Date of Award

Winter 12-12-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Janet Davison

Second Advisor

Michelle Van Maanen

Third Advisor

Sara Lampert


documentary, concerts, diversity, representation, music, DIY, musicians, bands, promoters, venue owners

Subject Categories

Film Production | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Other Music | Women's Studies


In certain parts of the Midwest “DIY,” or the underground/alternative music scene, there is not enough representation of women, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals in music, whether onstage as a band or musician, or in venue ownership and leadership. This study looks at where these diverse people are, and the setbacks they’ve faced along the way of becoming a musician, promoter or venue owner. Three emerging themes through this journalistic research include all-ages venues and music scenes as integral to getting people involved in music; a “DIY” attitude or ethos as a push for these musicians and promoters to get their start; and discrimination as a setback which makes women, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals feel unwelcome, unheard or unimportant in music. This documentary, produced over the course of a year, looks at venue owners, show promoters, booking agents, individual musicians and bands that feature diversity, and works through the setbacks they’ve faced in the music scenes of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Vermillion, South Dakota; Fargo, North Dakota and Sioux City, Iowa.




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