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The Fort Collins Musicians Association Helps Local Musicians Thrive

The Fort Collins Musicians Association Helps Local Musicians Thrive

Jesse Haswell

October 1st, 2020

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The Fort Collins Musicians Association (FoCoMA) is a 501.c3 non-profit that was established in 2007. FocoMA supports local musicians by providing networking, education, and events. Their signature event is FoCoMX or the Fort Collins Music Experiment. FoCoMX is a yearly event that takes place on the last weekend of April. Around 400 local artists perform over a 3-day weekend at 20+ venues in Fort Collins. FoCoMA has worked with the City of Fort Collins to name April as Music Appreciation Month. During the month of April FoCoMA hosts different events leading up to FoCoMX. As a result, FoCoMX attracts around 7500 people who go out to support local bands and watch live music. Because of this, FoCoMA also benefits local venues and restaurants. However, FoCoMX is not the only event that FoCoMA is known for. Another event that FoCoMA hosts are the Peer Awards.

Peer Awards and the Founding of FoCoMA

The Peer Awards is a celebration of musicians by musicians. Artists vote for musicians from every music genre in a ‘best of’ contest. “It’s very much like a mini Grammy’s for the scene. Everybody dresses up. We have performances intertwined with the awards,” explains FoCoMA President Greta Cornett. According to her bio on the FocCMA website, Greta is one of the co-founders of FoCoMA, a co-creator and festival organizer of FoCoMX. Greta also volunteers at KRFC 88.9 FM and CSU to promote the value of local music.

Prior to the launch of FoCoMA, August 2006 saw several Fort Collins music venues close. For example, The Starlight and Conner O’ Neal’s were two of the most notable. As a result of these closures, FoCoMA began their journey. Now, about 15 years later, FoCoMA faces the challenge of supporting local artists who cannot perform during this pandemic. For example, FoCoMA has been able to do this is through FoCoMX: Drive & Jive.

FoCoMX: Drive & Jive

FoCoMX: Drive & Jive is a music series that began in June with cooperation from the Holiday Twin Drive-In in Fort Collins. FoCoMA chooses three artists to perform each week. First, an artist warms up the crowd while the event waits for nightfall. Then, the FoCoMA team transmits the music through the drive-in’s radio channel and projects a live-stream onto the drive-in screen. Doing this prevents disrupting local residents. Additionally, the FoCoMX team live-streams the show to their social media pages so that fans at home can enjoy the music when the socially distanced parking is sold out. Future shows are on dates October 6th, 13th, and 20th. A postponed show from early September will take place on October 14th. Finally, the series will end with a performance on October 27th.

Photos By Jesse Haswell

The Fort Collins Musicians Association’s zeal to assure the success of local musicians. That drive has helped the Northern Colorado music scene thrive in a year when live music has been lost.

FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/FortcollinsMA

WEBSITE https://www.focoma.org/

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