Notes-Worthy: Jared Miller

Notes-Worthy: Jared Miller

C.U. Bands and Fans' Terry Brown chats with JARED MILLER:

How long have you been festival director for Blues, Brews & BBQ? What is the most difficult — and most enjoyable — part of that job for you?

I took over the position after the conclusion of last year's festival. The festival is an event on a scale that I have never personally been responsible for before now. Coordinating the many, many interconnected moving parts that come along with an event of this size has been my greatest challenge with the new job. This is also what makes the job thoroughly enjoyable for me. No two days are the same and there is little repetition in my job, the variety is what keeps me interested and enthusiastic day to day.

Leadbelly's Links, Drinks & Arcade is located in west Champaign and formerly was Fluid Event Center. Currently, Leadbelly's is hosting live music weekly. What would you like to see happen in terms of growth and support for Leadbelly's?

Being the new kid on the block is always a challenge, especially in the live-music world, doubly so when you're not in the center of the larger live music scene in your town, but we are striving over the next year or two to become a sort of Buddy Guy's for the central Illinois blues scene. Additionally, we are working to grow our arcade game fan base alongside our pool leagues and our monthly soft-tip dart tournament. Today we are finishing installation of about 20 classic arcade games from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s to add to our collection of seven pinball machines, pool tables, soft-tip dart games, and foosball tables. Things are looking pretty amazing right now and we can't wait for people to stop in and check us out!

Your involvement in the Champaign-Urbana music scene varies. Tell us all the ways you are involved with this music scene and what are you most passionate about?

When I'm not working on the festival or at Leadbelly's or preparing to take my seat on the Urbana City Council in May, I spend time curating a variety of shows involving everything from outdoor venues to basement house shows with performers and DJs specializing in all kinds of music from ambient to reggae to deep dubstep to house and techno. Within the last year I gave up two DJ residencies in downtown Champaign to focus my musical life on smaller, more intimate, audience-specific shows that would allow myself and other performers to explore the music we are truly passionate about without the stress and expectations of performing in larger, more public music venues. Today my strongest passion lies in creating both specific sonic and visual environments that lend themselves to enhance the experience of live music and DJ performances. I want people who attend these shows to be able to lose themselves in the music, to be released from the chains of the everyday, for the audience to be exposed to something they would otherwise be unable to experience at a mainstream venue in Chambana.

Where can we locate Leadbelly's on social media and the web?

You can find us on Facebook, and we're on the web at

Topics (1):Music

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