MusicGNV presents the Teen Showcase at Bo Diddley Plaza on Friday night
The Gainesville music scene places a great emphasis on local support and opportunities for artists of all ages.
On Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the next generation of artists will take the stage at Bo Diddley Plaza for the Teen Showcase as a part of the MusicGNV Live and Local Concert Series.
“The Teen Showcase is an example of a long-term goal come to fruition,” said Brandon Telg, co-founder of MusicGNV. “One of the things we identified early on is there is just not that many opportunities for young musically inclined folks to see music, be a part of music and part of that is they’re not allowed into clubs.”
According to Telg, MusicGNV was founded in early 2020 after identifying the lack of a non-profit organization that supports the local and independent music community in Gainesville.
“Being exposed to my peers playing music really changed the trajectory of my life,” he said. “For me, it’s been a long time of me wanting to pay it forward to help create opportunities for young folks that I got.”
Telg said that he remembers watching a battle of the bands' competition at Bo Diddley Plaza when he was in high school and the impact that it had on him being able to watch his classmates perform on an iconic Gainesville stage.
The Teen Showcase is a free event that will feature 12 different performances by local Gainesville teenage artists including Breakfast for Dinner, Venturé, Wyatt Johnson, PRIZILLA, Amber Mackenzie, Idiots Anonymous, Princess Charming, Grant Graulee, Amarissa Nicole, Buboy, JaydaDrums and Madi Wallace.
“This is to showcase the up-and-coming talent in Gainesville and see what’s next in the local Gainesville scene,” said Quin Richmond, a sophomore at Buchholz High School who will perform under the stage name Venturé for the first time.
Higgins said this is the third show of the Live and Local Concert Series this spring sponsored by MusicGNV, the Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, and the City of Gainesville.
“This is going to be a good opportunity to get a bunch of different eyes from a bunch of different artists that are going to be there,” he said.
Although he is newly associated with MusicGNV, he said that the organization provides a platform for local musicians to gain a larger audience and is helpful for both new artists and those wanting to discover new music to listen to.
“Gainesville harbors a lot of talent in general,” said Madi Wallace, 19. “People come here because of it, and I think there are a lot more opportunities in Gainesville than you would get elsewhere.”
Wallace first found out about the showcase through a post on MusicGNV’s Instagram page which led to her applying and being accepted to perform.
Being born and raised in Gainesville, she emphasized that the resources that the music community provides are essential to new aspiring artists.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the other people perform on Friday,” she said. “I love watching performances and I’m excited to hear everyone that is also in the same city as me.”
Isabella Duncan, who will perform under the stage name PRIZILLA, said that she was glad that Gainesville was the place she was introduced to a music community.
“You have people like Brandon who are willing to help everyone, and anyone get off their feet,” said Duncan, a student at The University of Florida. “Every single musician I’ve met, every single artist and band has been so kind and so helpful in every regard.”
Duncan said that she just barely made the cutoff for the Teen Showcase at the age of 19 but is excited that she will get to perform on the Bo Diddley Plaza stage.
“Bo Diddley was one of the first stages I came to Gainesville and watched a show on which is amazing that a year or two later I’m able to play that stage,” she said.
The MusicGNV Live and Local Concert Series puts on a free concert at Bo Diddley Plaza on the first Friday of each month from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“This is the only way these artists are going to grow,” Telg said. “By having the opportunity to delve into their craft and to perform."