Michael Anthony is the originator and key coordinator of the 2nd annual Elizabeth Community Music and Art Festival that takes place on Saturday, August 17th, 2013 at Casey Jones Park (10AM till 10PM). He took some time out from the flurry of event planning activities to answer a few questions about this looming festival…
Q: When and how did the Elizabeth Music and Art Festival come about?
Michael: Elizabeth and the surrounding area is a mix of country and suburban living – not too populated with not much going on. I also wanted to come up with a way to benefit other nonprofit and community organizations. I started doing open stage nights at a local venue and added some vendor markets to it as well. I would always invite local organizations to be involved as fundraisers.
A couple years ago, several people mentioned to me that I should start a big outdoor festival with music and vendors and activities. One of these people was Ed Robinson, a Realtor in town, and our main event sponsor. We hatched a plan for the first festival in 2012 on the grounds of the new library in Elizabeth. It went very well.
Q: Is this the main outdoor music event for Elizabeth?
Michael: There are several very nice events in Elbert County each year – Including the Elizabeth Stampede and the Celtic Festival. But the Elizabeth Music & Art Festival is the main music event in the area.
Q: What kind of attendance are you expecting this year and how are you promoting this event?
Michael: In 2012, we estimated about 2000 attended the festival over the course of the day. This year, we are expanding our advertising, to include radio spots on 107.1 JACK FM. We are hoping this will give us a bigger draw from the Front Range. People that might not head out to Elizabeth for an event.
Q: What are some of the bands playing this year, and can you identify the original music acts?
Michael: All the acts on the main outdoor stage do primarily all original material. Some might sprinkle in a cover or 2. As I had said before, Elizabeth is a mix of country and suburbs, so we have a mix of musical styles…which I know is a no-no at a music festival. But we want to appeal to a wide variety of music. Of course you have to have some country. Then we have blues and rock. We have some excellent local alternative bands performing. Dixie Leadfoot is headlining the main stage with her awesome Rock-a-billy sound.
One of our bands, Fate Train, won a spot on the outdoor stage by winning the High Plains Battle of the Bands contest we did earlier this year. This year, we are adding a second music stage. I have rented and made available the indoor pavilion for Musicians in Action to raise funds and awareness and school supplies for the Douglas/Elbert Task Force.
Q: What are your hopes for the festival this year?
Michael: My hopes are simple – No rain, no major incidents and lots and lots of people who want to enjoy a day of music and other fun activities.
Q: Any other details you can relate about this event?
Michael: In addition to the music we have a full day of fun activities planned including – a 5k run, community breakfast and car show. I am really looking forward to the Street Art Demonstration by Colorado Crush. They will have an 80 foot graffiti wall setup with some of Denver’s best street artists demonstrating their art. Attendees will have a chance to try their hand as well.