A year after its launch in Westfield, the High Hopes Music and Arts Festival moves to the grounds of MGM Springfield with four bands set to perform on The Plaza on Saturday, Aug. 3.
The outdoor fest, which kicks off at 4 p.m., will feature Almost Queen, Roots of Creation’s Grateful Dub, The Eagles Experience and Atlas Gray. There will also be food and goods to purchase.
“We’re very excited about the facilities that MGM Springfield has available for us and their willingness to let us put our fingerprint on their Plaza. We’re going to have a covered pavilion,so the weather won’t be a factor,” said Ryan Burhans, owner of Paddle Out Productions, event organizer.
He added, “I don’t think we are reinventing the wheel, but we do enjoy the concept of putting our own little stamp on music and art festivals.”
Burhans noted he is excited about the lineup of acts they were able to attract to this year’s festival.
Almost Queen, decked out in appropriate costuming, will bring the popular band’s four-part harmonies and intricate musical interludes to the festival stage. Joseph Russo plays Freddie Mercury, Steve Leonard is Brian May, John Cappadona takes on the role of Roger Taylor, and Randy Gregg plays John Deacon.
Roots of Creation’s Grateful Dub is a Reggae-infused tribute to the Grateful Dead that captures the spirit and magic of their music, but laying it down reggae-dub style.
The Eagles Experience prides themselves on performing The Eagles to a tee, reflecting their heyday in the late 1970s with each member of the group emulating their respective Eagle by playing the correct instrument and singing the songs as song by their protégé.
Rounding out the musical lineup will be Atlas Gray, an all original band driven by soulful songs telling powerful stories. The band has toured with legendary musicians such as Albert Lee, Denny Laine, and Peter Asher.
“We looked at what type of food vendors we could get, and wanted it to be a diverse menu, not just burgers and hot dogs,” Burhans said.
No one will go hungry at the festival with a number of options to choose from. La Mesa will serve up a selection of empanadas, gourmet tacos, pork sliders and more, while M&M Steaks will bring their classic Philly Cheesesteaks to town. There will also be hot dogs, chili dogs and kielbasa and a variety ofpaninis from Blaze & Johnny’s Dog House, as well as Thai treats from Red Thai Chili and lobster rolls from Maine Lobster. And for those who like pizza, there will be the wood fired variety pizza from Goddess Pizza, who use only organic ingredients, including a three-day fermented dough.
If you have a little money to burn in your pocket, several art vendors will be selling their wares, including Birch & Ivory with their handmade totes, bags, and wallets incorporating recycled materials, art by Mijumi Art, and beauty products from Beauty Counter. Denim lovers can purchase a new jacket, overalls, purse and more from MelRose Denim, and Dyegirls Designs will be selling their creative hand-dyed tie dye clothing, accessories and handmade jewelry.
“We have to further reach out to the art community for support in the future,” Burhans said.