St. Louis’ most unusual music festival started by accident.
Videographer Bill Streeter launched the Blog LoFi Saint-Louis in 2005. He showcased the local music scene, with Streeter videos shot of bands performing in bars. Seven years later, a local music collective, Tower Groove Records, asked Streeter if he could make videos to promote his new compilation record. Perhaps, they suggested, he could shoot a video a week on Cherokee Street, which was becoming a South Side indie music hub.
Streeter was into the idea – but local musician Jason Hutto made an offhand suggestion that changed the whole equation. “Can you do it all in one day? »
“I thought about it,” Streeter recalls, “and I thought, ‘We could pull this off. “”
Even with this hubris, it never occurred to Streeter that he was creating a music festival. “I thought people would want to watch the videos,” he said. “I didn’t think they would want to watch us Craft videos.
Listen to Bill Streeter on St. Louis on the Air
But they did. As Streeter explained on Wednesday Saint Louis live“The first year we did it, people start following us everywhere.”
From there, LoFi St. Louis grew into a music video festival and long-awaited annual event. Once a year, Streeter and a bunch of audio crews hold a series of single-day shoots at single-street businesses, and people come out to watch the manic musical fun. This year, the 10th festival, will feature 13 bands, 13 locations and 13 shoots – with 13 one-take (or sometimes two-take) videos by the end of the weekend.
This year, these shoots will not incorporate a live audience as in the past – unless the audience is watching through the windows of the room (which is, in fact, a very real possibility). Partly for COVID-19 reasons and partly because that’s the direction Streeter wanted to go anyway, he’s asking people to stay out. They can watch the setup and – with the music playing outside – they can hear the performance. But for the actual shoots, he could use a few fewer people.
“We are trying to make a video here,” he explained. “It becomes difficult to do that when the room is packed.”
Still, Streeter doesn’t try to lose the festival aspect that makes Lo Fi St. Louis so unique. “I’ve heard people say they knew it was LoFi Cherokee day on Cherokee Street because there are little puddles left on the street,” he said. “As we move forward, we leave behind small puddles of people.
“People can go out and have a beer afterwards, or they can move on to the next one,” he continued. “Or they catch us later today. It’s super cool.
What: LoFi Saint Louis 2022
When: 10:30 a.m. on April 9
Where: Cherokee Street, St. Louis, MO 63118
“Saint Louis live” tells you the stories of Saint-Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenské and produced by Emily Woodbury, Kayla Drake, Danny Wicentowski and Alex Heuer. Jane Mather-Glass is our production assistant. The sound engineer is Aaron Dorr.