Chattanooga and live entertainment go back a long way. Whether it's music festivals, individual performances, standup comedians passing through town or a special film showing at one of the local theaters, the arts community here just seems to draw in those who hold creativity in a sacred light. As a result, we've had countless acts perform in Chattanooga over the decades, providing a wealth of opportunities to see artists of all calibers and disciplines engage with fans of all ages.
What might not cross your mind as easily is the sheer number of fliers these shows have produced. Just look at any number of light poles around town and you'll see an ocean of old and new staples and tape remnants clinging in unison, evidence of a thriving local entertainment scene. From newer shows at Track 29 and JJ's Bohemia to older concerts at The Bay and Rhythm & Brews, there will always be a need to advertise and get the message out about upcoming shows.
And some people get very creative in their messages.
From older posters by Young Monster to recent DIY posters relaying details about the latest noise show, there's a bounty of artwork and effort housed within these announcements. And that wealth of imagery and content is what drew Chattanooga musicians Jerry Reed (of Lacing) and Jamie Dawson (of Subconscious Colours) into creating a website that archives fliers from all across town.
The site, A History of Chattanooga Flyers, accepts submissions from all types of shows, including music concerts, film showings, roller derby games and basically any other show/performance that's taken place in Chattanooga over the past few decades. You can send submissions here.
Nooga.com recently spoke with Reed about the creation of the site and the ambitions that both he and Dawson hold for it.
How did the idea of the website first come about?
It's an idea I had for a while, so I can't really pinpoint when I first had it. It probably wouldn't have went past the idea stage if it weren't for Jamie Dawson. I told him about it, and he was all about it. He basically set everything up for the site and left me with no choice but to do it. Thanks, Jamie!
What are some of your favorite fliers that you've archived?
I really like all the ones Young Monster did for the Bangers Ball parties. The ones from the sadly short-lived Natural Selection are a fave as well.
What's the oldest flier you've gotten so far?
I think so far the oldest I have is from a show Mike Brown from Mythical Motors helped put on at the Armory featuring Hum, Smog and lot of others. I'm guessing it is from the mid-'90s. The one old flier that I would love to have is from the Black Flag show that happened here in '87. I think the Descendants were touring with them.
How many submissions have you received so far?
As of now, I have a little over 300 fliers. A decent amount of those have come from the ones I kept of bands I have been in. I'm constantly asking anyone I know that has any kind of history with the Chattanooga music scene to send me some.
What are your long-term plans for the website?
People have recently started sending me fliers for upcoming shows, and I think that's awesome. By constantly getting new stuff and mixing with what I already have, this site could keep going for as long as I have time to post new stuff. What I would love is for people to see the site and think, "Whoa! _____ played Chattanooga and I missed it?!" It's hopefully a reminder that great bands have played and continue to play here all the time. You just gotta go out and see for yourself!
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.