For those of our readers who may not be familiar with Fete Magazine, it is an online magazine in the truest sense of the word. Based in Greenville, South Carolina it has been around for a little over 18 months and shows no sign of slowing down. I recently met Jay when he approached me about writing for the magazine as well as doing some guest blogs. Seeing immediately that we were kindred spirits, I decided we should introduce Jay to you properly. He has lots of interesting things in the works, many which we hope to be a part of. So look for a lot more Fete/Watu collaboration in the future. In the meantime I give you the man behind the mag, Mr. Jay Spivey.

Wes Gilliam: So Fete has been around roughly for the past year and half, and is a pretty sizable endeavor. What was your motivation for going into such an immersive project?

Jay Spivey: I love Greenville and I wanted to figure out how to get the businesses, artists, musicians and non-profits to band together in one place so their stories and marketing efforts could actually help each other. There are over 50,000 Facebook users represented in one monthly issue of Fete and there are almost a half a million ways you can see the Fete Marquee in one month. Fete is becoming the easiest way to reach the supporters and patrons of our downtown and beyond. The best example is this: Centre Stage, The Warehouse, The Peace Center and Rick Erwin’s can reach each other’s online supporters in only one publication. There are over 300 inks in each issue of Fete. Add to that all the non-profits, writers and advertisers and you have one of those really cool Kumbaya marketing moments! It is all about each participant in Fete sharing Fete with their “clan”. The “rising tide lifting all boats”. And, most importantly, this kind of online community publication did not exist before Fete. I love my job! Add the ability to embed videos and Shazaam!

WG: Why the decision to focus on so many different topics such as music, art, theatre and even Fiction writing? Are these all interests of yours personally? Any plans to expand in scope?

JS: The soul of any community is based on its relationship with the arts. We are so fortunate to be in this time and this place. I have always had so much respect for anyone that can express their creativeness and I feel like it is a civic responsibility to support and promote the arts in Greenville. The next expansion is centered around food – the stories, pictures and videos that we enjoy to spread. FeteDish is coming out in this February issue and we will be supporting it with some cool guest bloggers.

WG: How did you come to the decision to do a multi-media internet based magazine instead of a traditional printed one?

JS: Print, in general, is slowly fading from the scene. Too much internet and easy access to anything you want. That’s not to say that specialty print publications are disappearing, but news print sure is – plus, it comes off on your hands – M&Ms don’t even do that. I really enjoy saying that Fete is NOT thrown in your driveway. Plus, videos are the future and embedding them in a publication is something that separates Fete from everyone else locally.

WG: Was the embedding of audio and video an original goal when starting the magazine up, or was it something that you realized you could integrate over time?

JS: Absolutely! Fete is video and all the links to everything. There are no other publications in Greenville that have embedded video. Fete is about entertainment and a video – whether it be humor from the ladies at Cafe and Then Some, a musician’s new song or an interview – videos are the way of the future. Now that every smart phone has the capability to record anything that happens – Fete has to keep evolving the use of video.

WG: Perhaps the thing I’m most excited about is the Fete Mobile Music app. Can you tell us a little more about it, and what exactly it does as well as any future plans for the app ?

Fete Mobile Music was born from my experience as a bar owner back in the 1990s. All of the printed calendars around town were/are a pain to carry around, did not have correct information and they could not tell you how to get to the show on a map. FMM is the solution and it is simple to use. It is not an App – it is a web based system that can host venues, bands, performances, videos, descriptions, sponsors and pictures – all at your fingertips. All you have to do is bookmark on your smart phone and you can access it by date, by venue or by band name. We will be making a big push over the next couple of months to expand our support of FMM through Fete Magazine, specific videos, banners and table tents in the venues and Fete will be a sponsor of Downtown Alive and Main Street Friday this season. I truly believe that Fete Mobile Music will grow beyond our wildest dreams this summer. We are also planning a few concerts to help support the cause.

WG: What can we expect from Fete in 2012 ? Any big plans or are you playing it close to the chest?

JS:The sky is the limit in 2012! There are some secrets, but I can safely say that we will continue to evolve the editorial content of the magazine. More videos, more great photography and more snarky humor. The FeteBlog is going to grow considerably through associations with outfits like WATU. And, I am sure that Fete Mobile Music will go wild by this summer.

WG: Finally I know I have personal achievements I’m proud of with my site, any personal highlights you’d care to share with us? Any “this is crazy and this is happening!” moments you can share?

JS: I am fortunate to have a true design guru in the person of Jack DelGado helping with everything Fete – he is my soul mate in this endeavor. Add Matt Morgan’s creative passion as our Music Editor and Dave Galloway’s drive/desire in being the Fete Mobile Music Manager to this equation and I can actually get “giddy” about all this Fete stuff. These FeteMen make me proud. We keep thinking that this can’t get any better or more fun, but it does – every single month. I wish everyone could feel that joy. Fete it be…

One Response to INTERVIEW: Jay Spivey of Fete Magazine

  1. Bruce Miller "Cebru" says:

    I am new to Fete having been to a couple events and meeting Jay Spivey through our mutual friends Syprian Harvey and Matt Morgan. As a gallery/ artist owner here in Greenville, I can only say that I am very excited about the passion Fete conveys and the obvious dedication included in your endeavours. Thanks for making such an intelligent flag ship effort on behalf of this city!

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