On Aug. 26, the UVa-Wise campus hosted the fourth annual Rte 23 Music festival.
The festival, a popular free music event, brought over 300 people to campus. This event is made possible each year through donations and sponsorships from local area businesses. This year’s festival drew 20 area sponsors including Cavalier Comics, Sykes and Walk2Campus.
Vendors involved with the festival included Lincoln Road Coffee, The Shack, Brain Freeze Shaved Ice and Foodie Fiction. Attendees were also able to enjoy a beer and wine garden from Sugar Hill Brewing Company and Mountain Rose Vineyards. Other local vendors sold jewelry and clothing items.
This year’s music lineup included ska band Demon Waffle, The Broadcast and The Marcus King Band.
Demon Waffle, from Johnson City, Tennessee, were the perfect openers for the night. The band brought a high-energy, hour-long set to listeners.
“We’re used to playing in little punk clubs, I don’t know what to do with all this room,” said lead vocalist Tyler Parkhill. The seven-man band combines the electric guitar with a saxophone, trombone and trumpet that presents an eclectic mix of many music genres.
The Broadcast, from Asheville, North Carolina, picked up from the Waffle. Lead vocalist Caitlin Krisko boasts powerful vocals reminiscent of the late Janis Joplin. The band’s 1970s classic rock sound was the perfect fit for a night of music in Wise.
Krisko said, “We lost a great man this year,” referring to the loss of Gregg Allman, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band. The band finished their hour-long set with The Allman Brothers’ “Try It One More Time”, with help from Marcus King on electric guitar.
The Marcus King Band, from Greenville, South Carolina, closed out the festival. King is a young musician, but his talent is an example that age has no restriction in the music industry. The singer’s soulful voice delivers a powerful punch to accompany the southern rock style music of the band.
King’s hour-long set was an incredible end to a night of great music on the UVa-Wise campus.
Demon Waffle, The Broadcast and The Marcus King Band are all scheduled to perform at this year’s Bristol Rhythm & Roots Festival.
The Rte 23 Music Festival is scheduled to return to the UVa-Wise campus once again on Aug. 25, 2018.