Haddonfield hosts first music festival

Event will highlight both main-stage headliners and local acts

The Oceanator is one of the four main headliners at Haddonfield’s first Music Festival on Oct. 14. (Special to The Sun)

Haddonfield will present its first music festival on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 1 to 6 p.m.

The festival will feature four main-stage headliners and three or four local acts on Kings Highway. Performers will include The National Reserve, a Brooklyn-based band whose music is described as a mix of rock, country and soul music. Jeffrey Gaines, a singer-songwriter from Pennsylvania, will also perform.

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The group SNACKTIME – described as “Philadelphia’s revered seven-piece, brass-heavy band, with funk, punk, jazz, pop, and R&B influences”, and Oceanator, which was named one of the Best New Bands of 2020, are also set to perform.

“I love attending concerts, and I think we have the perfect venue for it,” said Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich. “It’s so accessible, transportation is so easy, you can have people riding PATCO into town. We have ample parking lots; we have parking along the other roads; and again, we’ve never done this before, and I don’t know why.”

The festival is free and open to the public thanks to the sponsorship of Camden County and Visit South Jersey, but Bianco Bezich noted the borough would love to have more local businesses and families as sponsors.

“Without bringing outside food or vendors, it is harder to pay for all the elements of this festival, to make it safe and clean and fun for everyone,” she noted. “But we really want to commit to highlighting our local food and beverage.We did not want to bring in outside vendors when we have so many great restaurants right along the concert venue.”

In addition to highlighting local vendors, the music festival will also showcase the local performers. This year, there were more than 30 submissions from performers who either work or live in Haddonfield and wanted to play the festival.

“We have a ton of local talented artists living in town, and I know people in Haddonfield love the arts as well,” Bianco Bezich said. “I’m hoping we give them a lineup that’s diverse or eclectic, and above all, just sounds amazing. And they’re excited to come listen and dine and shop in the downtown that day.”

The performances will be back to back from the main stage to the local stage and back to the main stage without downtime, the mayor pointed out. The goal is to have tables and seating areas and to work with local businesses like Kings Road Brewery, William Heritage and Wild Feather Distilling to offer alcoholic beverages for sale with valid ID.

“We’re actually hoping to have some roving entertainers like face painters and jugglers, and really set aside some designated areas for strollers and family fun,” Bianco Bezich added.

There will be accessible restrooms and portable potties at convenient locations and police will be on site.

To stay up to date on the festival, visit Haddonfield’s Facebook page.

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