Prospecto Music Showcase and Sonic Experience

Courtesy Photo /
My Dear Disco

Courtesy Photo / My Dear Disco

Coty Levandoski

The Prospecto Musical Showcase and Sonic Experience, the brainchild of Grand Valley State University professor Benjamin Hunter, will aim to bring national attention to the city of Grand Rapids and it’s ever-evolving arts scene by showcasing over 90 bands, with a vast majority of them hailing from West Michigan, and setting up shop at 9 downtown bars that best fit the cultural groove of the music scene in Grand Rapids this weekend.

Hunter looked to undergraduate students Jacob Taykowski and Tanya Le to assist him in putting the festival together.

“I can remember Ben calling me hours before he had to do an interview with a band for Recoil magazine and telling me, ‘Nope, this one’s all you!’” said Taykowski, a senior majoring in marketing and management. “That’s kind of how it all started. That led to me interning under him, and here we are now, with Prospecto less than a week away.”

This Thursday, Hank and the Attitude will take the stage at 7 p.m. and kick off the three-day event at the Intersection, a moment that’s been in the making since February. The festival will wrap up early Saturday morning at 2:00 a.m. when Snake Hips Wizardry plays the last set at the Sigma 21 EDM Booth located in Louie’s Bar.

By festival’s end, national talents GZA, Presidents of the United States of America and Mustard Plug will all have taken part in something that brought “artists from all around the country to Grand Rapids and paired them with amazing Michigan bands,” Hunter said in a press release.

“All of the talent we’ve landed — every single venue we’ve signed on — it’s all come from Ben’s own connections that he’s made within the community,” Taykowski said. “It’s pretty crazy to see how much of this he’s pulled together himself.”

The communications professor received his Masters in Organizational Communications in 2003 from GVSU before becoming Culture Editor and Director of Promotions for Recoil magazine and Editor-in-Chief of Wide Eyed Publishing. He’s served as an adjunct professor at GVSU since 2002.

“I was taking a course with him this past summer and one day we got to talking about Flosstradamus, whom he had managed to snag for Prospecto” said Le, a junior political science major. “He offered me the same opportunity that he offered Jake, and I didn’t really have to think twice about it.”

Both Taykowski and Le have handled miscellaneous tasks for Hunter, most of which had an emphasis on publicity and “generating buzz” for Prospecto. Together, they’ve hung flyers at the campuses of Grand Rapids Community College, Calvin College, Aquinas College and Kendall College of Art and Design. Taykowski has maintained the Facebook event page, while Le sent out sample CDs to surrounding radio stations like WSNX and WGRD.

“Ben just loves Grand Rapids,” Taykowski said. “This city has a huge place in his heart, and he’s doing everything within his power to share it with as many people as he possibly can.”

Tickets can be bought online at Prices depend on opting for either the single or three-day pass. Age varies according to each venue.

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