The music festival season is the highlight of many young people’s summers, and now it may also do some good for some local students. Organizers of a new event called Jubilo Music and Arts Festival hope to bring both good music and scholarships to Eastern Kentucky.
The odd name for the festival traces its roots to the Bible and a sense of excitement and celebration. Jubilo was used in the Old Testament to describe the year of celebration before Moses was allowed to go into the Promised Land. Despite its religious roots, Jubilo is a secular concert festival that will be held in Richmond at Fort Boonesborough September 13-16.
The festival will take over the entire park and mix camping, music and art in the natural setting. This is the first time in the history of Kentucky state parks that they have allowed a group to book the entire park.
The festival is the fruits of the labor of Robyn Baker, who was a long time festival creator and promoter for an event in Somerset called Master Musicians Festival. The festival in Somerset was a relatively small festival in comparison with the scale she is hoping to achieve with Jubilo.
The Master Musicians Festival sought to help students in schools purchase instruments. Jubilo will focus on helping create a new generation of musicians, journalists, promoters, and all around festival staff. They will offer full scholarships to Appalachian students that work between five and 10 hours a week during school helping to prepare for the festival.
“I think that it is beyond time that Appalachian students have better and more creative opportunities,” said Baker, adding that unlike many scholarship programs they are not going to focus solely on the straight “A” student since often those are the students that get the most help for school anyway. Instead they are focusing on students that can help them run and promote the show and keep it going.
“As you can imagine, when you are putting on a big festival, you need journalists, you need graphic designers, web designers, music majors, we will have some need for construction management folks and event planners, and you can just imagine the zillion things,” Baker added.
She said since the students that are helping to create the festival will also be the recipients of its charity, it will hopefully work like a perpetual motion machine.
“Those students during the school year will work for us between five and 10 hours a week. mostly from their dorm rooms,” she said. “Then the hours will increase a little bit more in the summer, and they will essentially become the workforce that is constantly rotating.”
This opportunity will be open to students following this first Jubilo Festival. They will use the proceeds of this initial festival to run this scholarship program starting next year, but for this year they are hoping to fund it by running a campaign preselling tickets, t-shirts, artwork, and other merchandise.
Kickstarter is a website that allows people to pledge money towards part of the end result of a funding campaign. In many cases, this will be to help fund a band making a CD and then by pledging once the CD is made, you will get a copy. In this case, by pledging you can receive any number of different items including tickets, art, or merchandise, but until all of the money is pledged and the event is going to happen, none of the money is collected.
Baker is hoping to get $25,000 in pledges by April 30, and part of the reward for pledging for a ticket, is not only the ticket itself, but the price. After the campaign, tickets for the three-day event will cost around $110, but through the campaign a ticket can be bought for only $50.
Since Jubilo is to take place in a park, camping is included in the ticket. Also included is free reign to see all of the bands that will be playing. Currently, Baker said that they have 16 bands scheduled and hope to eventually have around 70. These will range from Appalachian bands to national acts.
One national act that Baker said she is hoping to schedule, depending upon how the kickstarter campaign goes, is Old Crow Medicine Show.
“We are talking with Old Crow,” she noted. “I have staged them before. They have got strong ties to this area. They were discovered in Appalachia.”
They are also looking at booking other national acts, but all of this depends on the presale campaign.
Other than the national acts, they are also in the process of selecting local bands.
“We have booked 15 or 16 right now. I think I have got about 30, maybe, submittals that we have not reviewed yet,” said Baker. “We have been booking two or three bands every couple of days.”
For those looking to hopefully get a chance to play at a stage in a large festival, Baker said they are still accepting submittals on the Jubilo Facebook page. They are looking for a variety of different kinds of bands ranging from bluegrass to rap and all genres in between.
“If we have a consistent theme at all it may lead toward the Americana,” she added.
Baker did say that on Sunday during the event they do plan on booking bluegrass and gospel acts to bring a little church to those who are missing it for the concert.
More information on the charity festival can be found on Jubilo’s facebook page. If you would like to pledge and purchase a presale ticket, t-shirt, artwork, or any of the presale items you can go to www.Kickstater.com and searching “Jubilo.”