Suitable for framing...



Last year at Bonnaroo, I had a chance to meet Guy Burwell, an illustrator and designer renowned for his work on concert posters. Seeking refuge from the summer sun in a festival art tent, Burwell’s My Morning Jacket four-color screen print caught my eye.

It was brilliant. And until he introduced himself, I had no idea the proud father of the masterpiece was standing right there beside me.

I decided to pass on the $30 purchase for the time being, thinking that it’d be easier to grab one on the way back to my tent. Sure enough, the thought slipped my mind and soon all 350 signed editions were gone. Damn.

No worries. That’s what eBay is for, right? Well, not exactly. You could buy a four-day Bonnaroo festival pass for less than what sellers were asking for this poster. If I remember correctly, one was even listed as high as $300.

Since then I’ve had a thing for concert posters. A newbie to the silk screened world of rock ‘n’ roll art, it didn’t take long for – a fantastic online database – to become a new time-wasting favorite.

I could spend hours clicking through the pages, comparing the unique styles of different designers or searching for posters from the Gin Blossoms’ 1994 tour.

You can’t buy prints directly off the site, but there are links to both classified ads and designer contact info. Assuming the item is still in stock, a quick email and credit card should hook you up.

To help exercise a little self control, my personal rule is to only buy posters from shows that I’ve been to. Chris Williams of Raleigh-based Plastic Frame Press shipped me a mint condition print of his Bright Eyes design (Millennium Center, Nov. 9, 2007). A few days later, I received a 13x20 inch Bloc Party poster from Connie Collingsworth at Print Mafia. For some local talent, try Get A Clue Design (Matt Pfahlert) or Smackhound (Ben Gelnett).

So check out if you have a chance. And pick up a print either online or the next time you’re at a show. They’re great as souvenirs, gifts or simply for dressing up a lonely wall. These artists pour their hearts and souls into this work, so I know they’d appreciate the love.

And if you happen to come across that elusive My Morning Jacket / Bonnaroo ‘08 print, give me a shout. Maybe we can work out a deal.

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