Making Music for the Masses
According to Leon Clark, mayor of Mason, “The idea for a music festival in Mason has been around for a while; we decided to try it out two years ago, and it was a big success. The first year, we estimate that we had close to 4,000 attendees, and last year the count was up to 10,000. Considering that the population of Mason is only around 8,000, that’s an amazing number. We’re anticipating that this year, we should have 14,000 or so.
“We shut down the streets around the courthouse and fill the space with all kinds of entertainment and activities,” he continues. “This year, there will be not only the main stage, but also a smaller second stage on the other side of the square. We try to stick with local musicians, and we have a fantastic lineup with a wide variety of music for the audience.”
The event is being hosted by the City of Mason Downtown Development Authority.
Appearing at this year’s festival will be Showdown, a three-piece ensemble playing favorites from the ‘60s to today; Backwoods Band; Orchestra Ritmo, salsa; Freddie Cunningham and the Root Doctor Band, a blues-soul-funk quintet; Stringtown Trio, bluegrass; and Frog and the Beeftones. Other acts will be added, both on the main stage and the second stage, which will feature up-and-coming local bands and artists.
A third stage and children’s area, just for the kids, will give the younger participants not only their own music but also magic, clowns, a miniature railroad exhibit, a bounce house and other fun activities.
All the details and the latest news are available at sundriedmusicfestival.com. There is also a Facebook page which is updated regularly.
“There’ll be a beer and wine tent for adults and another beverage tent for families and younger folks. Friday night, we’re planning a street dance, and, if it’s anything like last year, there will be dancing during the musical acts on Saturday as well,” Clark says. The festival’s hours on Friday will be 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., and on Saturday will be noon to midnight.
“There will also be a variety of vendors selling food and other merchandise,” Clark adds. “Besides the vendors around the courthouse, the stores in town will be open as well. Last year, the stores downtown did a good business during the event. Some of the shops will be featuring specials for festival-goers. The goal of the event is to promote Mason as a regional destination, and we hope that people coming in for the festival will enjoy the city, shop while they are here and come back and visit again.”
Thanks to generous contributions from local sponsors, the entertainment is free. There are 12 people on the all-volunteer planning committee. “We’re learning as we go,” Clark says. “There are some good dedicated people on the committee, and we all want to create an event that is fun for everyone and that provides a family-friendly, hometown feel to it. We’re happy with the growth we’ve seen, and we want to continue to build on our success and make this a Mason tradition.
“We’ll start working on next year’s festival as soon as this year’s event is over,” Clark adds. “Soon after the end of the festivities, we’ll be asking for input from the public, the volunteers and the sponsors in order to make 2013 even better.
“We’re advertising locally and have had good cooperation from the local media. We’re also advertising on music websites and having merchandise printed with our logo.” They are still looking for volunteers to help with setup and teardown as well as work during the event itself. More information is on their website.
There will be parking at the fairgrounds and a shuttle bus will be running throughout the event. Attendees are urged to bring blankets or lawn chairs for their comfort while listening to music.
Make Mason your destination and enjoy a weekend of good music, good food and good friends. The Sun Dried Music Festival is coming soon.
Sun Dried Music Festival
City of Mason
Leon Clark, Mayor
201 W. Ash St.