Stage Mom Podcast: Kim Donovan Interviews Up-and-coming South Florida Bands

The Stage Mom Mini Fest doesn’t sound like the extravagant local bands that could brag about playing.

But those familiar with Kim Donovan’s Stage Mom podcast know better.

A Broward native, Donovan has interviewed budding artists in South Florida since early January, including Opposition Dolls, Young Fiction, Dirty Rivals and the Polar Boys. During each episode, she sits down with a local band to talk about their origins and influences, as well as special segments, including one she calls “You Can Tell Mom Anything,” asking guests questions about which a mother might inquire – usually about love and relationships.

Filling the void as a platform for local artists to talk about themselves and their music, she was soon inundated with requests from local actors who wanted the chance to sit on her striped couch. green and white to discuss. His podcast’s Instagram bio is kindly asking for patience from anyone who posts to the account.

“I’m booked through November, every Sunday,” says Donovan new times. “And when I told the bands, they were like, ‘Well, we don’t have anything like that.'”

After interviewing over 15 local artists, Donovan felt it was time to offer more than just a space for conversation. In May, she held her own one-day music festival, featuring several bands who had passed through her makeshift studio.

“I am convinced that it is always the right place and the right time”, she explains. “You never pass up an opportunity because you never know what it’s going to bring.”

The Stage Mom Mini Fest, held at the LauderAle Brewery in Fort Lauderdale, was a smash hit, with hundreds of people attending and enjoying the local programming.

Donovan, a realtor by trade, had led his teenage daughter’s band, Saving Herald, for five years, booking gigs, driving the band to venues and getting to know other local bands.

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But when Saving Herald decided to go their separate ways, Donovan’s daughter started a new solo project, and the 19-year-old made it clear that her mother would move on. Involved in the music scene for five years, Donovan had acquired a multitude of connections and a fondness for South Florida’s burgeoning music scene.

“I had made a lot of relationships that I knew I could help people with, but my daughter didn’t want that,” Donovan said. “And I also missed getting to know different bands and different types of music.”

In addition to his Mini Fest and podcast, Donovan also nominates three of his former guests to take part in a monthly Instagram poll to choose “band of the month.” The winner is awarded a live recording session at Vanquish Studios in Davie. Donovan can arrange studio time through her connections with owner Joseph Salamida, whom she met after booking sessions for her daughter’s now-defunct band. Donovan pays for the sessions out of pocket, but for her, it’s about giving local bands the motivation to keep striving for success.

“It’s because I’m sitting here with these kids, and it’s like I’m growing a love,” Donovan said in tears. “It’s like I want to cry because I know how hard they work.”

With the second Mini Fest – a two-day affair in early September – Donovan’s main goal was to keep the event for all ages. With many venues still reeling from losses during the pandemic, finding one that would accommodate an under-21 crowd proved difficult – but Donovan didn’t budge.

“That’s the big deal. I know in this scene a lot of these bands have followers under 21, so I wanted to go somewhere for all ages,” Donovan said.

The stage mom podcast is available on all major streaming services.

Stage Mom Mini Fest. 5-9 p.m. Friday, September 9 and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, September 10, Sunrise Civic Center Amphitheater, 10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise. Free entry.

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