“Nashville Star” Winner Headlines Gateway Music Festival



TRENTON – Organizers of the first Gateway Music Festival hope a little music will go a long way in helping people in need.

 

There will actually be a lot of music at the festival, to be held Sunday, Aug. 16, at the American Legion Hancock Memorial Post 207 in Trenton. Proceeds will support the post’s charitable causes. Gates open around noon, and the first performer will take the stage at 1 p.m.

The show will stretch well into the evening, said Rae Jean Young, Post 207 administrative assistant.

“It’s just beginning to get huge,” Young said.

Country star Buddy Jewell will be the headliner. The Arkansas native was crowned winner of the television music competition “Nashville Star” in 2003. After releasing two albums with Columbia Records, Jewell decided to form his own label, Diamond Dust Records, in 2008.

His first independent album, “Country Enough,” has become a fan favorite. Jewell either wrote or co-wrote the album’s 13 tracks. Tunes include “What This Country’s Comin’ To,” “This Ain’t Mexico” and “Leavin’ Louisana.”

ABC Radio Network awarded Jewell its Listener’s Choice Award for New Artist of the Year in 2003.

For all his success, Jewell couldn’t be nicer, Young said.

“He’s got a very Southern accent, but he acts like a Mainer,” she noted.

The rest of the festival’s musical lineup includes The Mainely Country Band, the Higgins Family with Yodelin’ Wade Dow, Rockin’ Ron & the New Society Band, Anna Mae Mitchell & Rising Tide and Jessi Mallory. Performances will run the gamut from country and bluegrass to oldies and blues.

Post 207 members hope festival proceeds will support community service efforts.

The group has helped cancer patients, victims of domestic violence, fire survivors, veterans and the handicapped. It has also awarded scholarships, assisted with funeral costs and provided fuel assistance, among many projects. The Legion’s Christmas for Families program provided 197 area families with Christmas dinner and 264 children with a gift last year.

Young said the poor economy has only increased local need, but has made it harder to raise money. The Legion relies on revenue from weekly Bingo games for its programs, but attendance is declining.

Organizers hope the Gateway Music Festival will provide a boost for local organizations and businesses that set up vendor booths.

A day of music should also provide a welcome distraction for festival-goers, Young said.

“They can forget everything for the day,” she said.

Festival vendors include Smokey’s Greater Shows, Bath Fitters, Jordan’s Snack Bar, Mainely Meat BBQ, Bluebelle Photography & More, Stitches by Sandra, MDI Rod & Gun Club and Maine-ly Maine Gifts.

A 2000 Dodge Caravan, 2005 Harley Davidson Sportster and a decorative item featuring singing fish valued at $700 will be raffled off.

The family-friendly festival will have children’s games and possibly a dunk tank. The event will be held outside rain or shine in the Legion parking lot. Those attending are encouraged to bring along lawn chairs.

A VIP ticket (priced at $1,000) ensures prime seating and a meet and greet with Jewell.

Advance festival tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 12. Prices are $25 for adults and $10 for children at the door. Visit www.thegatewaymusicfestival.com for details.

 

For more arts & entertainment news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

 

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