The Summer of 2004 brought with it new people; many of our old friends at Wired graduated high school and moved on to college almost immediately, leaving room for fresh faces and familiar friends to mingle.
Financial woes began to slip into the tales of Wired. The heat was on: Lily paid an obscene amount of money to rent the small space each month, and now she things were getting too tight for her to handle.
Thus, together we forged the greatest idea that we had to date: contacting every band that had ever played at Wired, we put together a contest, a battle of the bands, in which the winning band would take home a cash prize and the honorary title for winning.
So what did we name our battle of the bands?
The amount of parking space was severely limited; people had to carpool, and even though the large field behind Wired had ample space, the number of patrons that night made it almost impossible for everyone to have a parking place.
I was one of the judges.
Along with some of my friends, I spent the day registering the bands as they came in, giving them a place number in which they would perform, showing them the rules and so on.
A few bands almost didn’t make it.
We initially began the entire event outside under a canopy where my friend Rheana held the mic and called the shots.
After the band Left Wing Severed performed, we had a problem; several police officers pulled up, causing us to temporarily halt Lilypalooza. The local neighborhood was complaining and called the Midland City P.D., but Wired was zoned in Dothan technically, so then they had to wait for the Dothan P.D., and really, neither police department could really do anything about it.
But out of respect for the neighborhood, we moved the entire gig inside. How Lily and any of the barristers could hear the orders inside that tiny coffee house, I’ll never know, but they did.
The band Catharsis arrived when Lilypalooza was almost complete, but I signed them up anyway; their van had a flat tire or something, and they had literally gone broke on their trip to Lilypalooza.
Then, when they began playing, something happened.
To this day, I cannot place my finger on what exactly Catharsis did, what was going on in the coffee house at that moment, or what it all meant, but they absolutely rocked the entire place. The chemistry among the band members, the wave of energy that soared above all the young adults there: Catharsis came and blew all the other bands out of the water.
They went home with 1st place, a majority of the judges giving them a perfect score.
So that was how Lilypalooza happened, and she made a great sum of money that night, even though I can’t remember how much it was at this point, but it really helped for the next great idea that she had: the move the coffee house to a more centralized location in Dothan.
That’s where we’ll pick up in the next blog.