Last week the notorious Sean Agnew (the main man behind R5 Productions, Union Transfer, Boot & Saddle, and Morgan’s Pier in Philadelphia) did an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit for curious fans and admirers. Agnew makes traveling to North Korea with Dennis Rodman seem like a nonchalant skip overseas and being a hugely successful promoter look easy. Diplo follows him on Twitter. He was one of our first partners (he’s very hip, what can we say), and last we’ve heard, he’s off to Bali for a few weeks. The guy is basically the real life International Man of Mystery. Read more to pick his brain:
Question: Could you describe the work that went into getting R5 up and running? Did you find a room and then try to book bands to play? Was it the other way around? Or did you just want an excuse to meet sweaty punk bands? Thanks for doing this AMA and for helping keep the Philly music scene so strong and vibrant!
Agnew: R5 completely came up from the mid to late 90s punk scene in West Philadelphia. Heavily influenced if not completely ripped off from an older group of show organizers called “The Cabbage Collective.”
In short me and my friends wanted to see bands who weren’t playing Philadelphia. So we found any venue/room/building that would let us set up a show there. Warehouses, art galleries, community centers, church basements. Then we would contact the bands directly. I miss that.