I just realized that this October will mark the tenth anniversary of the last Midwest Regional Music Festival (a.k.a. “MRMF,” or “Mr. Motherfucker” fest, as it some of us liked to call it). That’s the one that featured some 200 bands from all over the country playing in venues all over town that (supposedly) rivaled SXSW at the time. Its primary organizer/promoter was the Riverfront Times, back in the days when it was an independent local weekly entertainment rag with a much larger focus on local music than it has today. When the New Times bought the paper in 1999, giving Mr. Motherfucker the old heave-ho was one of its first major accomplishments (you might remember that was also when they moved the publication’s great local music section to the back… the old show listings used to be right in the centerfold and it was once a lot easier to just flip the paper open to it). Dead and buried, after only six years. So ever since then, St. Louis has been without a big, local, annual music festival that had the potential to attract bands and music lovers of every stripe from all over the country (and beyond). True, we still have some good local music festivals here every year (I even foolishly attempted to promote my own last fall, as you may recall), but none of them match MRMF in overall scope, size, magnitude, and potential as far as really putting St. Louis on the map as both a regional and national music mecca, and that’s sad, I think. If those of us that are part of the St. Louis music scene want to help put ourselves back on the national map, we should make a concerted effort to bring this festival back from the grave, or create a new one that’s similar. That would obviously need to be done without the (free) promotional and organizational assistance of the Riverfront Times (unless they, of course, could somehow convince the New Times to let them do it again). But now, ten years later, with the advent of blogging, podcasting and plenty of other new local music publications (not to mention a great new local record store in Apop), it seems to me there could be enough of the right kind of people here to make this happen again… that is, if we WANT to make it happen badly enough. What do YOU think?