Music festival rallies for its 15th year


Brogan Gillmore

Teresa Nguyen put on ICT Fest along with her fiance Matt Clay as they performed with their band Concubine. At the end of their set they asked for the audience to donate to the organizations that ICT Fest was helping raise funds for.

“Free event yo,” read the sign outside downtown’s ICT Pop-Up Park. The single entrance funneled artists, festival-goers and the odd curious local into the park as band after band played from early afternoon to late into the night.

ICT Fest, a local music festival, took place from Sept. 5-7 and hosted an eclectic lineup of bands. From musicians that screamed out their souls into the microphone to soundscapes that brought listeners to another dimension.

The bands consisted of a mix of local artists and touring bands from the Midwest.

“It’s about a 60/40 split,” said Matt Clagg, who co-owns Rajidae Productions with his fiancé Teresa Nguyen.

Not only do you want to give the local bands a stage, but also get young bands a chance to play in front of each other and veteran bands. It’s also important to get the touring bands from other cities, Clagg said.

“With art, everything develops regionally, but when you take that influence and that way of making into another place, it’s completely fresh and it broadens your perspective that much more,” Clagg said. “That basically leads to better music being made.”

“One of the biggest philosophies of DIY music is when a touring band or artist comes through, you treat them well and you do them the favor, therefore, it’s a circle of friendship, camaraderie and goodwill,” Nguyen said.

The festival kicked off at DIYMCA on Thursday, with bands bringing festival goers to the small home gallery hidden in a residential neighborhood off West 21st Street.

Clagg said that having a kickoff at DIYMCA was a great way to showcase more bands — along with exposing the community to the space.

“Every single show they do there is a benefit show, it’s all-ages, it’s a sober space, just a very positive environment; something the city absolutely has to have,” Clagg said.

ICT Fest began in 2004 by Dan Davis. Festival organizers changed periodically until 2012, when Clagg took over.

For the past seven years, Rajidae productions has been hosting ICT Fest at different venues.

After losing both their original and back-up venue, Nguyen said that she was offered the ICT Pop-Up Park as this year’s venue and then later put in contact with Downtown Wichita.

 “We all collectively, just made it happen within a month and a half,” Nguyen said. “And they were so generous in offering to sponsor us not only the space, but they helped us get the insurance, the port-o-potties, the stage.”

Nguyen was worried that working with the pop-up park and Downtown Wichita would make ICT Fest too corporate, but those worries proved to be a nonissue as their new sponsors wanted ICT Fest to remain the same.

Not only were the logistics taken care of, but Nguyen said that they had received so many sponsors this year that they could pay the bands — as well as make the whole event free.

“This is very special, and we are very honored and humbled by the gratitude and love,” Nguyen said.

“It’s been very exciting, because of all the things we’ve been able to do. Basically, turn the whole event into a way to channel funding directly to all the local and regional acts,” Clagg said.

As performers, loyal fans, and music connoisseurs enjoyed the good vibes, ICT Fest winded down through the weekend with another successful year in the books.