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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Flocked brings ‘Tiny Desk’ style concerts to Gainesville

Gainesville collective supports bands statewide

The morning after a house show can leave its residents with a daunting task: restoring last night’s concert venue to a habitable space. However, for some of the members of Flocked, cleaning up the morning after is actually the best part. 

Flocked is a collective in Gainesville for artists and bands to work together for promotion, booking and performances. Founded around last November, the organization has helped artists book statewide tours, held a benefit show and started “Live from the Tavern,” a video series of intimate house shows. 

After the shows, all the instruments have to get put in one room. The table barely fits through the door. The furniture has to get rearranged. It gets messy — however, for Kendall Kelly, 21, who works on Flocked’s media team, cleaning up is a reminder. 

“Everything's done, you did a good job,” she said.

Putting the house back together gives Kelly a feeling of satisfaction — like a reset, she said. It’s a physical reminder of the hard work put into the show from the night before, and a motivator to go and edit footage in the day to come. 

The video series shows artists playing in The Tavern, where Flocked founders Trevor Griffin, Clay Dixon and Dylan O’Bryan also live. “Live from the Tavern” shows, borrowing a page from NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concert” style, feature a live audience crowded onto the floor of the living room. 

So far, the collective has featured shows from local artists such as The Late Night Losers, Trevor and the Travelers, Clay Dixon and the Piccadillies, Confession Kids and Emma Lou.

Flocked began with its name. Griffin had been playing shows with a yard flamingo on his drum kit, and it began to become a part of all the projects he worked on, he said. 

When Dixon came to Griffin wanting to create a group to produce media under, the image of the flamingo and the tight-knit culture of Gainesville artists inspired the name. 

“It's like a play on, ‘OK, we're part of the flock,’” Griffin said. “Flocking together to be part of this community.” 

That community extends beyond the musicians to all the people on the production side of Flocked as well. 

A typical shoot day for Cal Hildenbrand, 20, the media team lead, consists of setting up The Tavern for the show, doing a soundcheck with the band and audio engineers, and then recording during the show.

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Learning video skills has been fun for Hildenbrand because it has allowed him to get out of his comfort zone of photography, he said. 

“It just keeps stretching and stretching my skills and, of course, I just love it because I'm here for the music — just like everyone else is,” he said. 

In the Gainesville music scene, many bands are still making a name for themselves, so they don’t have the resources or funds that more established bands may have. 

But Flocked doesn’t want this to stop anyone from playing their music, Hildenbrand said. 

“We do it as cheaply as we can,” he said. “None of us really make money from it, but it's just for the love of music. ”

Flocked has started to charge smaller amounts or pay-what-you-can for some live audiences, Hildenbrand said, which allows it to pay musicians for their work. 

In addition to supporting artists financially, Flocked recently held a gala with the goal of reaching new musicians who would be taking over the scene after some of the current members leave Gainesville. 

“The idea was to support the community for the years that we were gone, like the upcoming generation of college kids coming in to start bands,” Griffin said. “It's about continuing the scene. It's about expanding on what we've started, or what the people who brought us into the music scene started.”

This inviting presence has inspired bands from out of town to trek up to Gainesville to perform in The Tavern. This has included Stillblue, a Miami indie-folk band that played at The Tavern Feb. 10. 

“They were some of the nicest people we’ve ever met,” Griffin said. “That was a really cool moment, to be able to meet these people because of this thing we started doing.” 

The morning after their show, Stillblue came back to The Tavern for breakfast — yet another enjoyable post-show experience. 

Contact Lauren at lwhiddon@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @LaurenWhid.

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Lauren Whiddon

Lauren Whiddon is a UF journalism senior and the multimedia editor. When she's not writing she is updating her Letterboxd account or reading classic literature.


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