TEAM Kicks Off Fall With Equinox Festival
TEAM (Town.Exeter.Arts.Music) is once again joining forces with artists, musicians, businesses and non-profit organizations in the community to present a full day celebration of local music, local food, and local art. The 3rd Annual TEAM Fall Equinox Festival will take place along Swasey Parkway in downtown Exeter on Saturday, September 23rd from 10am-5pm, with live musical and dance performances, artist vendors, local culinary offerings, and interactive activities for kids. The home grown non-profit organization is coming off the success of their inaugural Exeter Arts & Music Festival in May which attracted over 2,000 people to downtown Exeter. TEAM has remained busy over the last three years supplying the community with steady amounts of programming including concert series, children’s events, and art walks that showcase talent from Exeter and the greater Seacoast region.
TEAM executive director Scott Ruffner sees this festival as an extension of what the organization started in the Spring. “You will see and hear a lot of the same things from the Exeter Arts & Music Fest, because we have a core group of artists and musicians producing these events on a grassroots level, but we will be introducing new elements as well and incorporating a few needed changes that came out of our open dialogue with the pubic. We’re really excited to continue making this an extension of the local community.”
The Green Alliance will once again be an integral part of the event, partnering with TEAM to raise awareness of the group’s mission of keeping more arts and entertainment funding local, bringing professional talent to the forefront, and inspiring emerging artists to remain in the area while pursuing a career. They will be hosting an “eco-village” at the fest promoting businesses from the seacoast who may not be part of the arts scene, but still produce locally sourced and crafted products, as well as service-based companies who have made a commitment to sustainability. Mike Bellamente, Director of Green Alliance, is optimistic about the seacoast continuing to embrace this movement. “TEAM has really done a great job shaking things up and bringing these issues into the public consciousness, while also offering solutions and examples of how arts and entertainment can follow the lead of the local food and craft beer industries.”
Music will play a major role in the fest, with a lineup that will feature some of the region’s top bands, all with roots on the seacoast. Two of the acts, Cold Engines and The Kenny Brothers Band, are recent New England Music Award winners and both combine elements of blues, rock, and soul to create their original sounds. Critically acclaimed trumpet player Chris Klaxton will be bringing his trio to the festival, giving music fans a unique opportunity to see world class jazz right in their backyard. Recording artist Qwill will be making a rare appearance in the area with his full band, offering a synthesis of soul, folk, electronica and world music. There will be several other special guest performers and featured acts in the "Singer/Songwriter Tent". Exeter’s own The Midnight Wrens will kick off the festival weekend on Friday, September 22nd, with a free 6pm concert on the iconic bandstand in downtown Exeter.
Homegrown food will also be an attraction, with the return of the “Local Food Court”. Laney & Lu Cafe, D Squared Java, and Blue Moon Evolution will be a few of the vendors contributing selections featuring locally-sourced ingredients. At the request of attendees from the fest in May, TEAM is also looking for a few food trucks to join the event in September.
The Southern District YMCA will be donating a one year membership to a drawing that will occur at the fest, as well as bringing their rock climbing wall. The president of the organization, Rob McGregor, sees this collaboration as a perfect fit, stating that “TEAM has worked diligently to bring together local artists and musicians to give the entire community dynamic programming. The YMCA looks forward to working closely with them to promote music and arts and strengthen Exeter and our region.”
The festival still has openings for artist, business, and food vendors. Applications can be downloaded at www.TeamExeter.com, with the deadline for submission being September 1st. Tickets to the event will be $10. TEAM is still looking for event sponsors and volunteers, contact them through their website for further information.