Arts and Entertainment Editor
Geneva overtly touts itself as “The Lake Trout Capital of the World,” home to the Geneva Panthers, the quintessential college town surrounding Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
As students, we are exposed to Geneva in a more intimate view than most ordinary onlookers, but many may be surprised to find out that Geneva is also a city with a “weirdly active and diverse music community,” in the words of Kelly Walker, Morning Edition Host of Finger Lakes Public Radio and general advocate for and contributor to Geneva’s music scene. [Walker is also the Herald’s partner at WEOS for The Seneca Scene, our weekly podcast available on our website, iTunes, and Stitcher.] That is, for its location and size, there are a lot of musical opportunities nearby – the band Gym Class Heroes started in Geneva! (They are pictured above.)
While FLX Live, Lake Drum, and Monaco’s first come to mind when thinking of local venues, places like Club 86, The Cracker Factory, Rylie J’s and Kashong Creek are places generally un-talked-about within the gated community of the Colleges – yet they offer the same caliber and frequency of live music and entertainment available as widely attended venues. While attendees could definitely expand their musical palettes in exploration of different places around the city, the larger issue, even at places like FLX Live, is that the community is suffering from a lack of loyal and reliable audiences. From a production standpoint, this is disappointing, considering the time, resources, and money necessary in putting a show together – and while students and other patrons complain about an apparent “lack of good music,” or overall nonexistence of a music scene here, absence and complaint are fruitless remedies to the situation.
As Kelly Walker says, “patrons have the responsibility to create the scene they want to experience.” This means not only branching out to new literal physical places, and not only branching out to new musical “places,” but returning to venues that offer preferential musical acts and choices. Participation and presence are the feedback necessary in desirably honing and generally increasing live music opportunities in our community.
Stay tuned throughout next semester’s issues of the Herald, where different venues, artists, and histories will be covered in a new music series in the Arts and Entertainment section, in an effort to educate readers about Geneva’s music scene, encourage participation, and end the lazy and ignorant assumption that there is “no good music in Geneva.”