Festival Coverage

Reverb Fest: An Interview with Phil Pucci

The next time your friend looks at you and says “Hey, we should make a music festival!” you should maybe consider it before looking at them like they’re crazy.

That was almost exactly how Reverb Fest got started a year ago by Phil Pucci when he and his girlfriend were hanging out by the Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte.

“I come up with good ideas all the time but I never follow through with them,“ said Pucci, “My girlfriend was the one who pushed me to start Reverb Fest. We booked a bunch of local bands to play in Charlotte and ended up raising over $2000 for charity.”

The first Reverb Fest benefitted the Chronic Illness Relief Fund (CIRF). It featured local Charlotte bands including Pullman Strike, Late Bloomer, and Hectorina. There was a mini Reverb Fest earlier this year titled “Eskimo Kisses,” also benefitting CIRF.

“The last one we had the first time we got a headliner, Diarrhea Planet. That was pretty special because it clearly indicated we were growing at a fast pace and getting more appreciation.”

This year, for Reverb Fest III: Slamdunks, the festival brought in a regional headliner – Beach Fossils – and expanded from just Charlotte to include other North Carolina acts like Elvis Depressedly, Jackson Scott and Family Bike. The festival this year benefitted the Humane Farming Association.

Pucci, a member of Charlotte bands Aggrocragg, Serfs, and Melt, believes Reverb Fest is unique from other music festivals in the area for multiple reasons.

“We try to get a lot of under the radar acts to play with bigger headliners. We have lots of these smaller bands playing with these big acts that they normally never would be able to perform with,” he explained “We also put a lot of emphasis on younger bands, people in their 20s…bands playing their first shows…some might just get passed up on other festivals. 

“There’s also a pretty big DIY aspect to it. I think a lot of other music festivals lose that DIY feel eventually – which is perfectly fine, they’re still great – but it’s definitely something I want to hold onto with Reverb Fest,” said Pucci.

Pucci hopes the festival will continue to grow in the future – possibly to a 3-day event – but definitely wants it to stay in Charlotte.

“I want Charlotte to have an alternative music festival destination for people in the region…something to help put Charlotte on the map,” said Pucci.

Wherever it’s headed, Reverb Fest has already left a lasting impression on the Charlotte area.