Illegal Pete's really, really cares about bands. This much was clear from the moment the restaurant launched its Starving Artists Program, in which Pete's feeds hungry touring acts heading through Denver. But what about the bands that tour here all the time? What about the acts that are from here? In an announcement made today, Illegal Pete's has also brainstormed an option to help its peers on the scene, but the new program took more creativity -- and more beer.
Starting Thursday, March 1, the chain of restaurants will begin selling collector pint glasses dedicated to local bands. As seen above, one side of each glass sports the restaurant's logo, while the other represents the band. With the Photo Atlas slated as the first to grace a glass, the project will last roughly a month or until all 200 glasses are sold. For $10, local beer enthusiasts and music fans will take away both the cup and the Colorado brew inside of it, both paid for by Illegal Pete's. The entirety of the proceeds will go directly toward the bands, leaving them with an ideal $2,000 to devote to recording costs or other needs.
Since Illegal Pete's announced their latest effort earlier today, the restaurant has been mobbed by about fifteen other bands requesting to be the next ones on the bill for glass art. Although the criteria to join the experiment is not yet solidified, marketing rep Virgil Dickerson says the Photo Atlas was selected because of its hard-working schedule, enjoyable sound and constant support of Illegal Pete's.
"We're coming up with a more structured submission process, for sure, but we want to make sure the band is working hard and touring, not just playing one show a year," Dickerson says. "Obviously it's nice if the band likes Illegal Pete's, and we want to be a huge fan of the music they put out. Since posting the news, we've been getting a lot of people asking us how they can be the next band involved, which makes sense because nobody has money."
The designs on each set of cups will be selected by both the venue and the band, and the cups are screen printed by KSE Imprints. Organizers began brainstorming options for the project at the end of 2011 before eventually taking a linking to both the money end and the novelty aspect of collector cups.
"I used to get geeked collecting all of the Star Wars, etc. fast food glass series as a child, so naturally, as an adult, I am more than excited to start collecting our series of beer glasses featuring a series of my favorite local bands, with the added bonus of helping these bands get their music out to their fans," Illegal Pete's owner Pete Turner says in a press release.
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The beer glasses will be spread out across the restaurant's locations, with the majority centered downtown. In March, the Photo Atlas will perform two shows at Illegal Pete's in conjunction with their new merch: With local falsetto rockers In the Whale, the band will play the Boulder Hill Illegal Pete's on Thursday, March 1 and the downtown Denver spot on Saturday, March 3. The two shows are the first in a series of dates that will lead the Photo Atlas to the 2012 South By Southwest music festival in Austin.
"Honestly, we just love our local music scene, and we want to help it out any way we can," Dickerson says. "We're really proud to have such a fun option to do so, and we hope we sell every single glass for these bands. They deserve it."
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