When the average San Antonian thinks about the burgeoning niches of urban development and mixed-use architecture for family-friendly work and play, two revitalized breweries come to mind: The Pearl and Blue Star. Yet, with plans for groundbreaking tentative for summer 2017, and after playing host to several successful festivals including Hot Wells Harvest Fest and Untapped San Antonio Music Festival, Lone Star Brewery is becoming a viable player in that conversation, slated to bring a well-deserved reverence and energy to a side of San Antonio that is transforming quickly.
(Read More: Ambitious Plans Take Shape at Lone Star Brewery)
On Oct. 29-30, best known as Dia de Los Muertos weekend in San Antonio, Texas-based promoter ScoreMore Shows will build on the success of festivals such as Neon Desert in El Paso and bring the hip-hop heavy, two-day, one-stage celebration Mala Luna Music Festival to the Lone Star Brewery. The weekend actively celebrates up-and-coming artists such as Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, and San Antonio's very own Greg G, while giving the masses headliners like Travis Scott and Steve Aoki.
The crew of ScoreMore Shows brought it up close and personal at Brigid this past Tuesday evening, with “Cocktail Hour With The Team,” an opportunity for San Antonio to get to know the organization that is responsible for putting on arguably the most ambitious festival unique to our city outside of Maverick Music Festival.
“This is just to introduce people to the vision,” said Kevin Hayden, leader of ScoreMore'S San Antonio street team. “This is not an outside company coming in to take advantage of the market, these are people with good hearts, good souls who just want to contribute.”
The evening had that communal feel that is San Antonio – albeit the ritzier version of new-fangled charm with a bourgeois flair – as leaders from the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce intertwined with curators from the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center who tilted cocktail glasses with directors from Centro San Antonio and SATX Music – even Spurs sharp-shooter Danny Green, an avid hip-hop advocate, hung back nonchalantly in the crowd.
“We’re growing. SA is becoming more aware, more present, more current,” Hayden said, whose perspective is grounded in experience as he grew up on the Eastside and attended East Central High School. “It’s really important to me that we’ve been able to represent SA on a larger scale with the resources we’ve brought in to do what we do.”
The masterminds behind ScoreMore, which originated in Austin, have spent the last few years experimenting in different markets and showcasing the talent they know people are after.
“SA often feels left out of getting certain types of acts," Hayden said. "But the people here like what the rest of the nation likes, so we said ‘Why not?'
“It’s about doing more than just a festival – it’s about enriching the culture of SA.”
Setting the foundation for a grand-scale festival with budgets in the millions takes years of conversation, cultivation, and collaboration that have to align with synergy for the vision to manifest. ScoreMore Shows has been honing its craft since 2009, displaying a unique approach to meeting Millennials where they’re at, and putting together a team of charismatic and driven people who know how to ignite the music industry.
Founder Sascha Stone Guttfreund – who prefers the title “head coach” – began the business as a student at the University of Texas at Austin, with an approach that he describes as “for the students, by the students.”
“I had this concept of how the street team would roll, doing things door to door, there was nothing proprietary about it,” Guttfreund said. “At the time hip-hop wasn’t really touring but we got in at the right moment – cold-calling agents (and) managers – and managed to book guys like Kendrick Lamar at the White Rabbit.”
When success almost got the best of him and his team, Guttfreund put the brakes on, took a step back, and reorganized the business model. “What I realized is, it’s not about the money. You gotta take your time and find out what you stand for,” Guttfreund said. “So we started getting involved with cool projects, telling people if they donated to a nonprofit, we’ll give away free tickets.”
This model has turned into a hallmark of the approach when ScoreMore does any festival, as it now involves a local nonprofit that is connected with the music community to benefit from the event, both culturally and financially.
“It’s the intrinsic reward, at the end of the day. How can we contribute to people’s well-being and life,” Guttfreund said. “For Mala Luna Music Festival we partnered with Network For Young Artists (NYA). We are giving them a chance to perform in front of their hometown crowd, and they’ll receive a portion of ticket sales as well.”
Much of Guttfreund’s philosophy seems to be influenced by his transformation from a boy, to a college kid, to a grown man, with his business endeavors mirrored and subsequently impacted at each stage.
“People came and spoke about social responsibility and I wasn’t hearing it,” Guttfreund said of his high school days as a self-described punk and under-achiever. “Hopefully we can connect with young people and show them (that) there (are) a bunch of different opportunities to work in music. If four or five kids walk away saying ‘Man that was awesome,’ then it’s a win for us.”
For weekend general admission and VIP passes to the inaugural Mala Luna Music Festival, click here.
Interested patrons are encouraged to act fast as these tickets are in short supply and will increase in price as the event date approaches. VIP passes give ticket buyers the ultimate festival-going experience, with perks including preferred viewing areas, expedited entry, dedicated bar and restroom facilities, festival merchandise, and additional amenities to be announced.
Top image: Travis Scott will be headlining Mala Luna Music Festival. Photo courtesy of ScoreMore Shows.