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Granite State Music Festival draws record crowd for 2014

  • Mindy Beach of Rumney, N.H. dances in front of the stage at the Granite State Music Festival. The beautiful weather and music brought her back to the 60's she said.<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

    Mindy Beach of Rumney, N.H. dances in front of the stage at the Granite State Music Festival. The beautiful weather and music brought her back to the 60's she said.

    (GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

  • The stage area of the Granite State Music Festival Sunday afternoon, June 22, 2014 at Everitt Arena.<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)<br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>

    The stage area of the Granite State Music Festival Sunday afternoon, June 22, 2014 at Everitt Arena.

    (GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)




  • Dave Kobrenski of the Donkilo! Afro Funk Orkestra reacts to the applause of the crowd as the group finishes their set at the Granite State Music Festival at Everitt Arena Sunday, June 22, 2014.<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

    Dave Kobrenski of the Donkilo! Afro Funk Orkestra reacts to the applause of the crowd as the group finishes their set at the Granite State Music Festival at Everitt Arena Sunday, June 22, 2014.

    (GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

  • The crowd chills out between sets at the Granite State Music Fesital at Everitt Arena Sunday, June 22, 2014<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

    The crowd chills out between sets at the Granite State Music Fesital at Everitt Arena Sunday, June 22, 2014

    (GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

  • Josh Craggy, owner of Lucky's Barber Shop on South State Street, shaves Thom Tucker during the Granite State Music Festival Sunday afternoon, June 22, 2014 at Everitt Arena.<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

    Josh Craggy, owner of Lucky's Barber Shop on South State Street, shaves Thom Tucker during the Granite State Music Festival Sunday afternoon, June 22, 2014 at Everitt Arena.

    (GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

  • Randy Roos, guitar player for the Donkilo! Afro Funk Orkestra jams during the Granite State Music Festival at Everitt Arena Sunday, June 22, 2014<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)<br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>

    Randy Roos, guitar player for the Donkilo! Afro Funk Orkestra jams during the Granite State Music Festival at Everitt Arena Sunday, June 22, 2014

    (GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)




  • United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard and United States' Jermaine Jones walk off the pitch following their 2-2 draw with Portugal during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

    United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard and United States' Jermaine Jones walk off the pitch following their 2-2 draw with Portugal during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

  • United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard and United States' Jermaine Jones walk off the pitch following their 2-2 draw with Portugal during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

    United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard and United States' Jermaine Jones walk off the pitch following their 2-2 draw with Portugal during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

  • Josh Craggy, owner of Lucky's Barber Shop on South State Street, shaves Thom Tucker during the Granite State Music Festival Sunday afternoon, June 22, 2014 at Everitt Arena.<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

    Josh Craggy, owner of Lucky's Barber Shop on South State Street, shaves Thom Tucker during the Granite State Music Festival Sunday afternoon, June 22, 2014 at Everitt Arena.

    (GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

  • Randy Roos, guitar player for the Donkilo! Afro Funk Orkestra jams during the Granite State Music Festival at Everitt Arena Sunday, June 22, 2014<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)<br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>

    Randy Roos, guitar player for the Donkilo! Afro Funk Orkestra jams during the Granite State Music Festival at Everitt Arena Sunday, June 22, 2014

    (GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)




  • Mindy Beach of Rumney, N.H. dances in front of the stage at the Granite State Music Festival. The beautiful weather and music brought her back to the 60's she said.<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)
  • The stage area of the Granite State Music Festival Sunday afternoon, June 22, 2014 at Everitt Arena.<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)<br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>
  • Dave Kobrenski of the Donkilo! Afro Funk Orkestra reacts to the applause of the crowd as the group finishes their set at the Granite State Music Festival at Everitt Arena Sunday, June 22, 2014.<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)
  • The crowd chills out between sets at the Granite State Music Fesital at Everitt Arena Sunday, June 22, 2014<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)
  • Josh Craggy, owner of Lucky's Barber Shop on South State Street, shaves Thom Tucker during the Granite State Music Festival Sunday afternoon, June 22, 2014 at Everitt Arena.<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)
  • Randy Roos, guitar player for the Donkilo! Afro Funk Orkestra jams during the Granite State Music Festival at Everitt Arena Sunday, June 22, 2014<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)<br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>
  • United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard and United States' Jermaine Jones walk off the pitch following their 2-2 draw with Portugal during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
  • United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard and United States' Jermaine Jones walk off the pitch following their 2-2 draw with Portugal during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
  • Josh Craggy, owner of Lucky's Barber Shop on South State Street, shaves Thom Tucker during the Granite State Music Festival Sunday afternoon, June 22, 2014 at Everitt Arena.<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)
  • Randy Roos, guitar player for the Donkilo! Afro Funk Orkestra jams during the Granite State Music Festival at Everitt Arena Sunday, June 22, 2014<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)<br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>

An eclectic mix of performers played for an audience hailing from a wide swath of New England at this weekend’s Granite State Music Festival at Kiwanis Riverfront Park in Concord, and the third annual festival boasted record ticket sales overall.

“I just want to say thank you to Concord,” Executive Director Scott Solsky said yesterday at the festival. “The city, the residents, the business owners. It’s such a great crowd. It’s so nice to see all the families and the great people who are out here.”

Solsky said they had sold 1,200 tickets by 3:30 p.m. yesterday, but he anticipated more before festival headliner Lucius performed at 7:30 p.m. The weekend weather was ideal for the festival, he said, with a high of 72 Saturday and 79 Sunday.

Aimee Lockhardt, 25, is a big Lucius fan, and she brought her friends Amanda Dev, 26, and Lilah Cherim, 17, from Dover for their first time at the festival. While they came mostly for Lucius, she said they were impressed by the Sunday afternoon bands, especially the Donkilo! Afro Funk Orkestra.

“I like how all the bands here are from New Hampshire. Even Lucius, their guitarist is from New Hampshire so that’s a great aspect of it,” Lockhardt said. “I’m excited because I didn’t know

they had this every year, but I kind of expected it to be a bit bigger from how they were advertising it online. It’s really nice though.”

“I thought it would be more crowded, but this is super chill, and I like it,” Dev said. “I would absolutely come again next year.”

Phil Haskins, 52, said he made the hour-long drive from White River Junction, Vt., to hear the live music and enjoy the atmosphere.

“What comes along with the music is just really good people,” he said. “You always get this in this kind of environment. There’s really good energy: the kids are having a good time, the microbrews certainly are good, and there’s just lots of smiling faces and good people.”

Two stages were set up next to each other at one end of the park, and performances continued at 45-minute intervals throughout the weekend. Stands selling food, clothing, art and drinks were arranged along the perimeter and the Kid Zone featured face painting, bubble blowing and an inflatable playground for guests under 16. Festival attendees gathered in chairs and blankets in front of the stage, with a small, energetic group dancing at the front. Kayakers on the Merrimack River paused on the water to listen, and a solar-powered beer garden along the river’s edge stayed busy yesterday afternoon.

The Kid Zone was a highlight for Kayden Will and her 15-month-old son Tayo, whose favorite dancing music was the Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki Trio. Will said she wasn’t familiar with any of the specific performers, but she came for the atmosphere as much as for the music.

“(Tayo) loves to dance. That’s why I’m here,” Will, 43, said. “I love how kid friendly it is. They did a great job with the Kid Zone.”

Will made the 30-minute drive from Andover because “it’s just an excuse to go to music outside.”

“I haven’t found that many music festivals yet on the East Coast that I really like, but I love outdoor music,” she said. “I think this one could cost a little bit less, for what it offers, but we’re having a good time.”

Advance tickets were $40 for an adult weekend pass or $25 for a day pass. At the gate, guests paid $50 for the weekend pass or $30 each day.

Solsky credited his staff and the sunny weather for this year’s success. Since the festival is a nonprofit venture, he said half the proceeds will go to local music education programs as well as a scholarship fund. Parker Education was the primary sponsor, and a variety of local businesses contributed as well.

“We’ve got a really good team this year, and we work well together to make it really go smoothly,” he said.

(Ann Marie Jakubowski can be reached at 369-3302 or ajakubowski@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @AMJakubowski.)

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