New fest: SXSW inspires TTFF

Last year, Paul Beyer ran for City Council. This year, he's starting a music/art festival modeled on Austin's South by Southwest.

With film, book and photo festivals already well-established, it's not like Charlottesville has a dearth of such events.

"I think it completes the circle," says Beyer. "This is music plus. It establishes Charlottesville as a creative center for music, art, and innovation." And, he points out, there's no Downtown Mall music festival.

With tongue-in-cheek homage to Thomas Jefferson, the event is called the Tom Tom Founders Festival, and has the obligatory quote from Jefferson: "I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past."

The three headliners and 50 bands in multiple venues will be announced in March. TTFF starts April 13– TJ's birthday– and culminates May 11-13. Promises Beyer, "It's a month of creativity."


Read the PDF of this event at: It seems vague. The wording of the PDF seems like this is going to be more of a hobnobbing of the arts community with various community leaders. It also claims that 2012 is a "soft launch" and that the real launch will be in 2013. It is "A promise of things to come. A teaser. A test. It is time that entrepreneur met investor, met that patron, met that University Dean."

Oh and there's a gala in a warehouse. That is something downtown Charlottesville loves.

Can't a local developer's son find something to do with his money that more directly benefits the community? I was excited about this after reading the article but after reading the PDF it's just more vague venture capitalist bullshit aimed at the arts community. Gala in a warehouse.....

Sounds great to me!

@ Cville Native--First of all, the full annoucement, according to the article, will happen in March. This is a precursor. Have you ever visited a festival's website pre-artist annoucement? There's nothing on there except for pictures/highlights of the previous year's festival and ticket information. It's always vague...the intrigue keeps people visiting the site, excited to see what's to come. Personally, I believe that this is a fantastic marketing tool.

As for the warehouse gala, I do understand how it sounds like a hipster ploy, but it's not. The Warehouse is an infrastructure of art, creativity, and progress. It seems only right that the TTFF Gala would take place within the true creative hub--where the artists and ideamakers themselves live and work.

And getting snarky simply because PB happens to come from money is a tad unoriginal. You should sit down and talk to him before forming opinions about his character.

That's just my opinion.

my apologies: @ Casual Reader

the first sentence (of the brochure) says it is a creative festival "of national prominence" (apparently already so I can't wait either)

The festival is ultimately a conversation about the future of our community, and how specifically that can be inspired by the creative energy of music, art & innovation. TTFF is about setting the stage to celebrate everything that's already going on around the community and bringing many assets in our City together. Our main point now: the door is open. We want creative proposals. We also want people to be excited about the idea, get involved and help determine what Tom Tom becomes. More info @

Tom Tom is a registered trademark. Start thinking of a new name.

Thom Thom might work.

Thom Thom is already a band - does that matter ?

It's odd that "Casual Reader" doesn't think an event linking local artists with investors is something that might "benefit the community". But then again, how seriously should he/she be taken after referring to venture capital as "bullshit"? Last I heard, cities across the nation--and our federal government--have cited venture capital as quinessential for job growth, and sought ways to encourage it. If you don't like venture capitalists, "Casual Reader", maybe you should move to one of those declining Rust Belt cities where they no longer invest. But I'm glad someone's trying to get them interested in Charlottesville, and hope this festival is met with wide community support.

An SXSW type festival in cville would be just awesome.

And BTW, Paul is a nice guy, and comes from a hard working family.

Don't forget about the wine festivals they have here, all those vintners patting each other on the back asking each other how much they got in tax credits.

Ideas to consider for 2012 Tom Tom ( Thom Thom, Dumb Dumb, ... , or some other non-trademarked name for the Festival ):

* plenty of public nudity is always a winner; and when done as art, it creates new ideas of community (a la Spencer Tunick - )

* occasional public sex, too (but in public that is usually best in some scripted form) e.g. the current popularization of burlesque [ what a great evening with the Sex Workers Art Show when it visited Richmond! ]. See if Palace of Wonders Sideshow is still active in DC: that'd be a short trip to Charlottesville.

* it'd foo-oolish not to capture the 2012 Apocalypse theme: how about animal sacrifices ... to the sun, etc

* speaking of animals, how about a 'petting zoo', with fantastic creatures ... a la papier mache, consignment shop clothes, etc ... make the Mall a petting zoo of fantastic creatures (of all ages)

* invite Bread and Puppet theater - - or the like to do some workshops and shows, with some local themes

* revive the Barhoppers Play series (short plays, monologues, performance pieces in local bars, eateries, etc)

* revive some of the fun public displays of the Founders - like we find in good ol' Williamsburg - public stocks and pillories, tarring and feathering, etc ...

* invite a gatherette of the Radical Faeries (just had a lovely gatherette in Philly)