Alexandria Live Music Week Cofounder Scott Fallon is enamored with music. If you get a chance to chat with him, he’ll inundate you with his vast knowledge of the various music scenes found in Austin, New Orleans and Baltimore. Even though he’s a connoisseur of sounds throughout the country, when speaking about the hidden talents in his hometown of Alexandria, Va., his voice reaches an altogether different level of enthusiasm.
“We’re both hippies,” Fallon says of himself and cofounder John David Coppola. “When people think about Old Town, they think about history and shopping, but there’s a vibrant nightlife and an interactive arts scene. We interact with that all the time.”
Alexandria Live Music Week, from September 30 to October 8, highlights the budding scene Fallon describes. Even though Old Town Alexandria is known for its venerable buildings and historical significance, the music festival will host at least 200 bands performing at more than 60 local venues.
“We see it, so why not here?” Fallon asks. “It became an idea over beers, and we sort of took a leap of faith.”
Fallon and his crew’s involvement in booking varies on the venue, with big fish such as The Birchmere participating in the week’s lineup with previously scheduled shows. For smaller places, Fallon suggests local musicians who fit each locale’s size and genre.
“Some venues already have music seven days a week, and they don’t need us, but we help promote them during the week,” he says. “With other venues, we help spur them on to have different kinds of music, such as [featuring] local musicians. Ultimately, our mission is to promote the musicians of the area.”
Seemingly every question asked ends with the mission of wanting to promote local musicians in the area. One band set to perform, The Glimpses, participated last year and was more than happy to join the festivities again.
As lovers and residents of Alexandria, it was very fun to play in the heart of Old Town on Durant Art Center’s stage, and to celebrate the festival with local music lovers,” The Glimpses’ Mercedes Mill says. “There’s so much great music in the DMV area, and festivals like Alexandria Live Music Week help musicians and music lovers connect at lots of cool venues.”
One addition to this year’s Live Music Week is the inclusion of Del Ray venues. As part of Alexandria, it was a goal to get the neighborhood involved in this year’s rendition because of the creative culture brewing on that side of town.
“Even though Del Ray is part of Alexandria, it’s almost like two different worlds,” Fallon says. “It’s more of a hippie enclave and community-based, whereas Old Town is a little more bureaucratic.”
Mills is particularly amped to play at Del Ray’s “diner-esque spot” FireFlies, as the band lives right down the road from the community.
“We love FireFlies,” Mills says. “They have great food and brews, and feature all kinds of entertainment – everything from comedy acts to Sunday bluegrass.”
The more venues involved, the more opportunity for local acts, Fallon exclaims, as he once again reiterates what he seeks to improve on the most.
“We really want to put an emphasis on the local aspect of the event,” he says. “We made a concerted effort to open up [the festival] to more of Alexandria, and we want everyone in the city to participate.”
Though this year’s shows highlight jazz, blues and softer, easier sounds, Fallon says this lineup happened organically. In the future, he hopes to introduce Northern Virginia crowds to more eclectic types of music.
“Let’s bring all of the artists out there. Let’s consolidate and bring them together.”
For a full schedule and list of venues, visit www.alexandrialive.com.