Saturday day morning 30 groggy musicians will gather at The EARL for The Happenstance. Usually bands take months to prepare set lists, write lyrics, and practice for their big night. But The Happenstance isn’t your usual battle of the bands. This is “A Battle of Hastily Assembled Bands”. None of the musicians will know each other before they are broken off into 5 piece bands. At the end of the day each are responsible for creating a 20 minute set to perform at The EARL.
While this is the ninth year The Happenstance has been running in Atlanta, shows like this have been happening across the nation for years said Brian Fletcher, who has worked The Happenstance since the first year. They begin soliciting to musicians in October to join, making sure to get a wide range of different kinds of talent from folk singers to hard rockers. They are “trying to foster the unexpected, we don’t want it to be all indie rockers” said Fletcher.
Unlike any show in Atlanta, The Happenstance is truly unique. Fletcher said one year there was a band who had time (somewhere between planning an entire set list in a single day) to go out and buy costumes for their performance that night. Guitarists have gotten cold feet right before the show, and essentially the day is “one heap of craziness” said Fletcher.
All in all, the day is focused on local musicians and the local music scene here in Atlanta. Pushing different types of musicians together forces new sounds and new mixes to come about. Fletcher even said that there was little drama between the bands in all the years he has been working the event. With just one day, and 20 minutes on stage, the artists pull together for a one of a kind performance. “They are so into it, and they have to work together because there is no other choice, so people are more forgiving,” sad Fletcher.
Nothing about Saturday night will be anything near normal. The audience will get to really be part of brand new music, made that day. Additionally, The Happenstance picks a secret theme every year (even us here at AMG are not privy to the theme). In the past, themes have included songs that have animals in the title, and songs written in ’83, and the sets have to go by the theme of the year.
Come by The EARL Saturday, December 8th for the debut performance of six local bands. Be part of the brand new music! If that isn’t enough, The Happenstance is a charity event and proceeds go to The Atlanta Food Bank and Sweet Relief, an organization helping musicians in need.