The DIY Label behind Tasty Fest

By Steph Baghai

The Tasty Tapes label has decided to put their DIY cred to the test. The Milwaukee-based record label recently became acquainted with Uncle Sam and figured since the blooming courtship is all about give and take, they would test their skills by hosting their first festival, Tasty Fest.

Considering the Good Land doesn’t have enough festivals in the summer, founder Phil Hoge and crew, including The Rashita Joneses’ fellow member Jeff G, decided to organize the four day party. Highlights of the fest include Milwaukee music, art, and of course, food.

Their non-conventional approach is not a drawback, if anything, it has helped them cultivate the festival to be an authentic and turned up kickback. Their path has attracted creatives and organizations to take part. The team has pulled together talented friends to help out with art (local artists will showcase their work each day), food (to appease your late night munchies), and music.

Partnered with the Hunger Task Force, Tasty Fest will not only satisfy your soul but make you feel good. As the festival quickly approaches, the crew has been putting things under wraps as the anticipation grows.

The Rashita Joneses performing at Arte Para Todos (Phil Hoge, center, and Jeff G. on right)

The Rashita Joneses performing at Arte Para Todos (Phil Hoge, center, and Jeff G. on right)

We chatted with Phil Hoge, Tasty Tapes co-founder, to discuss the planning and cultivation of this cool fest and the important cause behind it.

What was the idea for Tasty Tapes?

We made Tasty Tapes in March and legitimized it, so we’re good with Uncle Sam now. We basically used Tasty Tapes to help out everybody and anybody who’s looking to have a creative outlet. We have people who do artwork for albums, we’ve got people who are really into screen printing so we have them doing posters and t-shirts. It’s a record label, it’s a collective, legitimate way to do all our fun, creative ideas through a creative, legal avenue.

So when you started it, did you intend it to be a creative group or to just put out music and it naturally expanded?

Yeah that’s how Tasty Fest actually came about. It goes back to Tasty Tapes, which was originally supposed to be just a record label and then as soon as we made it legit, and filed for a business, we were like you know what, why the hell don’t we do this for everything, use it for what we want. We were naive and thought when you filed for business you had to tell [the government] your service, but, no, we can do everything we want, we pay our taxes and it’s all legal. So we got to thinking that if we can make cassettes for people, if we can put out music for other bands, if we can make t-shirts, why can’t we have a music festival that’s also a celebration and be like “hey, we exist, check it out, if you want to be a part of the crew, everyone is welcome."

Seems like a supportive group of people.

People call it a commune, but I don’t like to call it that [laughs].

Cutting cassette j cards in preparation for the weekend

Cutting cassette j cards in preparation for the weekend

When you guys started planning out, were there any surprises that went into the organization?

Oh, you’re damn right about that. We are still in over our heads. It’s a giant experiment and we love it. It's funny because we’ve lately thought that we’ve been fooling people. It’s goofy because we’ve been putting a lot of time into this, like I’m sitting here right now making cassettes for Tigernite’s release, but it’s a labor of love, we never thought that people would actually think that our festival, that a couple of guys and our friends, would actually seem legit. We thought we were fooling people, until recently [WISN] wrote a little write up about it, which was tight, but they said something like Tasty Fest boasts non-conformity. So we’re not fooling anyone. Which is how it’s supposed to be.

We started to do this and thought it was going to be for one day, a couple of our friends’ bands would play and it would be more a show than a festival. Then one thing led to another and now it’s 6 bands per night for 4 nights. Then since the word Tasty is in there we felt obligated to have food involved, which led to the Hunger Task Force because Tasty Fest would only make sense to keep it tasty for everyone because we’re fortunate enough.

Are there any bands in particular you looking forward to seeing?

The last person who is going to go on the last night, Klassik, for sure. And I know Jeff G is all about that because he wants to be a rapper one day. I’ve never seen Klassik and super excited for him.

I’m just excited in general. For people to come out, this is the most perfect way to come support the Milwaukee/local music and arts scene. This is your easiest excuse to get out there and see more than 24 bands playing, all local. It’s almost too easy. If you don’t show up I don’t even know what you’re doing.

Don’t sleep on this four day rage brigade.  You can get single day passes or weekend passes here



Much fun

Much fun