Organizers of a new three-day festival in Madison County are hoping to use music to fund scholarships for Appalachian students while providing them with valuable work experience at the same time.
Jubilo Music & Arts Festival will be Sept. 13-16 at Fort Boonesborough State Park, and organizers hope to get up to 75 regional and national bands within the first three years. They also aim to bring up to 25,000 people to the event, “boosting area tourism and spotlighting the area’s state parks, and music and arts community,” according to a news release.
General admission tickets are good for all three days and includes a tent camping site.
“I directed the Master Musicians Festival in Somerset for about 12 years and some of our board members and staff members there were involved in the educational field,” said Robyn B. Baker, director of Jubilo. “We would usually get together ... and just talk about so many things that just seemed to be going wrong in eastern Kentucky with eastern Kentucky kids. And those conversations are what developed into this idea, to start another festival and get it set up so that its proceeds could go toward doing a lot of work for ... providing some new opportunities for students in eastern Kentucky.”
The hope is that the festival will eventually raise enough money to fund a $1 million scholarship program. Baker said after the first year of the festival, organizers plan to start a sister non-profit organization, which will be called APPalachian UPrising.
Through APPalachian UPrising, students in Kentucky’s 54 Appalachian counties, which Baker said would include Clark, will be able to earn college funding and other educational assistance. Baker said the program will have experienced educators working with students to mentor them and guide them to getting applications in and getting their college careers started.
Putting an event like Jubilo together, Baker said, requires marketing, Web design and constructing stages.
“We need music students, music management students, writers. So based on those needs that we have, what we intend to do is to award our scholarships when we begin that program, to students who are interested in those fields,” she said.
A team of about 10 college students and recent college graduates from area schools are volunteering.
Before the event can take place, Baker said, organizers must raise at least $25,000 to make the deposits for the headlining act and the stage, lights and sound setup. To raise that money, Jubilo organizers created a funding platform onKickstarter.com, and Baker said they need to raise the $25,000 by April 30. As of Wednesday, the Kickstarter page had raised about $2,000.
So far, Baker said about 15 regional bands have been booked contingent upon fundraising, including Faubush Hill, the Barry Mando Project and the Dirty Grindstones. Baker has also made an offer to Old Crow Medicine Show to be the headliner.
General admission tickets are currently on sale at the Kickstarter page for $50, but Baker said once organizers raise the $25,000, general admission tickets will go up to $110. There are also other ticket packages with varying prices.
For more information, visit www.kickstarter.com and enter the key word “Jubilo,” email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.facebook.com/jubilo.richmond.