Festival organizers announced this week that 100 percent of net proceeds from HarvestFest will be given as direct aid to those in the music community affected by the hurricane.
Multi- and single-day tickets are available, organizers said, so patrons camping out for the weekend or just coming up for the day will see top-notch artists in an intimate and relaxed setting, all while contributing toward hurricane relief.
Festivalgoers who donate to a drive for the Chattanooga Food Bank will receive a discount on tickets purchased at the gate.
The three-day music festival will be held Oct. 7-9 at Cherokee Farms outside LaFayette, and will feature a bounty of bluegrass and Americana artists with a dash of rock, soul and funk.
Promoter Thomas Helland of Atlanta-based T-Dawgs Productions said there are thousands of displaced musicians from the recent Gulf Coast disaster.
Our hearts are with all of the folks down there. But if you can direct (the relief) toward a particular aspect, then its usually more efficiently done, he said.
Rebecca Yudenfreud, with California-based event organizers High Sierra Music, said they have set up a hurricane relief fund through their non-profit affiliate, the High Sierra Foundation.
Its geared toward the music community that was affected musicians and their families whose homes may have been destroyed or whove lost their gear or instruments, Yudenfreud said.
The relief efforts of HarvestFest will combine with other festival events around the country to lend a hand through the Tipitinas Foundation, run by the owners of the famous uptown New Orleans nightclub.
The subdudes, a group made up of New Orleans natives, are scheduled to perform at HarvestFest this year.
Yudenfreud said the group members and their families were all safe and accounted for after the disaster.
The subdudes recently reunited after an eight-year hiatus, and the bands recent album Miracle Mule received accolades from Billboard Magazine.
Helland said, I think it will be an inspiring performance by them to say the least.
The band will be among 29 groups/performers over the weekend, including bluegrass legend Del McCoury, as well as The Godfather of Southern Alternative Music Colonel Bruce Hampton.
Hamptons band the CodeTalkers will feature guest guitarist Jimmy Herring, who has toured with the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band.
Cherokee Farms owner Smoky Caldwell said hes been busy getting the grounds ready for HarvestFest.
Caldwell recalled that attendance at last years festival suffered due to the weather predictions for the remnants of Hurricane Ivan.
It scared a lot of people away, he said, but other than a fairly brief period of storms, it turned out to be a pretty good weekend.
Caldwell said that fortunately Hurricane Katrina didnt cause much damage on his farm just some trees blown down, mostly up on Shinbone Ridge at the back of the farm.
And now weve got a big load of firewood stockpiled for the festival, he said.
The festival, now in its third year at Cherokee Farms, attracts music-lovers of all ages.
Caldwell said there will be plenty of room for car camping and RVs, as well as walk-in tent camping in the woods, showers, a swimming pond, and a food and beverage court featuring microbrew beer.
There will also be a craft fair, an area for childrens activities and a quiet zone for family camping.
HarvestFest will have two new features this year a big screen TV featuring college and pro football games, and a band competition on Saturday afternoon.
The competition is in honor of Vassar Clements, the legendary fiddle player who died in August, and is open to bluegrass bands that are not performing as part of the official festival line-up.
We figure its a great way to honor Vassars name, and we hope that it will add to the energy of the whole weekend, Helland said.
He said the winner will earn a performance slot on the main stage on Sunday and other prizes.
Eighth annual Blue Ridge HarvestFest music and camping festival
Who: 29 bands/performers on two stages
When: Oct. 7-9
Where: Cherokee Farms in LaFayette
Purchase by Oct. 4: Thee-day pass, $85. Two-day pass, $75 (Saturday/Sunday)
Purchase at gate: Three-day pass, $99. Two-day pass, $80 (Saturday/Sunday)
Kids age 6-12: $10/day. Age 5 and under free.
Single-day tickets will be available at the gate.
$10 off a multi-day pass at gate with food donation (10 items suggested). Get tickets, a full line-up of entertainment and more information at www.harvestfest.com. Tickets are also available at Cats Records in Chattanooga or by phone at (510) 595-1115. Group discounts are also available: with the purchase of 15 or more 3-day HarvestFest passes, patrons will receive 10 percent off the ticket price, plus a reserved camping spot.
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