Aquinnah Music Festival
Imagine the Aquinnah cliffs extending out in front of you, the sun high in the sky, the breeze blowing in off the sea, ocean waves in the distance, and live music performed by local musicians surrounding you. You are at the first-ever Aquinnah Musical Festival, Saturday, July 19, for nine hours, from "noon to moonlight."
The event was conceived only three months ago by the Festival Steering Committee, a group of 13 volunteers working at 93.7 FM, WVVY, Martha's Vineyard Community Radio, Inc., as a fundraiser for the non-profit station.
Jim Glavin, the festival's event producer, beams and says, "The folks on the committee are dynamite." He describes the hard work and determination put forth by the event's volunteers, explaining that this is no patchwork jamboree, but a full-functioning festival, from the tents, to the beverages and organic food by Daniele Dominick of Che's Lounge/Scottish Bakehouse, to the programs, and activities for children, and to the parking arrangements.
In the grassy natural amphitheater at the Gay Head Cliffs on Lighthouse Road, the program will begin with the powerful sounds of Wampanoag tribal drummers, the Black Brook Singers - the perfect dramatic start for the outdoor concert.
All of the performers are either Islanders or have some strong Island connections. They include: The Billionaires, Willy Mason, Jemima James, Chorus of Arrows, Amazing Baby, Rosehips, Ballywho, Kahoots, Sofi Thanhauser, Rig1 and the Joel Zoss Trio. "It is a varied and eclectic mix of singer-songwriter folk, blues, reggae, country, blue-grass, hip-hop and rock," says Mr. Glavin.
Willy Mason comments, "My take on it is that the motivation behind the festival is the same as the inspiration behind the radio station: coming together and establishing what the Island community is and creating our own opportunities for coming together to have a good time and communicate with each other."
WVVY, low-power freeform station, is broadcast and operated solely by volunteers and funding comes from donations. Mr. Glavin says, "One of the main goals of the station is to encourage, support, and give exposure to Island artists and musicians."
There is something magical that happens when people come together under the glow of the Gay Head Light. If successful, the event might become a regular summer musical attraction.
Adriana Stimola is a performing actress/singer who divides her time between the Vineyard and New York.
Aquinnah Music Festival, Saturday, July 19, from noon to moonlight. Parking along Moshup Trail ($10 for cars and $5 for motorcycles). Advance tickets, $20, available online at aquinnahmusicfestival.com.