The path to unity in the underground Midwest music scene is not a script that easily writes itself. Dedication to a niche subculture has brought solidarity in the form of a music festival, in one of the country’s most underrated cities.
Over the past weekend, 30 bands embarked on a journey to the quant city of Fargo, North Dakota to play the fourth installment of Snow and Flurry Fest. The elegant Stone Building, home to the event over the past four years, is a historic venue cornered in downtown Fargo.
Tucked away in the busy confines of Fargo’s business district, Stone Building has been an integral site of Fargo’s local history. The building was resurrected as Stone’s Music House by Indiana native Charles Stone in 1894, and in 1909, renamed Stone’s Piano Company. In the following years, the building became home for the Fargo College Conservatory of Music, and after restorations in the 1990s, developed into the site of the Avalon Events Center.
Snow and Flurry Fest started in December 2015, when a group of friends had their sights set on bringing a showcase of metal and hardcore bands to their city. With the help of local sponsors and family members, the group was able to secure Stone Building as the venue for such an occasion.
A cold, and dreary weekend was the setting for this year’s rendition of the fest. The first day, Saturday Dec. 8, 2018, was slated to begin at 12:30 p.m. With attendees expected from everywhere in the Midwest, the show would surely begin without all of its ticketed guests.
Featured on both Saturday and Sunday, 15 bands each got their chance to play to a sold-out crowd of 300 people. JJ Kaiser, member of Wisconsin band Slow Panic, was pleasantly surprised by his band’s turnout. “The response from the crowd during our set was insane,” JJ exclaimed.
Following the first day of the fest, many local attendees open up their homes to those concert-goers from out of town. One of Wisconsin’s attendees, Dereck Miles, wasn’t expecting the kind of hospitality he received during his first visit to Snow and Flurry fest. “People I met for the first time were offering me to crash at their house,” Dereck said. “The kind of community and acceptance showed by the people in Fargo was incredible.”
There seemed to be something in the air during the fest’s second day. Perhaps the energy spent on the fest’s first day coupled with the cold temperatures seemed to contribute to a sluggishness for the second day’s onset.
With the sound check of Ohio’s Homewrecker, the finale of the weekend was upon the crowd. A reimbursed energy was dispensed upon the room as the music started. As the music came to an end, new and old friends said goodbye and exited Stone Building.
As the attendees of Snow and Flurry made their trek back to their Midwestern homes, it was only natural to reflect upon the energy they felt over the weekend. Additionally, just as the miles started to add up, the thought of next year’s Snow and Flurry Fest only began to materialize.