Central Music Festival Appreciation Day this Saturday

  • May. 21, 2014 4:40 p.m.

Organizers with the Central Music Festival are holding an appreciation day on May 24th, which will also feature tunes by the Ron Hubbard Band.

The event runs at the Elks Club, beginning with a public meeting from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The meeting is open to anyone who loves music and would like to see the Central Music Festival return next summer.

The party kicks off with doors opening at 7 p.m. followed by the performance at 8 p.m. It’s open to volunteers, sponsors and anyone who supports the Central Music Festival, said Mike Bradford, president of the Central Music Festival Society.

“We’ve been taking a look at things since we cancelled the Festival and have identified three areas which are key for us to putting on a good event in 2015 – fundraising, marketing and volunteer recruitment retention,” he said. Committees have subsequently been formed to work on those issues, he added.

“We’re interested in getting feedback from the public.” Ideas have surfaced on everything from changing the name of the Festival, to the issue of hiring more headliners.

There has also been talk of changing the Festival dates to be more in line with the Edmonton Folk Festival, for example. That way, perhaps some artists from that event could perform here as well.

“Basically it’s a chance for people to put their ideas forward, and it’s also a chance for anyone who wants to become a volunteer to sign up at the meeting.”

Bradford said the organizing team has, over the years, done everything they can to make the Festival cost-effective, but it’s been a constant struggle. “We also have a very strong volunteer core that is there, and we make every effort to put together the best show that we can for an economical price.”

Bradford added they are also in the process of putting together an operating budget for the next couple of years, and for the 2015 Festival in particular. “But we have to get more people excited about this so we get larger crowds out there. We’ve always gotten positive feedback from the attendees and the performers that it’s a well-run Festival and a great venue.

“So we have to figure out what we need to do to attract more people there. Whether that involves looking at different acts, or different ways of doing things we are open to that.” He said it would be ideal as well if folks would step forward and commit to helping out in various ways, too. “We need people to give us their time and skills as volunteers to help make these things happen.”

Meanwhile, there is no charge to attend the event this Saturday, which will also include door prizes.

Over the years, genres at the past Festivals have run the gamut from rock to blues to country to inspirational. The event, described as a family-friendly weekend, showcases an array of musical artistry.

As for location, the event has always taken place in a natural outdoor amphitheatre located minutes north of the City. There was free camping, various food and artist vendors, a Kids’ Corner and a shuttle service running back and forth from Red Deer through the weekend.

“Basically what we are trying to do is to create a lasting cultural legacy for Red Deer. And we are one of the few Festivals that hires a lot of local musicians. We want to see the artistic community around here thrive,” said Bradford.

“We’d also like to see our Festival get larger so we can make it more of a complete showcase of local and regional art and some of the international acts that we might be able to attract.”

Check out www.centralmusicfest.com.