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QuoLab hosts World’s Third Smallest Music Festival in Savannah

 

QuoLab hosts World’s Third Smallest Music Festival in Savannah

24 Oct 2017

Over two years ago, two SCAD graduates moved into a house in midtown Savannah with the intention of creating a DIY queer safe space “to foster alternative perspectives and emerging experience of art for social action.”

QuoLab has been hosting events ever since, including its largest annual gathering, the World’s Smallest Music Festival.

Now in its third iteration, the festival has exemplified the house’s mission by celebrating and showcasing voices in music that focus on issues related to those who are often marginalized within our society. The DIY, three-day music festival will feature 13 out-of-town musical acts and 19 Savannah acts, as well as a number of extracurricular activities.

Over the past two years, QuoLab founders Raine Raine and Greg Hornak, along with fellow QuoLab housemates Christian Deveaux and Taylor Qualls, have experienced on-the-job training in event coordination and festival management.

“I was particularly happy, with two stages and almost 40 acts, there was only two hours of the whole thing where we weren’t on schedule,” Raine said of the 2016 festival. “It was pretty impressive.”

“We re-did that schedule like three or four times because of the hurricane,” Hornak added. “We thought we were going to have a venue change. We had just gotten power back 24 hours before the festival started. We had a great time last year. It was really great vibes. It was powerful.”

“I thought it was pretty fun,” Deveaux said of last year. “It felt pretty good to share a space with new people I hadn’t met. I guess for the most part, it felt like we were a giant family.”

Along with the multitude of musical acts, Quolab-ers have found that the extracurricular activities not only add to the overall experience for attendees, but also provide an opportunity to explore the house’s overall mission in greater depth through workshops and vendors.

“Last year, someone was doing stick and pokes and Tarot readings,” Qualls said, “which will be happening again this year. We’re having a natural dye workshop, which will be fun. Some workshops on anarchy and Marxism.”

“I think it’s also on the topic for health and beauty for queer people,” Raine added. “There’s not always a bunch of environments where that stuff feels totally comfortable. It’s nice to re-atomize the experience by doing it in a semi-public space.”

The fruits of their labors have manifested in connections made not only with touring artists who visit the space — DJ Stacey Blood Transfusion stayed at the house for almost a month, and will return for this year’s festival — but also with the community they live and work in.

“Last year, people were really understanding what we were going for and experienced it really in a positive way,” Hornak said. “A lot of people were telling me that it was a unique environment that they had not seen before.”

“I guess as far as locals are concerned, although we do facilitate the environment for them to experience this, a lot of that is credited to the artist,” Raine added. “We have been super blessed to have really amazing artists who put their lives’ work into making music and performance that’s oriented toward understanding their oppression and speaking out for other people who experience that.”

This year’s festival is being held later in the year than the past two and has moved from the traditional Thursday through Saturday to Friday through Sunday. Last year, they hosted the festival around a touring act, but this year, the dates were set more intentionally, but still had happy coincidences.

“It happens to coincide with Pride weekend, which I think is pretty cool,” Raine said. “It’s also the weekend before Halloween, so everyone will be in the spirit.”

Through the years, as QuoLabers have worked to help others in the community, they’ve found direction in their own lives as well.

“For me, I think it gives community and a place for people to vent and share experiences,” Deveaux said. “Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes, I have the same experiences, but with certain similarity to someone else. It’s cool to compare/contrast and see how they cope with it.”

“I feel like, on a personal level, just living here day to day, knowing that here we’re centering each other’s experience,” Qualls added, “and trying to learn new ways each day to interact with each other as humans.”

IF YOU GO

What: World’s Third Smallest Music Festival

When: Oct 27-29

Where: QuoLab (contact for location)

Cost: $7-$10

Info: facebook.com/balouq

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