Singer/guitarist Corinne Twigg and drummer Ashley Piotrowski have only been a band since January, but they’ve managed to get a lot done. First off, as Kismet Kind they’ve created a unique, guitar-and-drums sound that they call “sad girl rock.”
Perhaps more importantly, they’ve organized an all-female festival at The Velo Fellow this Saturday called the Cruel Summer Music Festival.
Rounding up performers from around the state, Twigg and Piotrowski have put together an all-day event featuring Maddie Starks, Maddy Walsh, Helen Campbell, Adelaide McMillan & Michaela Faye, Kate Bankston, Mary Norris, Lola Grace, Wild Roots Rising, Paisley & The Birdwalkers, Kismet Kind, and one of the Upstate’s most popular performers, Darby Wilcox.
It’s an interesting mix of indie-rock, acoustic folk, country and just about everything in between, and even better, Twigg and Piotrowski have brought in a raft of female-run vendors, from boutiques like Fringed Gypsy to plant nurseries like Aligned With Nature.
“I love lifting up women entrepreneurs,” Piotrowski says. “I’m one myself and I know that there’s a good network of women in the community with businesses as well as people who love the Velo Fellow. So it was just about trying to connect all the dots together.”
And if you’re wondering how a “new” band managed to create a festival full of performers and vendors, well, the band might be new, but the musicians aren’t.
“I lived in Columbia for about seven years and I know a lot of incredible musicians down there and Corrine was gigging in Greenville for years before meeting me,” Piotrowski says. “She has an incredible network in this city and is well-known as a singer/songwriter.”
When it came to creating the lineup, the duo wanted a combination of popular and lesser-known artists.
“We really wanted to give opportunities to musicians who otherwise wouldn’t have had the microphone,” Twigg says, “bridging the gap between those that are well-known and those that are more underground musicians here in Greenville.”
In fact, the concept of an all-female music festival was so exciting for the performers that the duo didn’t have much trouble getting people on board.
“As far as planning the event, it was pretty quick in terms of finding the right people,” Twigg says. “I remember Ashley sending me a spreadsheet of people and she asked if there was anybody I wanted to add. I gave her some names and we started to reach out and see if people were interested — and a lot of them were interested. It was just a matter of finding the right space.”
“It feels like an absolute honor and a privilege to be celebrating babes supporting babes amongst so many badass babes,” says Darby Wilcox, who is headlining the festival. “The room will be gasping, crying and full of empowerment over not only the music but also over the hand-crafted wares that will be there.”
Piotrowski says she has a very personal reason for wanting to put on an event like the Cruel Summer Music Festival.
“Parents don’t tend to buy their little girls a drum kit,” she says. “But Corinne can back me up on this: Anytime we play a show, seeing those little girls’ eyes light up thinking, ‘Oh my god, I can do this too,’ I think a whole day of that is so exciting and empowering.”
If you go:
Who: Cruel Summer Music Festival, w/ Maddie Starks, Maddy Walsh, Helen Campbell, Adelaide McMillan & Michaela Faye, Kate Bankston, Mary Norris, Lola Grace, Wild Roots Rising, Paisley & The Birdwalkers, Kismet Kind, and one of the Upstate’s most popular performers, Darby Wilcox.
Where: The Velo Fellow, 1 Augusta St. Suite #126, Greenville
When: Saturday, Sept. 4, noon.
Admission is free.
Info: (864) 242-9296, https://www.thevelofellow.com/