Founded in 2010, The Free Range Music Festival is a grassroots, volunteer powered celebration of original music that takes place annually in downtown Belfast, Maine. Participating musicians represent a wide range of genres and musical backgrounds: everything from rock to bluegrass, a capella vocal groups to hip hop. In its first two years, the festival has hosted 58 local, regional and nationally touring acts (roughly 175 individual musicians) in multiple venues including our local movie theater, Legion hall, arts center, galleries, and even a church sanctuary. Musicians and attendees have traveled from all over the East Coast and as far as Seattle, Eugene, Los Angeles and Austin to attend the event, which in 2011 drew in over 1,200.
The 2012 festival will be on Saturday, April 28th and will follow the same model, presenting an all-new lineup of musicians from multiple genres.
We are fortunate to live in an extremely supportive community. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, donations of time and services, and loaned equipment, we were able to launch and fund the first two years of the festival on a shoestring budget. We are looking at additional expenses in 2012 as the event grows and becomes more established. Waldo County is a primarily rural region and resources are limited. Sponsors are limited as area businesses are still up against our current, challenging economic climate. We don’t see raising pass prices as an option. It’s important to us to keep passes as accessible as possible to our local community. So, we are calling on you, our greater support network, to lend a hand if you can. In return, you’ll receive our unending gratitude as well other great rewards including festival passes, merchandise, and more!
Money raised through this Kickstarter campaign will help us fund added expenses for the 2012 Free Range Music Festival. Any funds raised beyond the $2,500 requested will be put toward future festival goals including outreach programs for area teens, additional equipment purchases, and extending the festival to include more year-round events.
So, what makes the Free Range Music Festival a worthy cause?
- There truly is no other event like Free Range in the Midcoast region. The festival provides both attendees and performers a laid back, intimate environment to interact and make connections.
- The diversity of genres in festival lineups allows for attendees to experiment with music they may not be accustomed to. This same diversity also gives artists a platform to cross promote outside of their usual listening audience.
- The festival appeals to and attracts music fans of all ages, but parts of the event are planned to specifically to attract 18 – 35 year olds, a historically underserved age bracket in our region.
- We are building a reputation for introducing our audience to emerging artists on their way to greater notoriety as well as introducing a new generation of listeners to veteran performers.
- Belfast is an amazing place! The downtown is vibrant and full of locally owned shops, restaurants, and galleries. Our local economy relies pretty heavily on tourists, and business gets very slow in the late winter and spring. We have purposely scheduled the event for April to bring added traffic to town during this time when many businesses are struggling.
There are many deserving causes out there looking for support, especially this time of year. If you have the means, we hope you will consider donating to the Free Range Music Festival as well. No gift is too small – every little bit really does help. Kickstarter has an “all or nothing” structure. If the full $2,500 isn’t raised before our project’s time expires, no money changes hands.
Note: We are on the road to becoming a recognized non-profit organization. Thanks to our partnership with the Waldo Arts Mission, a 501(c)3 organization, your donations are tax deductible in the meantime.
With unending thanks,
The 2012 Free Range Music Festival organizing crew
The 2011 Free Range Music Festival (4/30/11) included performances by: Michael Hurley, Grass Widow, Jonny Corndawg, Brenda, Audrey Ryan, Time Crisis, Toughcats, Big Blood, Jacob Augustine, Gawler Family Band, Sunset Hearts, Broken Water, Murcielago, Mehuman Trio, The Rattlesnakes, Marie Stella, The Milkman’s Union, CatchaVibe, Ancestral Diet, Dead Man’s Clothes, The 220s, Press Gang, Full Contact Kitty, Tit City, Mark Mandeville & Raianne Richards, Asa Irons, Cave Bears, VoXX, In Houses in Trees, Mango Floss, Vistas
The 2010 Free Range Music Festival (4/24/11) included performances by: The Jazz Mandolin Project, David Wax Museum, Brown Bird, Tiger Saw, The Free Seedlings, David Dodson, Mary Ann Driscoll, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Travis Lloyd Band, Wesley Hartley and the Traveling Trees, The Fofers, Luna Madidus, South China, Lazarus, Unbunny, Shawn Mercer and the Boondock Blues Band, Uke of Spaces, Cinder Conk, Good Kids Sprouting Horns, Gully, Caethua, Travis Cyr and the Strings of Calamity, Class Machine, Mahdi Army Orkestars, Calvin and the Free Will Agents, Rural Electric
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