Tuesday, July 15, 2014

MishMash Fest's Riverwest Has Talent Competition Will Showcase “Dark Performing Arts”

By Nathaniel Scharping
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Riverwest’s Art Bar is expanding the entertainment offerings at its annual Mishmash Fest this year. In addition to the continuously impressive lineup of local music, the festival is including a talent competition for the first time. Taking place on July 25, the Riverwest Has Talent competition will feature competitors from around the state showcasing their unique skills between music sets.

Owner Don Krause said that the competition arose from a desire to fill downtime between bands, when the audience tended to drift away. An hour of music will alternate with a half hour of the talent show throughout the day; with three rounds of competition before the finals at 9 p.m. Krause said that he was interested in the sideshow atmosphere a talent competition could bring to the festival. In addition, the variety and frequent switches between acts, which are capped at three minutes, will hopefully keep the audience engaged, he said. “It should be a bit of freak, a bit of fun,” he said.

Riverwest Has Talent will be only a part of the fourth-annual festival, which coincides with the Riverwest 24 bike ride. The route for the ride passes within a block of Art Bar, and Krause said that the festival capitalizes on the spectators thronging the street. Music acts such as Calliope and three-time MishMash headliners The Fatty Acids will be playing throughout the day. There will also be Milwaukee food trucks and drink specials by the Art Bar.

Submissions for the competition are open until July 21, in the form of YouTube videos to be submitted to facebook.com/riverwesttalent. Krause said that he is looking for 12 acts to perform live at Mishmash Fest, and will announce the finalists on July 22. A press release for the event lists acts such as feats of both strength and danger, magic and stupid human tricks among the possibilities for competitors, although Krause was especially interested in any acts involving flames or fire spinning. He said he had reached out to several local fire performance acts in preparation for the competition. In the end however, Krause would like to see talents at the competition representative of the Riverwest neighborhood, something he described as “dark performing arts.”

Finalists and winners of the competition will be decided entirely by audience voting, and the top three competitors will face off in the finals. The winner will receive $300 and the second and third place acts will receive cash prizes as well.
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