Each year, the Music & Merchants Festival allows a place for the community to experience great local businesses and great music. Ashli Slawter, Chairman for the festival, is especially excited for this year's festivities. Not only has the committee added more musicians to this year's festival, but they have also been busy at work creating an enjoyable overall experience for attendees.
Slawter and event organizers carefully consider each musical act before booking them for the day. "It is a process of creating a list of artists we think are appealing to the community, and then calling managers to see who is available that fits our budget. Often in speaking to the management companies they recommend other artists. We then research and review these artists and make decisions to move forward," said Slawter. You can catch up on all of this year's musician's on the festival's website.
Country music has begun to emerge as the go-to genre for festival organizers in recent years. According to Slawter, this is directly related to the community's musical tastes. "Each year we discuss what type of music to present. Country was selected the last two years because the demographics perfectly fit our community," said Slawter.
Over the years, the festival has certainly continued a pattern of growth. "We are looking to continue to grow the festival because doing so benefits the participating businesses," said Slawter. "Last year people were blown away that we were able to secure JoDee Messina and we hope they feel the same way this year with the artists we have selected. Each year we try to do a little better than the year before." With a steady upward trajectory intact, it will be exciting to experience the festival's growth each year.
This year's festival will be bigger than ever, and is truly a testament to the festival's growth over the years. "We are expanding the festival to two stages, adding booths, a wine festival, and a USO tent to thank our military citizens past and present. We are super excited about the wine festival and have 11 Northern Kentucky Wineries signed up," said Slawter. Additionally, two more musical acts have been added to this year's lineup. Local band The Sleepin' Dogs and national recording artist Lyndsey Highlander will be hitting the stage on September 28th.
What are you most looking forward to at this year's Merchants & Music Festival? Let us know in the comments below.