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Yampapalooza seeking local musicians

Sean Regan
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— Live music in the valley doesn’t end when the ski slopes close.

The Old Town Pub is spearheading an effort, known as Yampapalooza, to showcase local talent by hosting an all-day festival for local bands and solo artists. The jamboree will be held Saturday, May 6, and organizers are in the process of recruiting musicians.

“The beauty of Yampapalooza is that it attracts a wide variety of genres and abilities,” said organizer Tommy Larson.

Performances will feature outlaw county, ’80s rock and everything in between.

The all-day festival will feature a mix of bands and acoustic solo acts, and there will be two stages so that music will play continuously. Bands will play for 60 to 90 minutes, and solo acts will perform for 20 minutes.

Acoustic performers were originally booked as fillers, Larson said, but they have become a highlight of the event.

While some of the area’s top performers have already signed on, Larson is hoping to draw more grassroots acts.

“There are so many bands in town who are deeply invested in their music but don’t have the chance to perform,” Larson said. “Yampapalooza is an opportunity to introduce new music.”

Gretchen Van Der Carr, drummer for the Americana band El Kabong, has performed in each of the previous two events.

“It’s amazing to see how many great musicians we have here,” Van Der Carr said. “Yampapalooza is a perfect way to get them out of their garages and living rooms and in front of a supportive environment.”

The third annual event will be enhanced by Old Town Pub’s experience in the business.

Sean Regan, Old Town Pub’s owner, recently remodeled the restaurant to improve live performances. The bar’s weekends are usually reserved for top acts from around the country, but Regan is enthusiastic about Yampapalooza.

“Many of the participants share the same passion as the bigger acts,” Regan said, “but not all of them have the time to perform.”

With its history and revitalized atmosphere, Larson believes the Old Town Pub is the perfect place for this year’s event.

Proceeds from the event will offset the cost of helping a woman with a developmental disability travel to Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Those interested in performing or who would like more information can email Larson at tommy58larson@gmail.com.


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