Lackluster. Am I reading you right? Are you looking for a festival that concentrates on catapulting Columbus' fine artists toward stardom and fame and markets their awesomeness to a mass audience? All of that sounds like bunk, to me.
If there's a common thread among great Ohio bands that I've recognized, it's their honesty; their unique pursuit of their own good time and their form of expression. Everyone's invited but they're not waving a flag and begging for your attention or acceptance. The sort of fanfare you seem to be proposing just doesn't hit me as working, here.
Maybe I'm just not following you.
As per the first part of your post... yes, more or less. I mean, a fest can only do so much, but something along those lines. As per the 2nd part. We might have different definitions of stardom though. I, personally wouldn't want to be the soundtrack for Jersey Shore, or a car commercial. Would I like to tour the world, have the resources to pout a live show together to my liking, and meet/share ideas my musical idols? All while not having to worry about my rent, or my shitty job? Sure. That's stardom to me.
No band wants to sell their soul, or anything of that nature. Who knows, maybe I'm the only one who likes to tour, and the thought of one day not having to lug my own gear one day appeals to me as well. I don't know, the bands who are content to sit on the sidelines could do just that I suppose. There are plenty of bands who would love to play music for a living rather than do anything else though.
If they want to play cool, or hard to get, I suppose they could just show up and let the organizers waive that flag for them. Or they could not apply at all, and save room for the bands that do want that.
Working hard to promote yourself, sharing your music with everyone who will listen, not pretending your art is something worthless and treating is something of great value, and taking advantage of every opportunity to perpetuate your music as a viable career aren't deficiencies. To me, the bands that aspire to nothing reek of pretentiousness. I guess I don't understand why someone would choose to perform, and reject performing.
To the bands who would like to play a local show once a month, put out a record and sell copies to their friends, and maybe get an occasional blurb in the paper... fine. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Though, in a perfect world, something like DI Fest wouldn't just accept submissions based on talent, but also the likelihood that the band will make some sort of effort to take advantage of the opportunity. What good does the fest do if the bands spend the rest of the year not doing anything?
It seems as if you're saying their "unique pursuit," is no pursuit at all though.
I understand the fear is that every band will end up being played in an Abercrombie store, but I personally don't find that to be that great of a deterrent when considering the goals I set for myself. My music isn't about that, and I'm surely not wasting any time dwelling on it. Some time ago, we played a show at the Gap for freaking jeans. Do I care if some prick wants to make something more of that than what it is? Absolutely not. I got jeans. I needed jeans. Some people listened to us. I didn't write a jingle. I'd suggest bands that care about these things throw out their pretensions and actually pursue something. If attention isn't what you're after, do nothing. You'll have the blind eye of the world.
Almost every band I know tours, and makes records. I fail to see the point in doing that if you'd rather stay at home.