This September is a milestone for Will Goodyear. It will be his fifth year as venue manager for Hopscotch Music Festival. Brought on board by Hopscotch showrunners Greg Lowenhagen and Grayson Currin, Goodyear’s role has evolved over the years. “I coordinate between artists, venues, instrument rental companies, sound personnel and other Hopscotch staff to make sure all of our shows run smoothly,” he says.
Goodyear is steeped in the Raleigh music scene — as frontman for local metal band, Grohg, he has performed on stage at many of the Hopscotch venues, which gives him a unique advantage in his role. “Playing locally definitely helps in that respect. My role with Hopscotch strengthens those relationships and opens doors. I imagine my job would be very difficult for someone not already involved in local music.”
What does make his job easier is the cooperation and work that Raleigh’s music venues put into the festival. Goodyear acknowledges, “This festival wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the venues. Hopscotch tries to make their jobs a little easier, but they’re still the ones hosting four bands a night for three nights (not even including day parties) and making it look easy.”
Pulling off a three-day festival without a hitch is challenging, but not without benefits. Goodyear not only gets an up-close and personal view of the inner workings of a successful music event, he also gets to enjoy being part of the audience. “My favorite part of Hopscotch is watching whatever Saturday night headliner I’ve chosen to end my weekend with,” he says. “I don’t get to watch many shows since I’m constantly bouncing around the whole venue grid, but once the final set of headliners is on stage I can relax and become a fan.”
Godflesh, he says, “is my light at the end of this year’s tunnel.”
Even though it consumes much of his life, Goodyear doesn’t focus all his energy on music — he’s also an accomplished painter. Many of his mixed media pieces depict decaying urban landscapes. Of his art, he adds, “the decomposed architecture represent the temporary, fragile nature of our culture’s current values. In the long run, our corporately branded skyscrapers will age to the point of instability and be replaced with the next generation’s icons.” Interpreting this cycle, he says, is interesting to deal with artistically.His artwork can be viewed online at www.willgoodyear.net. Grohg has music available for free download at grohg.bandcamp.com. You can purchase Grohg vinyl and merch from www.holymountainprinting.com.