Marquette Music Scene celebrates second year under local music lover

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When Cindy Engle launched Marquette Music Scene in 2012, her aim was to simply create a free listing of music events in MQT. In the two years since its inception, however, the project has grown.

Marquette Music Scene now boast nearly 1,000 Likes on Facebook, lists gigs of over 80 MQT-based bands, and even holds events of its own. Last week, Marquette Music Scene celebrated its second birthday at the Ore Dock Brewery, featuring music from 14 local bands and artists. The event pulled in approximately 175 attendants.

Engle was prompted to start Marquette Music Scene when she realized no similar service existed. Between organizing Outback Art Fair, the Marquette Peoples Festival and working as a board member of the Holistic Health Fair and the Marquette Area Blues Society, Engle found a chance to volunteer her time to create and manage Marquette Music Scene.

“Nobody knew what was happening in MQT,” Engle said. “People would miss events, and then say ‘I didn’t even know that was happening.’” 

Engle bought the domain name and created the website and Facebook page in one night.

Since its creation, Marquette Music Scene has continued to grow. In addition to an events calendar, the website now lists contact information for bands and artists, posts pictures of gigs, and has even helped bands find each other.

“I’ve helped bands find drummers to help fill in, made connections between bands and even suggested venues for artists to play,” Engle said. “This wasn’t what I thought was going to happen. But it’s always been fun.”

She cites Facebook as one of the factors that have made Marquette Music Scene a success. 

“Facebook can be a wonderful tool,” Engle said. “The week before our 2013 birthday party, we got 1,700 hits. The following week, we got 5,000,” she said. “The website has to stay current and mobile,” Engle said. “I might update the website five times a day.”

In fact, the mobility and currency of Marquette Music Scene is what draws a number of users to it, and what helps get people to events. 

“People will come into Flanigan’s and say ‘I saw your post pop up on my phone or they’ll mention that they saw a post about an Ore Dock gig,” Engle said.

Engle’s passion for music sparked another of her projects. She plans to publish a book – 50 Years of Music in Marquette – at the Outback Art Fair in 2015. The book will focus on bands, artists, venues and music stores, from 1965 to 2015. 

“I think this information needs to be caught before it’s gone,” Engle said. “You can’t find most of the information anymore.”

Today, Engle spends around 300 hours each year updating the Marquette Music Scene website and Facebook page. Most expenses are out of pocket, but events like the birthday party help fund the project. Still, Engle has enjoyed running the site. 

“I don’t play in a band. I don’t sing,” Engle said. “So people always ask ‘Then why do you do this?’ I tell them, ‘it needs to be done,’” she said. “Everybody enjoys it. That’s the point.”

Cindy Engle can be reached at Marquette Music Scene’s website, or at their Facebook page.

John LaPine is the Music Editor of MQT Social Scene and covers bands, venues and other aspects of music in MQT. He can be reached through our about page

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