Swamp Records hosted a showcase Friday night to highlight local Gainesville musical talent and to build excitement about the student-run record label.
The showcase was presented by Student Government Productions, the label’s parent organization.
It featured 12 acts on two stages at The Jam.
A crowd of about 500 students and Gainesville locals moved between indoor and outdoor stages in what Veronica Arenas, part owner of The Jam and a UF alumna, said might be one of the largest shows she has seen at the venue.
“What I find in Gainesville is the density of incredible musical talent,” Arenas said. “It’s a combination of the university and Gainesville culture.”
Although Swamp Records Head Director Rachel Ring said she plans to work with student bands, the showcase on Friday included bands comprised of UF alumni.
Because there are legal barriers preventing Swamp Records from signing artists, the organization is focusing on helping artists get discovered.
“It’s self-contained in SGP right now,” Ring said. “We have to figure out what these deals will look like and how UF could get involved.”
Alex Sugarman, a 19-year-old UF finance sophomore, attended the show and said he enjoyed the variety of genres represented on stage.
“I’m proud that Gainesville encompasses so many styles of music,” Sugarman said.
SGP chairman Daniel Levin said SGP focuses on bringing larger acts to the stage, but Swamp Records is an avenue for smaller bands to get stage time.
“Swamp Records is going to allow us to showcase the local talent here in Gainesville,” said Levin, a 22-year-old UF industrial and systems engineering senior.
Will Brennan, who headlined the showcase, said he knows how much of a difference university support can make.
Back when he was a student, he said, he won Gator Growl’s Talent Night and got to perform on the main stage as a result.
Soon after, the 25-year-old former UF student was on stage at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center opening for Method Man and Redman at an SGP show.
Brennan said he wishes Swamp Records had been around when he was a student.
He said bands helped by the label will see the results of the support they’re receiving.
“That’s like comparing somebody with a car to somebody without one,” Brennan said. “If you have a vehicle to get things done, you’re moving miles faster than the competition.”
[A version of this story ran on page 5 on 1/27/2014 under the headline "Student-run Swamp Records highlights local talent on two stages"]
D.P. performs at The Jam on Friday, hosted by SGP’s student-run record label Swamp Records. The showcase exhibited talent such as Vass, Bells and Robes, Morning Fatty and others.