- Seth Nichols of Love Vinyl Records DJs at Mojostock 2010. Photo by Melanie Colter
When a music event adopts the name "fill-in-the-blank Stock," it has some pretty big shoes to fill. IndyMojo, the titular sponsor of the jam and EDM-centric festival MojoStock, aims to live up to those expectations by going all out — bringing in more out-of-town performers, maxing out their venue's capacity and adding performers in hip-hop and other genres.
It all got started back in June 2008, when Jason King and his business partner, Sean Smith, purchased IndyMojo.com from MetroMojo, a software developing company. The two have since transformed the once-failing project into a profile-based site "for Indy, by Indy."
"It's a place to promote," King, president/CEO of IndyMojo, said. "It's a place to be heard for free. We're 100-percent user content. So it's free for anyone to post a blog. It's free for anyone to post their events."
King said IndyMojo's mission statement is to "use the Internet to get people off the Internet."
"We want people to get off the Internet and get active in the community and meet each other," he said. "So what IndyMojo always was, was kind of a digital icebreaker."
When MojoStock began three summers ago, King and IndyMojo Promotions Director Matt Ramsey only projected an attendance of about 50 people. About 250 showed up.
Last year, they upped the ante by adding an electronic tent. This year, they're going all out, hoping to maximize Sleepybear Campground's capacity by selling 800 tickets — King is certain they will sell out before the show — and extending MojoStock to a two-day event.
"The jam band scene and the electronic scene are the two most growing scenes in Indianapolis," King said. "That's without a doubt, and it's going to be hard for anyone to argue that the indie rock or the hip-hop scene would even come close to being able to generate the crowds that the jam and electronic scenes are creating right now."
This year's festival will feature dubstep headliner Cyberoptics (Los Angeles), along with locals the Twin Cats and Adam Jay, Disco Aliens (Louisville) and nearly 50 other performances. The lineup also includes most of the DJs of G-9 Collective, an offshoot of IndyMojo coordinated by the company's promotions
"Some of the most talented DJs in town are on G-9 Collective," King explains. "It's almost kind of like a record label. We use G-9 Collective when we're booking artists out of town."
Indianapolis native Adam Jay will make his second consecutive MojoStock appearance this year.
"I'm a techno producer, and what I do musically is try to make upfront, aggressive techno that has purpose and is devoid of any kind of cheap gimmicks and cheese," Jay said. "It's very thoughtful and forward-thinking. I'm a bit of an art nerd, so I try to abstract a lot of art into my music. So there's lots of different themes: futuristic themes and things of that nature."
As a MojoStock veteran, Jay had only good things to say about the festival.
"[IndyMojo] is bringing a lot of different people together that wouldn't otherwise be brought together, and it seems to work really well," Jays said. "I think that one thing that does stand out is IndyMojo's attention to detail in terms of production quality. So there's always really good lights and solid sound, so that's important."
King said that MojoStock is IndyMojo's largest and most expensive annual event.
"I would say that MojoStock is probably the flagship of what IndyMojo has become in that it's jam bands, it's electronic music, it's camping; it's meeting new people and being close to each other and having fun and no hassles and good vibes and laughing, and that's what its about."
Not that King isn't already thinking about the afterglow: "I look forward to Sunday-morning clean-up when everyone is really hung over, but they're still smiling because they had such a good time."