Williamsport hosts new music festival

June 29, 2011|By TAYLOR ECKEL |
  • The Davisson Brothers Band, left, return to Williamsport for the second year in a row to perform a concert over the Independence Day weekend, this time joined by Chris Janson.
Submitted photo

WILLIAMSPORT — This weekend, a whirlwind of toe-tapping music will descend upon the Springfield Farm Barn.

Country, bluegrass and indie-folk artists will take the stage during the first River City BarnFest.

There will even be some “quirky, Southern boy-type of music,” said Tearza Knode, event organizer.

The River City BarnFest will be held Friday, July 1, through Sunday, July 3, at the Springfield Farm Barn in Williamsport. The event kicks off Friday evening at 5 p.m. with the Davisson Brothers band, a group that played at last year’s Fourth of July celebration in Williamsport, said Knode.

Knode said this year’s event grew out of last year’s kickoff to the town’s Fourth of July weekend, which featured The Davisson Brothers in concert.

Last year “we had a huge positive reaction. People wanted more,” she said.

“It was so exciting that the mayor suggested we do it again,” said Joan Knode, Williamsport councilwoman and Tearza Knode’s mother-in-law.

Tearza Knode said she was in charge of booking bands for the BarnFest, and hopes that there will be something for everyone who attends.

“We have a mixed array (of artists),” she said, “We’re trying to stretch our genres across the board.”

Tearza Knode said she chose bands through a combination of networking and attending music festivals. She said two of the bands have experience at major music festivals. The Tussey Mountain Moonshiners won last year’s DelFest band competition and the band Aunt Martha played at this year’s Bonaroo Festival, a major national music festival. Eight of the 15 bands are from the tri-state area or have local roots.

The BarnFest is put on by the Town of Williamsport as a fundraiser for the barn at Springfield Farm, according to Joan Knode.

The event will be centered around the large stage at one end of the barn, which Tearza Knode said can also be seen from the barnyard because the four large barn doors will be open. She said attendees can set up picnic blankets and lawn chairs on the lawn of the barnyard to enjoy the music from outdoors.

Because much of the music lends itself to dancing, most of the space inside the barn will be a dance floor.

“You can’t hear the Davisson Brothers and not dance!” Tearza Knode said.  

Music will be the main focus of the event, but there will also be food and beverage vendors, as well as a children’s area that will be open Saturday and Sunday.

Joan Knode said she and Tearza hand-picked local caterers who serve food that they think is keeping with the BarnFest’s atmosphere.

“We wanted specific food, something people would want to eat at the barn,” she said, adding that all of the food served will be typical picnic or festival food.

Beer and wine will also be available for purchase by adults 21 and older. Tearza Knode said the wine will be provided by a Maryland vineyard.

Tearza Knode said she and the other organizers hope to make the BarnFest an annual event to support ongoing maintenance and upgrades to the Springfield barn.

“We have a very long wish list for our barn, and we’re hoping to make it self-sustaining,” she said.

“The (original part of the) barn was built around 1755,” said Joan Knode. “Springfield Farm was the home of our town’s founder, Otho Holland Williams.” She said a large addition was added in the 1800s, but since then the barn has been well-maintained and its structure has been minimally altered.

She said the barn was part of a working farm until the early 1960s and townspeople would frequent the farm to buy their milk and eggs. Later, the barn was home to show horses until the Town of Williamsport purchased it through Program Open Space in 1987.

Tearza Knode said future improvements include replacing the barn’s roof, installing indoor plumbing, and upgrading the barn’s lighting.

“We’re hoping that the money raised can be used for improvements without tapping into the Town of Williamsport’s funds,” she said. She said the town also rents the barn for special events such as proms and weddings.

“My heart tells me we’re doing the right thing for the community,” said Tearza Knode. “It’s a big thing for Williamsport. It might be one of the biggest events we’ve put on, at least in my memory, and I’ve lived here all my life.”

If you go:
WHAT: River City BarnFest
WHEN: 4 to 10:45 p.m. Friday, July 1; 11 a.m to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 2; 1 to 10 p.m. Sunday, July 3
WHERE: Springfield Farm, Byron Park, Williamsport.
COST: $20 one-day pass, $30 two-day pass, $40 three-day pass; children younger than 12 are free with paying adult. Tickets can be purchased at Williamsport Town Hall.
CONTACT: For more information, find the River City BarnFest on Facebook or call Joan Knode at 301-223-7229.

4 to 5 p.m. — gates open
5 to 6:45 p.m. — Tori Anderson & Possum Holler
7 to 10:45 p.m. — Davisson Brothers, featuring Chris Janson

11 to 11:45 a.m. — Henri Verdel
Noon to 12:40 p.m. — Back Creek Valley Boys
2 to 3:45 p.m. — The Fox Hunt
4 to 4:45 p.m. — Lucas and the Lovlies
5 to 6:45 p.m. — VI-Kings
7 to 8:45 p.m. — Aunt Martha
9 to  10:45 p.m. — Adam Taylor featuring Chad Taylor

1 to 1:45 p.m. — Greg Downs & Herbie Golden
2 to 3:45 p.m. — Jason Teach & Lucy
4 to 4:45 p.m. — Tussey Mountain Moonshiners
5 to 6:45 p.m. — Boro Boogie Pickers
7 to 9:45 p.m. — Vinegar Creek Constituency

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