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Fredericksburg Music Festival arrives
The Tough Luck Blues Band is one of about 50 acts scheduled to play in August.
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BY JESSE SCOTT
FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Saturdays are what you make them.
Over the course of the next month, you really don't have an excuse to have a boring Saturday.
For the first time ever, the Colonial Tavern in downtown Fredericksburg will morph into a full-fledged, summer music venue. The first annual Fredericksburg Music Festival kicked off yesterday and runs Wednesdays through Saturdays all this month.
"The Colonial Tavern is unique in the sense that it has a large parking lot, plenty of parking and can hold 1,000 people in a safe area," said Stone Anthony, founder and owner of the Fredericksburg Music Festival. "We're going to have stages, tents and a whole lot of good music during the month of August."
The idea of the Fredericksburg Music Festival was born out of Anthony's desire to bring the bands he manages to new audiences and new demographics. In addition to a handful of bands that Anthony manages in Northern Virginia, he was able to secure some of the most renowned bands in our region for the festival--almost 50 acts total.
Nearly 50 bands to be exact.
"What I wanted to do was showcase the music genres from A to Z," said Anthony. "It's not all blues, it's not all rock 'n' roll, it's not all jazz. It's a little bit of everything. I wanted it to be an honest showcase of all the different types of music that come out of our area."
Some of the bands set to grace the Fredericksburg Music Festival include Bad Influence, The Joe Vex Band, The Idiomatics, The Nick Clemons Band and Tough Deal.
Wednesdays through Fridays at the Colonial Tavern will mimic a typical live-music evening at the venue. Saturdays will have much more of a festival vibe.
"There will be a 16- by 20-foot stage serving more than 20 bands on Saturdays," said Anthony. "There will be vendors, car shows, motorcycle shows and so many other activities going on. It will be such a family-friendly event with so much to do."
One of those bands rocking the weekend stage will be The Deacons, a bluesy rock outfit from Northern Virginia that has produced four albums since the early '90s. The Deacons are slated to play the festival on Saturday, Aug. 11, at 6:30 p.m.
"This is going to be a real good thing for performers, and a real good thing for Fredericksburg," said Cliff Schaumburg, guitarist and vocalist for The Deacons. "We're excited to play some blues, like some Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters and some things that they've never heard of."
Seeing as this is the first year for the Fredericksburg Music Festival, everyone involved is stoked that it's become a reality. As for the future of the event, the organizers hope it leads to bigger and better things.
"In the future, I wouldn't mind seeing a higher percentage of national acts come through," said Anthony. "But for now, we're happy to get started. We hope everyone will have as much fun as we will."
Jesse Scott is a Fredericksburg native who loves two things: Carl's and local music.
What: Fredericksburg Music Festival Where: Colonial Tavern, 406 Lafayette Blvd., Fredericksburg When: Wednesdays through Saturdays, Aug. 1-31 Cost: $10-$125 Info: 703/652-0291; fredericksburgmusic festival.com