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Music festival coming to town
By January Rutherford -
This spring, Seymour will attract world-renowned singer-songwriters to perform in the inaugural Crossroads Acoustic Fest.
The two-night event will be April 27 and 28 at several listening room venues in downtown Seymour, including the banquet room at Rails Craft Brew & Eatery and the Jackson County Visitor Center.
Artists expected to perform include Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack playing as Daddy, Gabriel Kelley, Levi Parham, Jackson County natives Stephanie Lambring and Don Pedigo, Tim Grimm of Columbus, Danny Flanigan, Alan Rhody, Brooke Annibale, Count This Penny, Justin Paul Lewis, Corey Brumback and others.
The shows will be intimate acoustic performances in the line of VH1’s Storytellers or Nashville, Tennessee’s famous Bluebird Cafe, said festival organizer Shawn Busby of Seymour.
“It’s a very unique concept in terms of being a festival,” he said. “A lot of times when people think of festivals, they think of being outside, huge crowds, hot and sweaty, summertime. It’s none of those things.”
All of the performances are indoors, so it won’t be affected by weather. The venues are small to keep noise down so listeners can hear and appreciate the music, Busby said.
“It’s a quiet listening experience,” he said. “So this is not the place to come and talk with your friends while the music is happening. This is a festival for people who really appreciate music and want to hear lyrics. We want to draw in the people who are there for that personal, intimate experience with the artists.”
He hopes to see the festival attract 300 to 500 people in its first year.
Concert goers can purchase a wristband that will get them into any venue and performance as long as it’s not at capacity on both days for $30 through April 2. After that, the price goes up to $40. Tickets will not be available at the door of the venues.
A portion of ticket sales will benefit Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour.
“With the weekend wristband, people can create their own festival experience. If they get to a room and it’s full, there will be space at another room or they can wait to see if someone leaves,” Busby said. “You can move freely from one listening room to another and see the artists you want to see.”
Many of the artists are planning to play both nights, but the schedule won’t come out until the week of the festival. “You’ll have a couple chances to catch an artist,” Busby said.
The format works at larger music festivals across the country, he said.
“There’s a lot of festivals like this,” he said. “There’s a festival that I go to in Florida in January called the 30A Songwriters Festival, and that’s where we kind of borrowed this idea. Ours is on a much smaller scale. They do 25 rooms and 150 artists. It’s huge.”
Although smaller, Busby said the festival committee is trying to keep the entertainment quality high. All music is original and not covers of other artists, Busby said.
“We’ve got artists coming from Nashville, Tennessee, Oklahoma, from various places across the country,” he said. “And then we’re also bringing in some regional and local acts, as well. We want it to be a storytelling opportunity for the artists, so it needs to be an appreciative audience so the artists can present their songs and be heard.”
The festival will run from 6 to 11 p.m. April 27 and from 5 to 11 p.m. April 28. Single-day tickets are not available.
Talks of bringing a music event to Seymour started in 2015 with the Vision 2025 project, an initiative to get young professionals involved in making positive changes in Seymour. Busby chairs the Vision 2025 music committee. Other members are Arann Banks, Darnell Dukes, Becky Schepman, Joe Persinger, Roland Freeman and Shane Busby.
“Our group has been meeting for a little over two years now, working toward bringing this to Seymour,” he said. Along the way, the committee has organized several concerts in Seymour, including Nora Jane Struthers and The Party Line, Chuck Cannon, Alan Rhody, Greg Foresman and John Mann, Ronny Cox and Matthew Mayfield.
Busby said the committee plans to continue to have four to six individual concerts throughout the year to build interest in the festival.
“I think everyone that has come out for the shows has really enjoyed themselves,” he said.
One problem they have faced is that everyone waits until the day before to buy tickets.
“That makes things tough for us,” he said. “So we’re really encouraging people to buy tickets now. There is very limited seating, and if ticket sales are strong early on, it may allow us to present a bigger event even this year.”
Busby said it’s the committee’s intentions that the festival become an annual event.
“We’ll see how it goes this year and what kind of response we get,” he said. “We certainly hope that the community responds and comes out. I think this gives Seymour, if the community embraces it, a music festival, which we really don’t have right now, and it’s a very unique music festival.”
If you go
What: Inaugural Crossroads Acoustic Fest
When: 6 to 11 p.m. April 27 and 5 to 11 p.m. April 28
Where: Several listening room venues in downtown Seymour, including the banquet room at Rails Craft Brew & Eatery and the Jackson County Visitor Center
Who: Performing artists include Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack playing as Daddy, Gabriel Kelley, Levi Parham, Jackson County natives Stephanie Lambring and Don Pedigo, Tim Grimm of Columbus, Danny Flanigan, Alan Rhody, Brooke Annibale, Count This Penny, Justin Paul Lewis, Corey Brumback and others
Cost: Two-night wristbands are $30 through April 2; after that, the price goes up to $40
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit crossroadsacousticfest.com. Tickets also will be available to purchase at the Jackson County Visitor Center.
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