The organizers of Madison's Forward Music Festival, which went on hiatus in 2010, are making a wholehearted effort to revive the event this fall. A revised structure and a new round of fundraising are on the horizon, along with a solid attempt to troubleshoot what went wrong in 2009. "We've enjoyed having some time to really work out the kinks in a serious and thoughtful way," says fest co-organizer Wyndham Manning. It has been "a serious year of reevaluating our model and paying debts and generally getting back on solid footing."
Will all of this thinking and planning yield an improved festival in 2011? Manning thinks good vibes are in the air. "I'm optimistic it will come back next fall. [We] want to make sure that when we do relaunch, it will be organic and have a fresh new coat of awesome."
Carolina Chocolate Drops, an old-time African American string band from Durham, N.C., that captured the hearts and ears of many critics in 2010, is returning to town Friday, April 8. Madison was lucky enough to host the fiddle-playing, banjo-picking, kazoo-tooting trio at the Orton Park Festival last August, drawing an enormous and enthusiastic crowd. This time, the group will visit the Barrymore Theatre for a more chilled-out concert, with local Americana purveyors the Josh Harty Band providing an opening set. Tickets are available at the Barrymore and both locations of the Willy Street Co-op.