FES2VAL - A Celebration of the Two-Man Band is an outdoor music event created in Grand Rapids by Charles The Osprey. The first event was held on September 27, 2008 on the Blue Pedestrian Bridge in downtown Grand Rapids, and featured 13 bands from around the Midwest.
Derek Lancioni and Rafael Ohli of Grand Rapids 2-piece Charles The Osprey decided that they wanted to do a bigger show featuring only bands with 2 members. A test run was created at Founders on January 17, 2008, with Charles The Osprey, Man at Arms and Spouse Killer, and was a moderate success, for a Thursday night show. Unknowingly, Derek had stolen the name "Two Man Band Throwdown" from Jeff Vandenberg, after overhearing Man at Arms refer to the show as such.
In the planning stages of the real thing, the original plan was just 6 or 7 bands, but as Derek began booking, he discovered that there was a lot more interest in the idea than he could have imagined. He eventually decided that 14-16 bands was probably enough, provided that he could get a venue big enough to hold it all - not an easy task given that the decided date was less than a month away - September 27
Since the idea of a 2-man-band is one of a stripped-down, raw nature, Derek & Raf decided that the venue had to reflect that, as well as reflect Grand Rapids and highlight aspects of its music & arts community, historical integrity, and architectural beauty. Initially, the top of a parking structure was thought ideal (built-in parking and cover in case of rain), but Grand Rapids Parking Services was going to charge full cost ($7+) per spot rented - way out of the budget. After talking to Todd Tofferi of the Office of Film, Music and Special Events, it was decided that the Blue Pedestrian Bridge was the best option, for its on-the-river location, structural beauty and integrity, and on-site power.
As it turns out, FES2VAL would be the first and last amplified event on this bridge, due to complaints from the Courtyard Marriott condos, which were brought to the attention of the City Commission during their meeting on October 7, 2008.
Beer tent was provided by the Grand Rapids Jaycees.
Because the event was privately funded by Charles the Osprey, there had to be a cover charge of $10 at the door. This, combined with other events happening in the area, caused the first-year attendance to be (at best estimates) just shy of 100.
Here is a list of bands that played at the 2008 FES2VAL:
- 12:40 - Chester Nimitz - Grand Rapids, MI (members of La Dispute & one of two bands created just prior to the event)
- 1:30 - Holy Hounds - Battle Creek, MI - CANCELLED (rather, just didn't show up. Derek & Raf never received explination)
- 2:00 - Spouse Killer - Ann Arbor & Grand Rapids, MI
- 3:30 - Maribelle - Chicago, IL
- 4:30 - Man At Arms - Ann Arbor, MI / Cleveland, OH
- 5:30 - Bram n Dexous - Grand Rapids, MI
- 6:30 - The Midwestern - Chicago, IL
- 7:30 - Hot Garbage - Pistakee Highlands, IL - CANCELLED (didn't show up, never received explination)
- 12:20 - Jeff Hindenberg - Grand Rapids, MI (members of Ozenza and Apostles & the other band created just prior to the event)
- 2:30 - Tahquamenon Falls - Lansing, MI
- 3:00 - To and Fro - Lexington, MI - CANCELLED - One of them had to work
- 4:00 - Beast in the Field - Mt. Pleasant, MI
- 5:00 - Blarmageddon - Lansing, MI
- 6:00 - Charles The Osprey - Grand Rapids, MI
- 7:00 - 13 Day Mission - Atlanta, GA
- 8:00 - Oui - Chicago, IL
From 2009 to 2011, FES2VAL was held at Wealthy Theatre.
Bands that played the 2011 FES2VAL:
1pm – Bram N Dexous
2pm – Back Alley Knife Show
3pm – Noblesville
4pm – The Kincaids (Mt. Pleasant)
5pm – Stagnant Pools (Bloomington, IN)
6pm – Between Brains
7pm – Beast in the Field
1:30pm – Boy With Mace
2:30pm – Whee! (Chicago, IL)
3:30pm – Good News (Kalamazoo)
4:30pm – Lost Coves (Brooklyn, NY)
5:30pm – Bangups
6:30pm – Jowls
7:30pm – Charles the Osprey