Tillsonburg Scene is back in town.
Ben Andress of Blacktop Records originally created Tillsonburg Scene for MySpace around 2004-2005, migrating it to Facebook a couple months ago with archives that go back several years. Just recently he purchased the domain site for www.tillsonburgscene.com.
"So now there is an official website... which is kind of cool. It's going to have a list of all the upcoming shows in the area."
It includes shows promoted by Blacktop Records, but other local events as well, including Tillsonburg Fair's Battle of the Bands fundraiser, at venues like Sammy Krenshaw's and Kelsey's Tillsonburg.
Andress remembers a time from 2005-2007 when he posting about 2-3 or more shows a month, held at the venues like the Legion and Library. He remembers when they'd set up a show, and even though no one knew the bands, just that 'there was a show this weekend,' and 300 kids would show up.
And years later when it was a struggle to get 20 people to a venue.
"Matt Scholtz was a really, really big supporter when we first started doing it," said Andress. "He was the one who really got what we were doing. Everyone else said, 'you're just a bunch of kids.' We were like 18 or 19 at the time. Matt was a big supporter, he was cool. Even at one point, he said, 'you can't set up shows here in the library anymore, it's ruining the carpet.' Which was a valid concern. So we started doing acoustic shows. We tried to do whatever we could, utilize any space we could over the years, just to build it up. Every weekend there was something to do. It was kind of a unique thing. I felt like back in the day, it was a community or 'scene.' Everybody knew each other. It was a like a family, it was really cool.
"Then the Internet came out and people got busy doing other things. And the numbers dwindled."
These days they use social media to promote shows, they use radio (London 98.1 FM), and even old-school flyers. Everyone gets together as a 'scene' - as a community - all promoting together.
"It's starting to get to the point where... we'd do a show on a Saturday and we have 150 kids and adults out. It's kind of interesting to start seeing some of those numbers come out again - the same numbers that we had like 10 years ago... It's been a wild 10 years and I'm glad that people are starting to get it again, I think.
"It's nice to be able to have people making art and being able to share it, and people feeling good about each other and hanging out. That's how I feel about music. And that's why I wanted to make it 'Tillsonburg Scene.'
"James from Long Story, he's doing a lot of stuff in the community right now. He's a big supporter of what's going on. Keith O'Donnell, he's set up a couple shows at the Legion and at Kelsey's, and plays a lot. There's also a lot of people in bands, people like Dan Hamm, Shane McElhone... they've also taken the initiative to rent halls and set up stuff, like at The Copper Mug. So it's not just me doing this - it's cool that there are other people in town who are all in on it now.
"Music's music, and everyone should know about it."
Green Jellÿ - August 4
Tillsonburg Scene's next featured event happens tomorrow night, Thursday, August 4th at Sammy Krenshaw's, 51 Broadway.
"People in town really need to know this show is happening," said Andress.
The featured band is Grammy-nominated Green Jellÿ with Blind Barber, Heart Attack Kids, and BS101. Advance tickets are $15, or $18 at the doors. An all ages/licenced event. Doors at 8:30 p.m. Credit cards and Debit Visa cards are now accepted at the door with the new Square Reader.
"If you want to see a show you'll never forget, Green Jellÿ is for you," said Matt Groopie of Green Jellÿ.
"Whether you're into the music or not, you'll always walk away saying 'I've never seen anything like that in my life.' Which is what good art is about right?
"It's entertainment - we're not just standing there playing our songs - the audience is a HUGE part of the show. Our last tour with Insane Clown Posse had us playing huge rooms that were packed, but we also like playing smaller places in small towns because it's really all the same: it's an audience that wants to be entertained and whether it's in Toronto or Tillsonburg, our goal is to rock that place harder than anyone has before or will after. We strive to make every show memorable and legendary.
"It's a treat and pleasure to be able to play with such a legendary band, and William Manspeaker is a true original who is willing to put it all on the line for the sake of the audience."
Green Jellÿ Fun Facts
* Green Jellÿ sold over 2.5 million albums worldwide grossing over $25 million.
* Green Jellÿ has over 7,000,000 total plays on YouTube.
* Green Jellÿ was nominated for a Grammy, MTV Award, and Billboard Music Award.
* Green Jellÿ still holds the record for biggest selling debut record in England's chart history.
* Green Jellÿ held the record for most requested video in MTV's history.
* Green Jellÿ's 3 Little Pigs was on the Billboard Music Charts as No. 1 selling single and No. 1 selling video.
* From 2010-2012 Green Jellÿ sold over 700,000 songs on iTunes.
* Currently, Green Jellÿ has been touring since 2008, and have done over 400 shows across North America.