

DI: Which acts are you personally excited to see at Mission Creek this year?

Gould: With so many shows each night, I have a pretty long list. Wye Oak, Ravens & Chimes, Kurt Vile, and Here We Go Magic are all definitely bands I’ll check out. Of course, I’m also looking forward to seeing cultural icon John Waters at the Englert.

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