Local concert event to return this summer
Thu, 05/11/2023 - 9:11am caleb
Frederic Music Festival slated for Friday and Saturday, June 23 and 24, at Eagle Park
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
A popular local music event will return this summer after a three-year hiatus.
The 2023 Frederic Music Festival is slated for Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24. The event was last held in 2019; it was cancelled in 2020, 2021, and 2022 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to organizers.
Event organizers are looking forward to bringing back the festival, and being able to utilize the new pavilion at Eagle Park (next to the Frederic Township office) for the event. Organizers said building a temporary stage for the event in the past was a two-day process, and with the pavilion available, that will no longer be necessary.
Frederic Township officials said they plan to conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new pavilion at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 23. The national anthem will follow the ceremony, and organizers are planning to start day one of the Frederic Music Festival at approximately 4 p.m. on June 23. Organizers are planning to start the Saturday session at approximately 2 p.m.
Randy Richardson, a Frederic Township Trustee and member of the Frederic Music Festival Committee (a subcommittee of the Parks and Recreation Committee), said the event – in addition to offering two days of fun – raises money for the community, specifically Frederic parks and recreation and the 501(c)(3) Friends of Frederic charitable organization.
Richardson said Friends of Frederic strives to assist local people and organizations.
“We try to help out individuals as well as projects in the community,” Richardson said.
Richardson said Butch Weaver started the Frederic Music Festival in 2013. The festival was first conducted at Betty Sajdak Park (located next to Swamp II and the Frederic Fire Department) and later moved to Eagle Park, organizers said.
Richardson said the first Frederic Music Festival was a one-day event with around eight acts, and organizers expanded it to two days in year two. Weaver said organizers talked about making the festival an annual event after the first one in 2013.
Weaver said it grew quickly.
“We had bands calling us to get in,” Weaver said.
Weaver said some bands have played in the festival every year. Weaver said 11 acts performed in 2019 and the event has featured as many as 14 bands in the past.
“This year we’re looking at nine,” Richardson said.
Organizers said they’re not sure what to expect with regard to the crowd this year as they bring the event back after a long pause. Weaver said the event had a “big crowd in 2019,” and Richardson said the festival was “becoming bigger every year as far as crowds go” before the pandemic.
“It might take another year or two to get it up and running the way we want it,” Weaver said. “COVID really set us back.”
Over the years, the Frederic Music Festival has offered a variety of musical genres, including folk, country, classic rock, hard rock, and rap, according to organizers.
Weaver said classic rock is probably the festival’s “stronger point,” but “we’re pretty open to everybody.”
“We’ve got some pretty good bands coming this year,” Richardson said.
Organizers said bands “graciously donate their time” to the community event.
“They’re actually doing it out of the kindness of their heart,” Weaver said.
The Frederic Music Festival will also feature an arts and crafts show at the venue this year, according to organizers.
“It’s definitely structured for artists, including crafters. Originally it was about the music, and it still is. Everything else that comes with it is gravy,” Weaver said.
Plans for this year also include a silent auction, prizes, and giveaways, according to organizers.
Organizers said there are many ways that people can help with the Frederic Music Festival effort.
Monetary donations from businesses, organizations, and individuals are welcome, and people can sponsor one of the bands. Organizers are also trying to find people to volunteer as workers during the event; they said students can earn community service hours for volunteering, and others can earn free admission to one day of the concert by serving a shift.
“This doesn’t happen without volunteers,” organizers said.
To donate, sponsor a band, or volunteer for the event, contact organizers via the Frederic Music Festival Facebook page messenger or via the event’s website at www.fredericmusicfest.org.
Weaver said Frederic Township will sell hot dogs and refreshments during the event and organizers are exploring other avenues to provide food and beverages this year, including food trucks. Weaver said food trucks interested in selling during the festival can contact organizers through Facebook or the event website.
Richardson said this year’s Frederic Music Festival has enough bands lined up, but performers who might want to play at the event in the future can contact organizers via the website or Facebook.