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San Marcos celebrates music with annual Frights and Sounds festival

Post-Hardcore+band+End+of+Evergreen+preforms+at+the+Frights+%26+Sounds+Music+Festival%2C+Friday%2C+Oct.+13%2C+2023%2C+Sean+Patricks+Brew+Pub%2C+Alley+Stage.
Meg Boles
Post-Hardcore band End of Evergreen preforms at the Frights & Sounds Music Festival, Friday, Oct. 13, 2023, Sean Patrick’s Brew Pub, Alley Stage.

On Friday and Saturday, attendees at the fourth annual Frights and Sounds Music Festival were decked out as pirates, witches, mummies and more as local bands played with plenty of vendors to explore.

Frights and Sounds began in 2019 with the intention to create an event to kick off the Halloween season. Co-founders Mitchell Meitler, the lead vocalist for Our Last Daze, and Ricky Fullen, vocalist for HateWaker, felt that the San Marcos community didn’t have a Halloween-themed event, and chose to add music onto Frights and Sounds to spread their love for music.

“No one really did anything around this time, they tried every now and then, but it wasn’t consecutive” Meitler said. “I think we started the trend because there’s a few [organizers] now that have events around Halloween. And we’re blessed to have so many friends that are talented. The city is loaded with musicians of all different types.”

This year, the festival was held at Sean Patrick’s Irish Pub, The Porch and Jack’s Road House with 44 artists and more than 20 vendors spread across the three locations.

The artists are local and primarily fall under the alternative genre with the opportunity to let different forms of music thrive together.

“I grew up on the Warped Tour scene, so that’s very much what inspired me to do stuff like this,” Fullen said. “Being in front of so many different types of music and being able to do my art alongside of it while being in one place. Those festivals meant a lot to me, so I’m giving it back to the younger generation or just the scene in general here.”

Fullen believes that providing a space for new artists to perform is important and isn’t offered in many nearby cities anymore, including Austin and San Antonio.

Fullen’s determination to allow new artists to perform has been spread to new artists like Hudson Devlin, a drummer in the new indie rock band Soho Holiday. Devlin performed last year for the first time along with his bandmates for Frights and Sounds.

Devlin was ecstatic to perform for Frights and Sounds again, giving him more experience to become a successful musician.

“It’s a pretty good festival, because you get exposed to a bigger crowd,” Devlin said. “You also learn how to control nerves, learn what to bring and not bring, how everything works. It’s a big opportunity career wise and it’s just fun to be around these people in bands and all that.”

Planning for the festival begins as soon as the previous festival ends the year prior. Meitler and Fullen said they receive dozens of emails of new artists interested in playing every year. This year, Meitler and Fullen received enough requests to require them to prioritize expanding the number of locations the festival would be held.

Next year, Meitler and Fullen are planning on giving more artists exposure, while also expanding their audience.

“We need to get to a point where it’s going to be a family event,” Meitler said. “We really wanted to do something for the kids. We want to make sure this is a community base and at the end of it, it’s actually looked forward to by the entire community and people of all ages.”

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