By Al Kaufman
The one thing a music writer does more than anything else is hit the “delete” button. In the time it took me to write that last sentence, three press releases appeared in my in-box. A press release is like a resume given to a major conglomerate; it needs something to make it stand out. A press release marking the Trinumeral Festival did just that. This electronic dance music festival has been going on once a year throughout the southeastern United States since January 1, 2001 and will end this year on December 12, 2012, in Atlanta. This year’s lineup includes Flying Lotus, Nadastrom (Dave Nada & Matt Nordstrom), Blockhead, Eliot Lipp, Break Science, Teebs, Mindelixir, Panther God, Marley Carroll and many more. But the question that had to be asked was, “Why?” Who is behind this? Is it prophesying the end of the world? Do weird sacrificial rituals go on during the festivals? This kind of in-depth investigative journalism seemed to have Pulitzer Prize written all over it. By sneaking into dark corners and using secret knocks, I finally was put in contact with Grant Howell of Under One Beat Entertainment, who clued me in on all the secrets.
Who are you guys?
Trinumeral Productions was started by me and Par Neiburger. We met in second grade in Miami and knew then we wanted to be involved in music. At the time we thought we would be famous rock stars or at worst the next Weird Al parody duo, but over the years (as our bubble slowly popped) we landed in the promotions game.
What is the significance of Trinumeral? Does it mean anything, or is it just a fun excuse to have a festival?
Aside from being a celebration of the day, month, and year aligning with auspicious numerical sameness, Trinumeral for us is an obsession; we’ve been compelled to throw this event mainly to satisfy an unending creative hunger. Being a promoter is parallel to being a graffiti artist in that we are always looking for a way to put our stamp on society and popular culture. Secondly, the Trinumeral holiday is a great excuse to bring our favorite people together and it’s also been a fertile breeding ground for new friendships.
Do a lot of Numerologists or weird religious people show up at the festivals, or, even better, picket at them?
I don’t know if you could call our attendees numerologists per say but it does attract people who love numbers and are compelled by the ubiquity of sacred geometry. We love the Mayan calendar but truth be told this is an overtly Gregorian holiday. Although it may attract some unique folks, it’s not a cult, and the only thing we regularly sacrifice is our time. When stripped down to its most naked form it’s really just a public family reunion with a world-class sound track.
Any particular reason why Atlanta was chosen as the city for this year’s festival?
Atlanta seemed like the answer to this year’s event primarily for its centralized southern location and population density. At first we wanted to take the 12/12/12 to Mexico or Hawaii but many of the people who helped us get where we are wouldn’t have been able to make it. In the end, Trinumeral would be nothing without its co-creator nucleus in attendance.
Since we don’t have a thirteenth month, this will be the last Trinumeral Festival until 2101. What do you plan to do until then?
In 2013 we will be ramping up our full service entertainment company, Under One Beat Entertainment. We will produce the occasional event but will switch our focus to artist development, management, and producing records. Keep a lookout as we will also be prototyping some state of the art hybrid stringed instruments for a few of our clients to use in the studio and eventually on stage.