WALLYPALOOZA Enters 15th Year: Founder Talks 2012 And Future Of The Event
Fifteen years of Palooza and it’s getting bigger and better every year. That seems to be the goal of Wally Miles, founder of Wallypalooza and the man behind all that is Palooza, at least in Maryville,TN. The event that started out so small years ago has grown into a four day chaotic weekend of head-crushing rock and metal and enough booze to put your liver functionality to the test. But maybe you have never heard of this fast-growing musical concoction from Miles. Well, it all started in a little town in Tennessee…
In 1998, only a year after graduating from Maryville High School, Wally Miles invited some friends out to the lake to celebrate his birthday. They blasted tunes from a boom box and had a great time. But it wasn’t enough. The next year the idea was thrown out to get a rock band to play for them. This is one reason I love Wally, he got on the right track early and stuck with it! Sometime over the next several years, the annual event was named Wallypalooza and it began to develop into something much larger than just a gathering of friends. It began to get so large that eventually he had to start renting venues to host the event, including Nater’s Sports Grille, Big Daddy’s, Confused Grill and Bar and this year it will be at The Thirsty Turtle Pub & Grub.
Within the first four days after the 2012 event was posted on Facebook over 200 people RSVP’d to attend. So you may want to get there early, last year there were people waiting in line to get inside. You don’t want that to be you! Originally scheduled for three days, a fourth day was added as the number of bands wanting to be included grew. I can only imagine that this event is going to grow into something very large over the next several years and I spoke with Wally about this (make sure you read the interview at the end of this article.)
Miles is a man of many talents and successes. He has been involved in music ever since he was young, picking up his first guitar at the age of four and years later he became the drummer for The Dirty Gunnz. He also wrestles under the name “Jagger Sterling, the Thrill Pistol” in the local amateur wrestling circuit. If you get the chance to talk to him personally, he is the nicest, most down to earth guy you will meet.
The event will be hosted by Waylon Whiskey and The Black Liver Society. You can usually find these guys appearing on stage at Preservation Pub, Old City Entertainment Venue and even on the Booze Cruise, a monthly comedy show on the Tennessee Riverboat for those who enjoy booze, raunchy jokes and good times on the water.
Wallypalooza 2012 is sponsored by: Deviants Underground Radio, KFW Wrestling presents: “Clash Of Titans”, KAPOW, Liquid Measures and Griffin-Rockstar. Wally has also appeared on Lawless Radio to promote and answer questions about this event. He has become a regular DJ on Deviants Underground Radio to help promote as well. I had a chance to sit down with Wally and ask him a few questions:
What made Wallypalooza what it is today?
The bands and the people, hands down, are the reason Wallypalooza is what it is today. It was never designed to be this big festival. Each year, the people ask for it, and the bands come to me wanting to play. If I’m able to provide a platform for both, it’s the least I can do.
15 year anniversary is pretty special. How have you kept it going so long?
The key to the longevity of Wallypalooza, especially 15 years, baffles me. The event itself has its own pulse has somehow generated its own buzz. It’s truly a Frankenstein in which I have little control of. It has continued this long simply due to demand. Ask and you shall receive!
Why did you expand it to four days?
Expanding from 2 to 4 days was something I wanted to do this year to raise the bar and to make the 15th anniversary even bigger than the previous Wallypaloozas of years past. Plus, with all the amazing talent on board for this year, it’d be impossible to fit everything into just one or two days.
Do you see expanding it again next year if this year’s turnout is a huge success?
Absolutely. I totally see this expanded at next years. Wallypalooza’s in constant competition with itself. I never want someone to say “well, last year’s was better.”
How big do you think this will be five years from now? Or are you still just taking this one year at a time?
It’s hard to tell where this thing will be or what it will be in 5 years time. Everything that has happened so far in the 15 years is all by surprise to me. I have goals for future Wallypaloozas and a vision on what it could become in the future…some realistic, some totally far-fetched, but nothing is out of reach…nothing.
Tell me a little about last year’s show; the crowd, the bands, etc…
Last year’s Wallypalooza was by far the biggest one to date. The buzz generated from the people, bands, the scene, ect, was bigger than year’s past. Many of those bands are coming back to play this year from Crome Molly, Catalyst, Shallowpoint. The crowd last year was amazing. So many different walks of life under one roof: The metalheads drinking with the frat kids, bikers doing shots with sorority girls. It’s a beautiful thing. All walks of life united for the common good of music and having fun.
What’s your most memorable moment from last year’s show?
Most memorable moment from last year? Not to sound cheesy, but just seeing the fun everyone had last year was all I needed. I’m proud to be a part of something that makes people happy.
Do you see perhaps expanding to larger venues in the upcoming years if it keeps growing?
I have no doubt larger venues await in the future. I also expect to have an outdoor Wallypalooza at some point too.
What are your expectations for this year’s show?
My expectations for this year: For people to have a well deserved good time, the bands to be able to have a platform to be seen and heard—and to be able to play for their fans and make new ones. I see barriers being broken this year and the venues that have been avoiding harder music will see that there is a demand for harder music. Only good things…good things.
Here is the band schedule. Note that these are not necessarily in order and subject to change. Each set will be approximately an hour. You must be 21+ to attend and the cover is $5 a night. Please go to this Facebook event page to keep up with any schedule changes or other notices.
Michael Gunnz Band
The Great Poison White Ratt Snake