The Media School

Bloomington residents disagree on diversity in the local music scene

March 26th, 2019 by

The Bloomington music scene is a big part of the community according to residents. Three random interviews conducted in Kirkwood of Bloomington on Feb. 13, 2019 offered different perspectives on whether this scene is diverse or not.

Twenty-year-old, WIUX DJ, Sara Mantich said the college town is dominated by indie rock and punk.

Mantich is originally from the Chicago. However, as a student at Indiana University, she has become a part of this indie rock and punk scene, and she said it has a DIY nature.

“I think it's very like homegrown. A lot of stuff is done at house shows, it's not done in concert halls or anything. A lot of bands are done by students or people we know, and it’s literally in someone’s house.”

Sara Mantich, 20, Chicago

“I think it’s very like homegrown. A lot of stuff is done at house shows,” she said. “It’s not done in concert halls or anything. A lot of bands are done by students or people we know, and it’s literally in someone’s house.”

Former resident of Alabama, 30-year-old, Tyree Shelton, has found pleasure in the music scene since coming here.  He said, there has been diversity present in Bloomington’s music, and it can be found at local venues and bars such as the Bluebird.

"They have a pretty wide range. I’ve been to Marcus King band there. Del McCurry, opposite side of the spectrum there so Bluegrass, and then you got Southern rock. So, it was all pretty great.”

Tyree Shelton, 30, Alabama

“They have a pretty wide range. I’ve been to Marcus King band there,” Shelton said. “Del McCurry, opposite side of the spectrum there so Bluegrass, and then you got Southern rock. So, it was all pretty great.”

Inside local Landlocked Records, a 24-year-old employee, Derek Navardauskas, said there are genres of music missing in Bloomington, and the first one he named was hip-hop. He said there isn’t a representation of this genre, because the artists don’t normally have shows or the spaces to perform.  He attributed this to a lack of opportunity.

“There’s not a lot of people promoting shows like that,” he said. “There has been in the past but it’s not really happening right now.”

"You have to get people inspired to book their own shows. But they also have to have the resources to put those things together. You just need to know that you can do things yourself rather than expect it from other people and that's how things happen."

Derek Navardauskas, 24, Bloomington

Mantich said she sees several posters around Bloomington advertising different shows, but she admitted that she doesn’t seek out different genres given that she’s a fan of indie music. Although, she doesn’t see a lack of diversity in music, she said music festivals are a way to bridge the gap.

“I am a part of WIUX, so we’re always excited about Culture Shock, and the bands we bring in,” she said. “I feel like it is closer to indie rock, so there’s a lack there, of a large variety of types of music, but I think it does bring people together.”

Navardauskas said that the hip-hop community should create their own opportunities.

“You have to get people inspired to book their own shows. But they also have to have the resources to put those things together,” he said. “You just need to know that you can do things yourself rather than expect it from other people and that’s how things happen.”