About fifteen bands and artists will take the stage either at Mariners’ Wharf Park or in local venues this weekend during Elizabeth City’s very first musical weekend during Green Fall Music Weekend.
The festival, which starts Friday night and ends Sunday night, is a scaled-down version of the fall fun and music festival that organizers were hoping to host this weekend until COVID-19 concerns compel to change plans.
Deborah Malenfant, executive director of Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc., which sponsors the festival, said the music event will be an opportunity to showcase the region’s musical talent.
“The live music scene in the Elizabeth City area has grown and this event is a great connection and celebration of that,” she said Wednesday. “We are building the Music on the Green brand with this event and programming local and regional bands and artists. We have a huge amount of amazing talent here that we want to showcase. “
Like ECDI’s summer musical series Music on the Green which wrapped up its 10th year last week, Fall Music Weekend will feature a variety of bands performing different genres of music – blues, jazz and reggae to classic rock, Motown and pop. There will even be a 10-piece salsa group performing on Sunday.
Performers’ experience levels will vary, and the music performed will include both original songs and covers of other tracks, Malenfant said.
“We program new and up-and-coming bands that just make their names known, and we schedule bands with a developed fan base and subscribers,” she said.
While seven bands are scheduled to perform live on stage at Mariners’ Wharf Park during the three-day festival, eight other bands and artists will also perform live at businesses and other downtown venues.
18Wheels kicks off the festival at Mariners’ Wharf Park on Friday from 5pm.
At 7 p.m., 18Wheels will be followed by 5Starr, a band based in Chesapeake, Va., Which is scheduled to perform until 10 p.m.
While 18Wheels and 5Starr will perform at Mariners’ Wharf Park, Michael Yu will perform in downtown Content Commanders from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Drew Gregory will play country music at the Glimmer Beauty Lounge from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jonas Heard will perform at 2 Souls Wine Bar from 6pm to 10pm; and Kristi K will perform at Ghost Harbor Brewing Company from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Music continues at the park on Saturday at 1 p.m., although no groups are currently scheduled for that time slot. Permanent Vacation will perform from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. They will be followed by Uphill, who performs both originals and blues classics, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The band PBNJ, who performs everything from Motown to rock to reggae and pop, will close the second day of the festival at the park, performing from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Five groups and artists will perform their music downtown on Saturday. Evan will perform original songs live at Pine & Porch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. while Moriah Cruz will perform a children’s concert at Port Discover.
From 3pm to 6pm, Jonas Heard will perform on the sidewalk in front of Jade Whale Co. Then from 6pm to 8pm, American Gothic will perform at SweetEasy. Bobby Plow will perform at 2 Souls Wine Bar from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
On Sunday, two groups will perform at the park. Greyside, an acoustic rock band, will perform from noon to 1:30 p.m. They will be followed by Tumbao Salsero, a Latin salsa group of 10 musicians who will perform from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Downtown, Phil Watson will perform in Pailin’s Alley Sunday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Malenfant said all musical performances are free and festival-goers are encouraged to go back and forth between the park stage and downtown venues.
“The cool thing about live music in a downtown area like ours is being able to bounce from one place to another and have an overall experience,” she said. “Enjoy a band by the water, take a break and walk down the street to watch a sidewalk busker performance or an acoustic show inside a business … We want to see the people “music” this weekend. It’s a new twist and we hope it will be a lot of fun.
Music will not be the only activity during the festival. In addition to live concerts at Mariners’ Wharf Park, cornhole and other lawn games will be available, and there will be Face Painting by Shelia during the three days of the festival. Beer, wine, soft drinks and water will be sold on site and the BobBQ food truck will be installed in the park on Sunday. DJ Taz2 will host the three days.
Several downtown businesses also organize non-musical events during the festival. On Saturday, Porch and Pine will host SeaPupCo, which will host a pop-up sale of its gear for pets and animal owners.
Also on Saturday, the Page After Page bookstore will host a carved pumpkin competition. Participants are encouraged to bring their carved pumpkin before 5:00 p.m. to display it on Water Street for public voting until 8:00 p.m. The winners will be announced on Sunday.
Page After Page will also host a blacksmithing demonstration by David Robertson at 1 p.m. Saturday as well as a hands-on activity for children.