The Wyoming Independent Music Initiative will feature nine Laramie bands in a free concert Saturday, June 25. WIMI is a broad initiative by the Wyoming Arts Council to grow the state’s live music scene.
The Laramie bands are part of a pilot program designed to help the groups build their brands. Those bands have spent the past six months developing everything from business plans to stage craft. The culminating event is a showcase concert where the bands will perform short sets for music industry representatives and the public.
“If the community comes out and supports it, then it demonstrates the need for music in communities. This is a chance to show that and to make the statement that Wyoming cares. It’s hard to make the argument that the state cares about music if nobody’s at the show,” said the event’s organizer, Danee Hunzie.
Hunzie says the next step is to expand the program to musicians around the state. “There’s so much talent across the state, and not just in Laramie,” she said. “It’s everywhere. And we hope that we can use what we learned from this pilot program and really create a statewide policy that will benefit all.”
Similar programs have been successful in cities like Austin and Fort Collins. According to Hunzie, Wyoming’s is the first state-wide music initiative of its type. Saturday’s concert starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Gryphon Theatre in Laramie.