Nominee: Dr. Paul Kolman and Kolman Dental
Sit in on any local music roundtable and the same question will inevitably come up: How can a local music scene become economically sustainable? Dr. Paul Kolman and his team answer this question in a couple of ways: providing dental care for those who need it, and supporting local shows financially. It may seem counterintuitive to nominate a dentist for a music award, but people like Dr. Kolman and his team help musicians do what they do best – create – by providing the economic support they need to do it. "I've always loved music," Kolman says. "I love that there's an opportunity for me to be involved. It's a very cool position to be in." Sure, you might end up in his dental chair, but if you're a music lover, you'll definitely end up at a show or festival that the Rock and Roll Doc has sponsored.
Nominee: Kammy's Kause
When Jared Hiner launched Fortville music festival Kammy's Kause, the 4p- Support Group — which assists parents of children with 4p-, like Jared and his daughter, Kammy (right) — couldn't afford to send a quarterly newsletter. Now, after 11 festivals and more than $200,000 raised, Kammy's Kause has grown into a yearly tradition for Kammy, Jared, tons of local bands, and a large group of volunteers – plus a huge boon for the support group. This year's festival will showcase more than 20 local bands, and feature a fundraising motorcycle ride of over 100 bikes. "[Kammy] leads by example," Hiner says of his daughter. He says she inspires him to show "no boundaries with your love. Give unconditionally." This year's Kammy's Kause will take place on August 28 and 29.
Winner: Piradical Productions and the Hoosier Dome
Piradical Productions kicked off on December 30 of 2005 as a punk rock promotions group with shows all over town. After flowing through a few impermanent venues, Piradical settled inside Fountain Square's Hoosier Dome five years ago in an unassuming storefront on Prospect a few minute's walk from the hustle and bustle of the Square.
But inside that space? Pure madness.
The Dome hosts 120 to 150 shows a year from a variety of genres, including regulars like Forevermore, Foreveratlast, Brother O' Brother and Church Tongue. "For the scene and by the scene is kind of the hope and the dream," Piradical founder Stephen Zumbrun says. To run those shows – about one every three days – the Dome employs a "ragtag pool of 50 volunteers" plus a six-person steering community including Chris Keaton, Nathaniel Wolos, Andrea McPherson, Rain Napier, Madison Wolfe and Olivia Mayes. The 175-cap venue also hosts tons of yearly events, including a long-running High School Battle of the Bands, Punk Rock Prom, bonkers Halloween shows, and other seasonal shows.
Zumbrun, who says he keeps the all-ages drug- and alcohol-free Dome open out of, "equal parts dedication to the all-ages scene and complete insanity," sometimes contemplates opening a larger venue that could accommodate more people. Growth is already happening: They've recently opened the floor above the Dome as a community space.
He's committed to keeping the Dome all ages because of "the energy that an all-ages crowd brings. "I've never been to a 21+ show that had that kind of energy," he says. And by energy he means: mosh pits, people hanging from the ceiling, stage dives, lots of bare feet and lots of singing along. And yes, that's what shows at the Hoosier Dome are like: week after week, month after month, year after year: it's a space for people of all ages to discover new bands and let loose.
"The Hoosier Dome is the kind of venue that I want to exist," Zumbrun said. "It's such a special place. It's like the perfect thing."