Festival spotlights the dying art of concert posters

By AUSTIN WHITELY

Some of the booths at the Forecastle Festival housed artists of the API, or the American Poster Institute. In a world of cut-and-paste, templated, Photoshop tutorial flyers, today’s concert poster artists stand apart. Down to earth, yet behemoths in their art genre, Forecastle shined a rare light on a sometimes forgotten, but imaginative and important sector of the art and music world.

Believe it or not, musicians have to advertise their shows on something other than social media, so the posters play a big role in their marketing campaign. If only that movement were as strong today as it was 30 years ago, then creativity and innovativeness would be a requirement for advertising, rather than tons of cash to back repetitive, swarming, clickable media.

Many of the musicians at Forecastle had contracted these artists to create concert posters, keeping the, seemingly lost art alive. Cricket Press, Darin Shock, James Flames, and Boss Construction are some of the names that have created posters for the likes of Jack White, Beck, My Morning Jacket, Phish, Skrillex, and St. Vincent. I spoke to Mexican Chocolate—don’t worry, he gave me his real name, so I didn’t have to refer to him as Mexican Chocolate—an artist who’s worked with such bands as Queens of the Stone Age, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, The Mars Volta, Them Crooked Vultures, Clutch, Danzig, and the Foo Fighters. He said, “We’re here to prevent bootlegging, and to support each other.”

 

 


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