Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk will be the site of a two-day music festival September 16-17 featuring The Get Downs, a local blues rock and roll band. The event will showcase an eclectic mix of local musicians and bands ranging from as far away as Arizona, California, Tennessee and Texas, on an outdoor stage on Tate Lawn.
Festival hours on Friday are 3 - 10 p.m., and on Saturday the entertainment begins at 1 p.m. and concludes at 10 p.m.
Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute, a non-profit group that rescues and rehabilitates wild animals while promoting conservation and environmental awareness.
Hannah Trimble, a recent communications arts graduate from the private four-year college, brought together members of the community to, in her words, "bring together diverse and talented range of musicians you wouldn't normally find at the same venue."
The idea for the festival grew from her senior research thesis and has blossomed into a community-wide collaboration. Walking the sidewalks and knocking on doors, Trimble's list of patrons and supporters has resulted in what can only be described as a grass roots success.
With the help of her friends, she has garnered support from the Tourism Development Authority of Banner Elk and local businesses such as the Country Kitchen and Patio, Benjamin Moore Paint, Lowes Hardware, and Mountain Grounds Coffee House.
"I wanted my senior project to bring the Banner Elk community and Lees-McRae College closer together," Trimble explained. "When I was brainstorming, the concept for the project finally hit me, and that was music. Music brings people together."
Trimble's Let it B.E. Festival brings together a variety of popular genres of music including bluegrass, rock 'n' roll, country, American folk, acoustic, psychedelic rock, mariachi, and more. The local headliner is a talented blues rock 'n' roll band, The Get Downs.
"The vibe we hope to create is one of people joining together to celebrate humanity and creativity through music."
Vendors will be set up around the lawn to sell food, crafts, and to showcase other community events coming up this autumn. Local vendors include Sugar Mountain Cafe, Valle de Bravos, Bella's Pizza, Fast Eddies Hot Dogs, Julie's Chocolates, Al's Honey, Sarah's Pottery, with more expected to join in the festival.
The event is designed to appeal to families and festival goers of all ages. To learn more about this groundbreaking event log on to www.letitbemusicfest.com.
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