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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Starkville DIY works to boost local live music scene

Bored+to+Tears+performed+in+the+Ninetwenty-Nine+Coffee+Bar+basement+for+their+first+gig+with+Starkville+DIY.
Courtesy Photo | Starkville DIY

Bored to Tears performed in the Ninetwenty-Nine Coffee Bar basement for their first gig with Starkville DIY.

In the past year, the amount of music and live shows being performed all throughout Starkville has grown at an exponential rate. This has been in part due to a growing community in Starkville by promotions and booking through a group known as Starkville DIY, created in 2022 by Lishman Heathcock. 
Starkville DIY is a collection of music enthusiasts focused on bringing and promoting live music to the Starkville scene.
Heathcock said that he had never been a part of a live music until he spent some time around Hattiesburg’s music scene during an internship. He did not see why Starkville could not have something similar.
“Starkville DIY is not a formal organization. We are a collective of local artists, musicians and people who enjoy live local independent music,” Heathcock said. 
Heathcock mentioned that Starkville DIY has more than enough room for anyone who wishes to be a part of it. 
“There is no formal way to join or operate within the group,” Heathcock said. “If you enjoy local independent music and go to shows, then you are a part of Starkville DIY.” 
In just over a year of their existence, Starkville DIY has grown to over 1,000 followers on Instagram and promoted over 35 shows of local bands and artists. They have booked and promoted local artists such as Bad Data, Teethache, Bored to Tears, Hartle Road, Sludgelung, Solicitation, Cicadas, Plizzard, It’s Only Us and more. 
This was all set in motion at a show in the Nine-Twentynine Coffee Bar basement back in September 2022. The bands Hartle Road, Bad Data and Bored to Tears played in this show. 
Quinlan Kurtycz, bassist of Bored to Tears, said that Heathcock had reached out to the band after their first show at Battle of the Bands in 2022, and he booked them at this show out of nowhere. Kurtycz said that he was unaware this was Heathcock’s first show he booked in Starkville. 
“I see that show as one of the most pivotal moments in the recent Starkville music scene. Even to this day, that show had one of our largest turnouts of 131 people packed in the Nine-Twentynine basement,” Kurtycz said. “I have never seen a group of people more motivated and inspired to create music.” 
Max Hartleroad, drummer of Hartle Road and Columbus native, stated that he found it very interesting how Starkville DIY creates opportunities for growth for both the music scene in Starkville and the bands that play here. 
“Starkville had been kind of difficult to have consistent support for local artists and original music, and [Starkville DIY] give a platform for our band and touring bands that otherwise would not be there,” Hartleroad said. 
The group of local bands has shown themselves at many shows throughout the last year. Heathcock reminisced on some memorable events that Starkville DIY put together. 
“My favorite DIY event was the ‘Emo Night’ show on October 24th. A band called Morning Dew was doing their first full U.S. tour and they decided to make a stop in Starkville. They were partnered with a band in Memphis called A Kiss Before Dying for the southeastern portion of the tour, and both bands loved it,” Heathcock said. 
The impact of Starkville DIY on local bands is clear to see. Bored to Tears started with Starkville DIY after Battle of the Bands in 2022. This year, at Battle of the Bands 2023, three of the five bands that performed are regularly promoted, and sometimes booked, by Starkville DIY. 
Starkville DIY started with one goal: to create a community that wants nothing more than to promote and support local live music. Not only has that community materialized, but it continues to grow at an exponential rate. 

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Starkville DIY works to boost local live music scene