Joe Nieporte had a while on his fingers when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the worldwide leisure business earlier this 12 months.
So he determined to have some enjoyable along with his mixed love of music and sports activities, launching a Traditional Exhausting Rock Music Match sequence that is captured a nationwide, and rising, viewers in the course of the previous six and a half months.
The proprietor of Mount Clemens-based Enjoyable Fest Productions, Nieporte levels metro space festivals such because the Uncle Sam Jam, Stars & Stripes and the St. Clair Riverfest, in addition to producing the nationwide stage for Arts, Beats & Eat. Enjoyable Fest additionally hosts Fantasticon popular culture festivals in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. After pandemic shutdowns started in mid-March, his slate of 28 occasions for 2020 was utterly worn out.
Enter the music tournaments.
Since mid-March, Nieporte has chosen songs from the catalogs of 19 bands — Led Zeppelin first and, most lately, Guns N’ Roses — and offered them bracket-style, open to the general public by way of the Enjoyable Fest Fb web page.
“With March Insanity getting canceled after which all of the concert events, this felt like a great way to mix the 2 and have some enjoyable,” says Nieporte, 56, who had beforehand performed some popular culture polls in addition to surveys for greatest singer, guitarist, bassist and drummer.
“I like music and I like sports activities and I benefit from the interplay of individuals’s responses on Fb. This appeared like an effective way to deliver every little thing collectively another way.”
Nieporte, a father of two who resides in Marysville, says the music tournaments have averaged 250-300 voters from across the nation, with the best curiosity in the course of the first spherical when there are 16 or 32 songs pitted in opposition to one another. He is been shocked by a number of the outcomes, too — Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” beating out “Stairway to Heaven,” for example, or voters selecting Rush’s “Working Man” over “Tom Sawyer.”
A win for Kiss’ “Detroit Rock Metropolis” positively mirrored the voting physique for Nieporte’s music tournaments, however the true shock got here when Aerosmith’s “Seasons of Wither” beat out a number of of the group’s better-known songs. “I actually thought ‘Dream On’ was going to win,” Nieporte notes. “That is what makes this enjoyable. What you count on does not essentially wind up successful.”
Nieporte will not be lifting the pedal off the music tournaments any time quickly. He is launching an Alice Cooper competitors this week and has plans for Iron Maiden and Alice In Chains, amongst others. Nieporte additionally plans to start out a Legends of Rock sequence that can embrace the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Seger and others, and he is contemplating different tournaments for Michigan artists, in addition to Motown.
Additionally on faucet are comparable tournaments within the popular culture realm, pitting sweet and cereals in opposition to each other.
Nieporte is, in fact, anxious for Enjoyable Fest to rev again up once more. Because of a federal catastrophe reduction mortgage, he is assured the corporate can climate one other idle 12 months, however he is cautious for what’s forward.
“Sadly I believe 2021 for our business, the leisure business, goes to be one hundred pc gone, like it’s now, or very restricted,” predicts Nieporte, who beforehand owned the Emerald Theater in Mount Clemens and managed the State Theatre (now the Fillmore) in Detroit. “We will get by means of that. But when it goes into 2022, it will be powerful. Like everyone else, I am hoping we will get again to it as quickly as potential.”
• Go to facebook.com/FunfestProductionsInc to take part.