Bischoff, Cassar and Kessinger aren’t just concerned with throwing the raddest party, though. Crucial Fest is all part of their plan to strengthen the local and regional music scene by bringing all types of bands together in one big, rock n’ roll group hug. Says Bischoff, “This year, we have a handful of bands from Portland, Seattle, San Diego, Denver, Boise—and that’s a tour right there, if all these bands know each other.” Cassar wants to make Crucial Fest, and Salt Lake in general, a destination for good music. “Salt Lake City is such a good hub … but I think a lot of bands pass it over because they’re like, ‘We’ve never been to Utah. I don’t even know if they allow music in Utah.’ We want to help put it on the map. There have been people doing this in Salt Lake for 10 years, 20 years and we’re just trying to keep that going,” he says.
At this year’s festival, running June 20-23 and June 27-30, there will be more bands and more shows spread over various Salt Lake venues, with all-day Kilby Court extravaganzas complete with art, vendors, food carts and skate demos on both Saturdays. Although you can attend any individual show for $10 at the door, buying an all-access pass is the way to go, as it gets you into every show and gets you free stuff. “This year, the ticket’s still cheap—it’s 25 bucks for 14 shows and 75 bands, but only 20 bucks for an all-ages pass,” says Bischoff. Now that’s a damn good deal. “Quite frankly, people like us can’t afford to go to Outside Lands in San Francisco, and [to]Coachella every year. We’re hoping to offer something that is similar … where you can have an amazing time and see a bunch of awesome bands,” says Cassar.
Forget those other festivals and come out to see Author & Punisher, O’Brother, INVDRS, Handicapitalist, Subrosa and 70 more. For additional information and a full schedule, visit exigentrecords.com. Snag your all-access pass at any Graywhale location and follow @CrucialFest on Twitter for tip-offs about after parties and secret shows. I’ll see you there—your attendance is, in the CF crew’s words, “totes croosh!”