5Q for Zach Paul – Neon Desert Founder

Zach Paul is one of the three principles behind Splendid Sun Productions (SSP).  He along with his two partners, Gina Martinez and Brian Chavez, are the brain trust behind the Neon Desert Music Festival, a one-day multi-stage outdoor festival set to debut in El Paso, TX at the end of the month. 

SSP are El Pasoans based in Austin with the goal of creating a musical connection between the two cities that resonates with the masses and turns lucrative.  This festival, the first of its kind in the El Paso area, is the first step in that direction.  If it jumps off, they’ll do it again next year.


SSP: Zach Paul, Gina Martinez & Brian Chavez

Interesting Fact:  Gina Martinez’s husband came up with the festival’s name.  The Desert part is obvious.  Neon comes from El Paso’s amazing vibrantly colored sunsets.

1. Tell us about SSP. SSP is a company that we started with the purpose of organizing and promoting Neon Desert Music Festival.  It all started in October of 2009, so we have been around a little more than a year-and-a-half. We hope that Neon Desert becomes a successful annual event and, hopefully, once it has, SSP can begin to look into other ideas and avenues and produce more events.

2. Why is the Austin-El Paso connection important to SSP?  Do you think more organizations, companies, and artists should exploit that connection?
It is a connection that is used by bands all the time whether they are traveling from Southern California and Arizona to Texas or vice-versa.  And, then, of course, the obvious fact that music is a way of life in Austin and we need to get more of those bands and continue to see more of that attitude and feeling grow in El Paso.

3. Why did you want to kick things off with this Neon Desert Musical Festival? We wanted to see something like this happen in El Paso.  We want to get lots of great bands together and have them play on the same day, which is something that normally wouldn’t happen in the Sun City.  Not only can this be big for El Paso, but it can be a regional event as the fest grows.  But, in order for that to happen we need to have support in Year One which is why we are working tirelessly right now.

4. Comparisons to SXSW are inevitable.  So what inspires you about SXSW and what about the Neon Desert Music Festival will be different? SXSW is something so unreal it is difficult to comprehend. SXSW is interactive, film, and music and all most of which happens in the Austin Convention Center, theaters, and clubs/bars.  We are not trying to model ourselves after that.  We are a multi-stage festival that will be happening in one day outdoors.  We are just trying to be a wannabe version of ACL or Lollapalooza, just on a much much smaller scale.

5. What’s next for Splendid Sun Productions and the Neon Desert Music Festival? Like I mentioned earlier, we are hoping to receive some strong support on April 30th.  If we can get the support that we are hoping for then we hope to get back to work immediately and begin planning a 2nd Annual Neon Desert for 2012.  This is something that can have an economic impact on our hometown so we hope that people understand that by supporting Neon Desert they will be supporting El Paso as well.  And, on top of that, we are giving $1 from every ticket sold to El Paso Parks & Recreation.




2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: 7 Neon Desert interviews, 1 pop quiz & more for El Paso Week! « realpopolio
  2. Trackback: MY TOP 30: Year 3 Posts of ALL-TIME! 8. Zach Paul 5Q « realpopolio

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