Cape's downtown music festival returns

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

by Jim Obert

Focus on local/regional bands

The City of Roses Music Festival will strum to its eighth year in Cape Girardeau. On Sept. 24 and 25, a variety of music will once again waft through the downtown scene, compliments of the Music Heritage Association, which sponsors the music festival. Getting the festival organized this year, however, was not as fluid as a Hendrix guitar rift at dawn at another festival in 1969. But according to Doc Cain, association member and chairman of last year's festival, the bands will play on. Cain and Don Greenwood, this year's festival chairmen, announced plans for the fest at a meeting Aug. 25 at Port Cape.

Unlike past festivals, this year's show will not have a main stage and a featured performer. Instead, the City of Roses Festival will focus on local and regional bands that will play on three outdoor stages at the corners of Water and Independence streets, Water Street and Broadway, and Water and Themis streets. This year, ticket sales have been eliminated. Instead, donations will be requested near each of the stages.

Another change puts downtown clubs in charge of booking their own entertainment. Also, clubs will not have to pay a fee to participate, unlike years past. Many clubs that participate - if not all - will not charge a cover. The Music Heritage Association is already getting some donations to help get the festival going.

Shivelbine's Music Store has offered to set up the sound for the stages, and Chuck McGinty of McGinty Jewelers has donated the use of his sound equipment. As for the bands, Cain said they have always reduced their prices for the festival.

About 45 bands could play on the three outdoor stages during the festival and possibly another 11 or 12 in the clubs. On Friday, Sept. 24, the festival will run from 6 to 11 p.m., and the next day from noon to 11 p.m. The stages will likely be divvied up according to musical style. That means a metal-punk stage, a jam band-blues stage and a pop music stage. Don't be square - be there.

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