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New festival brings music and arts to Purcellville

Purcellville’s first annual music and arts festival is all set to take place this weekend.

Event organizer Chris Bledsoe, who chairs the Purcellville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, said the event will highlight an impressive line-up of performers, as well as 30 local artists and 20 craft vendors. 

“We are excited about it,” Bledsoe said. “We are expecting a large crowd.”

The inaugural music and arts festival came about when organizers realized the annual Rock the Field event was lightly attended.

They began looking at other events in town, such as the Wine and Food Festival and the Loudoun Grown Expo, to find common elements which made them a success.

Bledsoe said he also worked with Mary Thornton, who wanted to build and promote opportunities for artists and the availability for people to see art exhibits.

“Mary is doing a phenomenal job and has received a fantastic response from the arts community,” Bledsoe said.

They decided to combine their efforts and produce an event with music, arts and wine. “It would be something bigger than Rock the Field, and we can build on other events,” Bledsoe said.

The free festival will take place May 17 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Fireman’s Field, 250 S. Nursery Ave.

Attendees can purchase food from Monk’s BBQ, J&M Concessions, TropQ Creamery, Vocelli Pizza and Butterfly Gourmet. Local wine and beer will be offered as well.

“We have amazing local talent in this area, it is going to be a great event,” Bledsoe said.

Satellite parking and free shuttle service will be available from Emerick Elementary School, the Loudoun Valley Community Center and the Blue Ridge Bible Church. For more information, visit purcellvilleva.gov.

The Purcellville Music and Arts Festival 2014 Performance Schedule

-- The Immortals, 11 a.m. main stage
-- Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers, 11 a.m., community stage
-- Andrew McKnight Workshop, 11:45 a.m., community stage
-- Matty Quish, noon, side stage
-- The Red, White and Blues, 12:30 p.m., main stage
-- Valley Jazz Band, 1:30 p.m., community stage
-- The House Trio, 1:30 p.m., side stage
-- Andrew McKnight Performance, 2 p.m., main stage
-- Willie White, 2:45 p.m., side stage
-- St. Francis Choir 3 p.m. community stage
-- The Darby Brothers, 3:15 p.m., main stage
-- Chorus of the Old Dominion, 3:30 p.m., community stage
-- The Songbirds, 4:15 p.m., community stage
-- Jake and Burtones, 4:45 p.m., side stage
-- Ryan Phillips, magician, 5 p.m., community stage
-- Julia Kasdorf & The Ready Boys, 5:30 p.m., main stage
-- The I, IV, V’s, 6:15 p.m., side stage

Performance schedule is subject to change.


Hi, Chris N.  We do consider Andrew a great asset to our community and a local musical artist who is both performing and hosting a music workshop. But the “local artist” term in the second paragraph refers to actual artists (more than 30, including painters, sculptors, quilters, photographers) participating in the Festival on Saturday. Hope to see you there!

The Purcellville Music and Arts Festival is a huge undertaking by many people.  I want to clarify that the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board is a team of dedicated individuals - including indispensable town staff support - sacrificing a major part of their personal lives to making this event a success.  We’ve also received a tremendous amount of support from our generous sponsors and great vendors, all of whom are essential to a fantastic community event.  I hope to see you there this Saturday.

While Andrew McKnight may live locally, I’d hardly call him a “local artist.” He’s got what, a half-dozen CDs, and tours nationally. It looks like a great lineup of artists and I’m looking forward to the festival, and to an opportunity to hear Andrew McKnight for free.

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