16th annual Essex Music Festival

Enjoy a full day of music, food, family fun and a Cajun/Zydeko Dance Party.

Saturday, August 29, 12noon-10pm. Memorial Park, Essex. $10 admission, 15 & under free. Please No Pets.

The Essex Music Festival returns with traditions built over the years but with some big changes this year. The festival is normally held at Centennial Grove on Lake Chebacco. This year, filming of a major motion picture has moved the festival to Memorial Park, (behind town hall) on the Essex River which is larger and within walking distance to downtown Essex where one finds many restaurants, a ship building museum, extraordinary antique shops and the regions undisputed best clams. The festival traditionally helps contribute to the restoration of Centennial Grove, its birthplace.

For 15 years, the Essex Music Festival has owed its very existence to Anne White, of Sweet Loretta’s Snake Oil Jug Band, the retiring host band, who tirelessly gave of herself to organize this event with a small group of dedicated volunteers. This year Dana King has taken over as Music Director for the festival and has some new big plans. One of Dana’s musical exploits, Old Cold Tater, is the new host band. The two principal sponsors of the festival are the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and Woodman’s of Essex which is a local restaurant with great seafood.

This year, the festival is proud to feature wonderful performers, many of whom are returning from years past including the traditional, maritime and original musical favorites from Daisy Nell & Captain Stan, the Blues and Roots sounds of The Orville Giddings Acoustic Band, The Backwoods Ramblers and their Folk-Rock, Country and Blues sound, hot Cajun and Zydeko music from the Squeezebox Stompers, Pick 3 featuring the bluegrass picking of Tom Eaton, Pat Conlon and Dana King on the 5-string banjo, Folk favorites Tamarac, 3 Sheets to the Wind performing traditional sea shantys, the beautiful vocal harmonies of Not That Blonde, Paul Prue playing Country Blues on his steel guitar, the king and queen of the ‘Annisquam River Delta Blues’ Chick and Ellen, a special welcome back to Sweet Loretta’s Snake Oil Jug Band, and others; all of whom will share the main stage, this year with a professional stage set-up and state-of-the-art sound system, and the smaller and more intimate ‘Egret’ stage which will be nestled at the river’s edge for more intimate performances.

New this year is an instrument raffle where an audience member will win a ‘Blueridge’ Six-String Guitar, and, there will be a Dance Party from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM featuring the Cajun / Zydeko music from The Boogaloo Swamis!

Bring an instrument and join the ‘jam circle’ near the parking lot. There will be vendors on location for food and drink. Once you have purchased a ticket, you can enter and leave the festival area whenever you want, so you can enjoy some music, walk to the local restaurants, the museum and shops and come back for the dance party without moving the car or remembering to pay a meter.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Dana King at (508) 284-5916 (cell phone) or email at dana@essexmusicfestival.com