The origins and evolution of DMP’s Monkeyfest
Published: July 6, 2011
8pm Thu, July 7
The Mix & Limelight
$5, 21+ except White Rabbit: $8 for minors
8pm Fri, July 8
Salute, Limelight, & The White Rabbit
8pm Sat, July 9
Both Drunken Monkey Promotions and Monkeyfest were conceived like most big ideas: in a bar with a pound (or probably a liter) of courage. Back in 2006, future DMP owner Anthony Trinidad was sitting with colleagues from the San Antonio College Radio, Television, and Film program at The Mix on North St. Mary’s. He was spouting off. “I was saying, ‘I’m gonna’ throw this big event. I’m going to get this scene together,’” Trinidad told the Current, Lone Star in hand, during a group interview in his home. “I was like, ‘There’s no reason. ... Something’s going to happen here. I’m not saying it has to be me, but it needs to be somebody.”
Like most ambitions fortified by spirits, the details weren’t as hashed out as the intentions of the day, but that didn’t stop Trinidad from shuffling up the road to the recently opened Limelight.
“I didn’t know [Limelight’s owners] Casey or Mariah at the time,” Trinidad said. “I walked in there … and asked for a show. I thought they would turn me down like, ‘No way, who the fuck are you?’ But they gave me a date.”
And like that, Trinidad booked his first show at Limelight — Muchos Backflips with opener Groove Movement — on August 19, 2006. Only about 40 people turned out, he said, but that was enough to officially start DMP in earnest, however haphazardly.
Trinidad left around 200 credit hours at SAC for a staff he described as “a dream team.” He had a promotions representative, an entertainment lawyer, a photographer, and “a guy that bagged money,” though there really wasn’t much to be kept after paying artists. Because the Benjamins weren’t pouring in, his staff shifted over the following year, eventually becoming a group of guys who all liked working day jobs, promoting local bands, and not sleeping. Drunken Monkey Promotions is currently Pete Requejo, Jeremy Pacheco, Ray Tattoedboy (artistic name for Ray Scarborough), and Scott Andreu (of Texas is Funny Records), who has worked with Trinidad since 2010 booking out-of-town bands as a partner in Patchwork Presents. Since 2010, the DMP guys have been the main promoters at Limelight booking weekend gigs, and will kick off a free hip-hop night every first Thursday starting August 4. DMP is also behind the Great 85’s showcase every last Thursday of the month and the San Antonio unplugged night, both at Limelight.
In the summer of 2007, Trinidad and co. started Monkeyfest, a multi-day local music showcase. The goal was (and remains) to use the allure of established local bands to get fans in front of promising up-and-comers. “Basically, venues are out to make money,” Requejo said. “I mean, when you’re a business owner, you have to make money. And new bands don’t bring in a lot of money at first. But if they want to get heard, they’ve got to get out there. Events like Monkeyfest bring new bands to an event that’s going to bring a lot of people regardless. They’re gonna get heard.”
> Email Adam Villela Coronado