Shepherdstown Street Fest offers multi-generational families a great road trip to experience music, arts, and history in the town of Shepherdstown. Featuring local and national bands showcased on two stages, the festival is back stronger than ever.
Shepherdstown Street Fest is a free summer music event in the small German town of Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Just one hour outside of metropolitan DC, the festival celebrates new and upcoming bands with a ten-hour music extravaganza on June 27th. Understanding the wide array of music talent that will be descending on this town is the best way to comprehend why for music lovers this is a must-attend musical festival. But the surprise that awaits the visitors is the artisan gallery with over fifty plus juried vendors one showcasing their wares down German Street.
“There are many wine and music events that have craft and artisan vendors. The Shepherdstown Street Fest stands out because of its devotion to the town and the high quality of both musicians and artisan vendors. Since the town is a great place to raise a family, the festival also ranks number one for its Kids’ Camp organized by the festival title sponsor, Morgan Academy.Go Blue Ridge Travel’s (GoBRT) mission is to select the best multi-generational road trips here in the valley and the Shepherdstown Street Fest is a winner for all generations.” said Nancy Craun, founder and owner of GoBRT. ““This Street Fest is great because its organizers want to showcase the town of Shepherdstown and give back financially. Up and coming local bands have the opportunity to play next to top musicians.”
The Street Fest highlights Shepherdstown history as the oldest town in West Virginia. “First and foremost, the festival is a fundraiser,” says Lori Robertson, President. “For 2015, we are proud and excited to announce that our regional non-profit is CASA-EP, Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Eastern Panhandle. CASA of the Eastern Panhandle, Inc. exists to protect the interest of abused and neglected children; to train volunteers to advocate for children in our community and court system, and to advocate until every child has a safe, loving and permanent home. We are also proud to announce that our local donation will go to the Shepherdstown Day Care , a non-profit that provides care and educational experiences for children from 12 weeks to 10 years.”
It is not easy for festivals to survive year after year. Most of the ones in the valley do not have paid staff members. To guarantee the Street Fest could survive, the board took a year off to put time into setting up an infrastructure that would guarantee an easy transition could be made to new board members. “We developed job descriptions for every task that needs to be completed,” said Robertson. “This way the festival could grow and not be set back if a key member stepped down from the board.”
The bands are selected based their popularity. “We pick bands that can draw crowds from different areas with a major emphasis on the popularity of this band in Shepherdstown.”says Chris Crawford, Main Stage Coordinator. This year’s headliner band is ‘Yo Mama Big Fat Booty Band’, a high energy funk band out of Ashville, North Carolina. “From the minute they start playing, people are on the dance floor. Yo Mama inspires the crowds to participate.” said Crawford.
The opening main stage band is the Reckoning. A Waynesboro Pennsylvania band, this seven piece ensemble’s genre is Grateful Dead music with an unique acoustic approach. Christian Lopez is a 19-year-old with the soul of a 65-year-old Appalachian mountain bluegrass musician hidden away inside. Mike Westcott Band, out of Rockville, MD brings raw, funky blues to the stage. Mike’s guitar playing is soulful, dynamic and expressive. Next up is the Johnny Neel Band, blind at birth, plays a wicked keyboard. Johnny has played with such greats as the Allman Brothers, Dickie Betts, and many more. Check out the band schedule.
Shepherdstown Street Fest opens at 10 am with the first band, The Reckoning playing at 12 noon on the Main Stage. At 1:15, Herb and Hanson, open the Library stage. “We do two stages to eliminate any down time between band set ups” says Robertson. “Traditionally there is a thirty minute lull at most music festivals between bands.”
There is a food gallery as well as the air-conditioned restaurants where one can take a break and enjoy local fare. Enjoy Almost Heaven Taters to Asian Fusion to Pork BBQ Stone and Shipley.
A FREE event with FREE Parking and Shuttle, the Shepherdstown Street Fest is a ‘Yes’ on one’s bucket list for visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Shenandoah Valley. Make a family fun in WV weekend trip out of it. Ask for the “Shepherdstown Street Fest” rate from participating lodging partners. Then plan to attend the “After Party” at the old Opera House . Live music from 9 – 12 midnight and again FREE admission. Musicians from the bands are invited to pop in and sit in on a session. It doesn’t get any better if one is looking for a music and West Virginia Artisans experience.