folk festival forges
ahead after death of chairman
was inspiration to planners
(January 2011) Despite the Nov. 12 death of
festival chairman John Walburn, the Ohio River Valley Folk Festival
is on track to be another outstanding musical experience in 2011, according
to committee members. The May 20-22, 2011, music festival will be the
sixth annual event.
The Folk Festival committee and its parent organization,
the Madison Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, are committed to continuing
the festival, although Walburns death cast a temporary pall over
The committee met just 12 days after Walburns death. Instead of
a business meeting, members spent time reminiscing about him.
I think that everyone certainly felt a loss, each of us in our
own way, said committee member Tony Schroeder. Many were
surprised by how much we were touched by John but really how it impacted
the whole community.
When the group met Dec. 14, it was ready to get back to business.
Committee work is actually ahead of where it was a year ago, according
to Linda Lytle, executive director of the CVB. Nearly all contracts
for the 2011 festival have been negotiated.
A partial music lineup has been announced. Friday night performers will
be Mickey Clark, Adrienne Young and a headliner to be announced later.
Saturdays lineup includes The Tillers, the Wiyos, Paul Thorn and
David Bromberg, along with another performer yet to be named.
Sundays program, which focuses on regional talent, will include
Bill Lancton, the duo of Greg Ziesemer and Kriss Luckett Ziesemer, Hogeye
Navvy and Carrie Newcomer.
Lytle said that although she is in no hurry to hire someone to fill
Walburns position, the job opening may be advertised in January.
Even though the committees are perfectly capable of doing it themselves,
we want to have somebody in place about a month before the festival,
In the past year, working committees had been formed to handle many
aspects of the festival. Those committees are doing their jobs now.
Im real confident that everything is going along just fine.
John had good people in place. Im confident everything will be
done well, and everyone will be pleased, said Lytle.
Meanwhile, committee members are working to make sure the festival continues
in the way Walburn would have wanted.
John always had bigger visions for this festival and saw it as
the Midwests favorite Americana music festival, which
is now our brand line, said Scott Murray Bate of the Folk Festival
committee. Ultimately, he would have liked to see it as a weeklong
event. He compared it to Telluride and other festivals and saw no obstacles
to it going in that direction. We have the people in place who can make
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