« Back to Raising the Image

Music at Main: Summer 2010 concert series and album

Salt Lake City Public Library
Watch Video
Innovation Leader: Andrew Shaw, Communications Department, ashaw@slcpl.org

Problem Statement

Libraries across the country are looking for ways to capture the 20-something audience and stay relevant to the age group between "children" and "those with children." SLCPL was also looking for ways to provide deeply-local programming and showcase local talent and activate Library Square, the plaza surrounding our Main Library.

Innovation

An outdoor local music series cosponsored by a local prominent local underground publication and a local Internet radio station that simulcast the performances. A live, local compilation album was produced, supported by the Friends of The City Library organization, which received great press and identified SLCPL as a place to encounter cool unexpected programming.

Progress

At 7pm every Tuesday from June to August 2010, SLCPL's Main Library hosted Music at Main, a local music showcase that hosted two local bands in their outdoor amphitheater, making great use of our world-renowned architecture and Utah's beautiful summer evenings. The event focused on highlighting bands that regularly play downtown bars, making great noise outside the library and drawing a weekly crowd of between 125 and 200 people. The Music at Main series was cosponsored by SLUG Magazine (Salt Lake Underground), which caters to teen and 20-something extreme sports and underground music enthusiasts, and UtahFM.org, a local, community-focused internet radio station that simulcast every concert live. YouTube videos were produced along the way, further supporting local musicians and extending the reach of the series.

The Music at Main concert series was successful on its own, but the true innovation for "Positioning the Library" came from recording each live performance and producing a unique, live local music compilation album. The album (Music at Main: Summer 2010), whose production was sponsored by the Friends of The City Library, received a great deal of press upon its release in a number of local publications that are frequently read by the target crowd. We distributed copies of the album to every musician that appeared on the album (who spread the word to their fans) and to every SLCPL staff member and it sells in The Library Store, the Friends-owned gift shop at the Main Library. The series and album was also noted in Salt Lake City Weekly's "Best of Utah" issue in March 2011, further expanding its timeliness and reach.