“Long live the IV music scene” declares the bio of a recently created go-to resource for I.V. concert lovers: the @soundsofiv Instagram page, which has gained over 3,000 followers in less than a year.
Every week, the colorful Instagram page posts graphics featuring when and where a band is performing in I.V., attracting followers to shows where people gather to jam out to a variety of bands and connect with others in the vibrant community.
Behind “Sounds of Isla Vista” is fourth-year sociology major Alysa Greenwale, who first got involved in the I.V. music scene early in her UC Santa Barbara career during her freshman orientation.
“My freshman year orientation leader was actually [the one] who got me into the music scene. My orientation group had gotten on the topic of the party scene, and she said she hated parties but loved concerts. She described them in such a great way that I knew I had to go to one. When I did, I fell in love with the whole community, and I’ve been going to concerts ever since,” Greenwale said.
Before the page was created in December 2021, the conception of it — a way to find I.V. concert shows and connect people with the local music scene — had been in the works for years.
Greenwale shared that it used to be difficult to find concerts in I.V. to attend.
“I had to follow every single I.V. band on Instagram and, even then, some of them didn’t post about their own shows. I knew there had to be a better way. I’m also a graphic designer … and I knew I didn’t want to change things until I could do it in a way that I liked,” Greenwale said in regards to the conception of the page.
For her birthday, Greenwale got a new electronic device that allows her to design all the time, which let her finally bring her idea to fruition.
Greenwale chose Instagram as an outlet for accessibility “simply because that was where people found flyers already — I just wanted to make it easier for them.”
With over 3,000 followers in less than a year, the page has grown exponentially, becoming the main way to connect people with the I.V. music scene.
“I had no clue how things were going to go when I started the page — if both bands and fans were going to like it, or if they were going to think it was uncalled for. There were a slew of possibilities going through my head. Now that it has taken off and people really like it, I am just incredibly thankful for the response and for all the friends I’ve made because of it,” Greenwale said about the reception.
“Knowing that more people are attending the concerts and getting involved in the music scene because of my page truly warms my heart,” Greenwale said.
However, running a popular Instagram page hasn’t been without its setbacks.
In a recent Instagram story this month, Greenwale posted that I.V. property managers and neighbors have been following the Instagram page to shut down concerts.
Greenwale’s response to combat this issue is to no longer post specific addresses of shows (unless it is safe to post a specific address). Now, only the street block is posted, and concert-goers can hear the sounds of bands jamming out to make their way to the concert.
“I want those property managers and troublesome neighbors to know that when they are taking advantage of my page to stop concerts, they aren’t just stopping individual events, but they are tearing down a whole community,” Greenwale said about the issue.
“Many people have found a home in the music scene; many artists have found a place to express themselves; many students have found a safer alternative to house parties. That is what they are trying to destroy; that is what they are taking advantage of,” Greenwale concluded.
The I.V. music scene runs deeper than some may believe, and it’s a meaningful part of the greater I.V. community. Greenwale also explained how many concerts aid in fundraising causes and UCSB organizations.
“Fundraising concerts are one of the things that really connect the music scene to the other I.V. communities. Anyone with a good cause can trust in the help of our musicians and fans. I’ve seen concerts raise thousands upon thousands of dollars for charities, clubs and sports teams. It’s another reason the music scene is so integral to I.V. and such a good thing to have here,” Greenwale said.
Greenwale’s page reflects how the I.V. music scene goes beyond just one function. It’s not only a resource for those looking for concerts, but the page runner has also expanded to planning a host of different projects for the greater I.V. music scene.
“I had known when I started the account that I would eventually want to do more than just post flyers. While I had a few different ideas, one of the first and most prominent of them was to help people start new bands,” Greenwale said.
In the Sounds of Isla Vista Linktree found in the Instagram page bio, Greenwale had a Google form to help people find band members or create bands.
“Unfortunately, this was not the easiest way. I received over 80 responses to the forms, which was far too many to handle for one person,” Greenwale said.
Greenwale has another project in the works that has been mainly kept under wraps, generating anticipation. The new Instagram page, @live.islavista, has only one post, sharing a Sept. 3 release date.
“This project is something I’m really excited about, and it’s something I feel that the music scene has deserved for a long time. ‘LIVE’ is a zine specifically focused on the I.V. music scene that will give a deeper look into the bands and the concerts that y’all love,” Greenwale shared.
“Our first issue will feature The Framers, with each issue after that focusing on a different band from I.V. or the surrounding areas. It will also include music-inspired art, rock recommendations and think pieces, and more,” Greenwale said.
Greenwale also wants to expand the management of projects as well. Greenwale shared that “LIVE” is accepting applications from those interested in becoming involved with the new project. And as a current fourth-year student, Greenwale does not want the page to end when she graduates.
“I think, no matter what, the page will expand in some way, whether that’s just a few more people running it or it turning into a whole organization of some sort,” Greenwale said.
Greenwale, “Sounds of Isla Vista,” the page’s thousands of followers and all who attend I.V. concerts are key parts of fostering a unique space for music lovers in I.V..
“The I.V. music scene has very much become my home over this past year. My best friends are those I’ve made through the music scene; some of my favorite memories are those of I.V. concerts. It’s a more energetic and more passionate artistic community than any else that I’ve seen, and it has the potential to do so much good in the world,” Greenwale said.
To incoming freshmen, Greenwale shared that “we in the music scene would love to have them, and that [“Sounds of Isla Vista”] is a valuable resource to get you started. We’d love to see more bands, and we’d love to help you start them. We also have plenty of opportunities for people who aren’t musicians. See you at the next concert, and long live the I.V. music scene!”