INTERESTED IN PLAYING AT KCF?
True story. In 2010, when we started this event, we struggled mightily to find bands to fill out the lineup. We were aiming for 8 bands in 8 hours, and really battled to find the 7th and 8th. Finally, one afternoon, in a stroke of luck we found them both and, poof... the lineup was set. One hour later we got an email from a band who wanted to know if they could play. We had to say NO. The lineup was full, but...we told them that if anyone dropped out, we'd get a hold of them. Just like that, we had a "waiting list" of bands wanting to play. The funny thing is, do you know who that first band was? It was a band called Protest for Pluto, who would later change their name to The Protest, and would be the band that changed A1M/KCF forever.
From that first email from Protest For Pluto in 2010 and even to this very day, we get a ton of emails, text messages, facebook messages, direct messages on twitter, and phone calls from bands, band managers, friends of bands and anyone associated with bands trying to get us to add them to the lineup. At one point we had well over 800 band submissions for just 29 slots. Some bands waited 5 years to finally get on, and others have still been waiting. There is method to our madness and a process that we go through.
With NO Christian ROCK radio stations in our area, other than the ones playing the Contemporary Christian music, we have to BUILD audiences over time. Bands that are festival favorites are back every year, and many others return as well. In fact, we have just over half of our bands in our lineup are "returning" bands. Most already have a fan base here, and some have become so well loved that it just wouldn't seem like a KCF if they weren't here. So, 15 of the 29 bands are familiar faces, and the other 14 are newcomers.
KCF is a festival that has a little bit of everything, in an attempt to reach as many different types of people as possible. We have had everything from: urban gospel, tracked vocalists, acoustic performances, praise & worship, indie rock, rock, alternative rock, punk rock, hard rock, pop rock, pop-punk, celtic punk, shock/horror punk, hip-hop, metal, spoken word, and beatboxing... you name it, and we might've had it.
In order to keep the variety, and the mixture of 15/14 in place with hundreds of bands submissions, this year we started something new. We put together a selection committee. We sorted through the bands, placed them all in various groups/genres and then began to rank them. Each committee member voted for their Top 10 in all the categories. We simply tabulated the results and that generated an ordered list of how we were going to submit the offers. We started at the top, and worked our way down. As bands accepted the "offer" we posted that they were coming. As bands "declined" offers, we simply went to the next one on the list. We simply followed that procedure until all the slots were filled. When something came up and bands dropped out, we simply moved to the next one on the list.
A couple things to keep in mind. KCF is not like any of the other festivals. We've attended many of them, and KCF is special because of its intimacy (smaller crowds allow more time to meet and talk with bands), and because it prioritizes MINISTRY over MUSIC. You can be the greatest musicians on the planet, but if you aren't willing to talk with people, or pray with people, it minimizes our desire to use your band. We believe that ON the stage, a band can get their hooks into you. Maybe its the catchy lyrics, or the energetic performance, but OFF the stage, that is where you can directly impact someone's life. So, at KCF, the focus is on finding bands, that are phenomenal musically, but ever better OFF the stage.
We now have an ONLINE band submission form. You can either click on the photo above to go to that form, or click HERE. The form is super fast to fill out, and it will give you a chance to pick whether you are submitting your band for consideration for just KCF, or for all of the related A1M events, like Pit Fest, The Danger Room, and other random shows put on through the years.
Now that you have heard the "process" of how we decide who will be at KCF, I hope that will ease some of those who think we are just "passing over" them. Some bands were very close this year, closer than ever. There were some bands who were very close before but just lost a few slots because the voting on the selection committee.
Finally, bands should be aware that we do NOT have Christian ROCK radio here. While we applaud the successes when bands have Top 20, Top 10 or even #1 songs on the charts, it does not translate to being a big draw here. We say that because we have had bands that have wanted to argue that because they had a Top 10 song, they'd be a draw and needed to play late. To this crowd, almost everyone should assume they haven't heard your music before and you have a great opportunity to make an awesome first impression.
You can submit your band for consideration at any time. We will begin, sometime around Christmas sorting the submissions and forming the committee to judge all the bands again. Please do NOT feel like you've been overlooked, as we will carefully consider all the submissions we receive. But trimming from 800+ down to 29 is extremely tough, and if your band is not included, should not reflect poorly on the band at all, its just a hard lineup to crack.