Edgewood music festival a good idea [Commentary]

EntertainmentMusicConcertsArts and Culture

Every community has positive attributes and problems.

Heck, some states – New Jersey and West Virginia, to name two in the immediate vicinity – have their own brand of associated jokes. Yet plenty of people are proud to call New Jersey and West Virginia home, and both states can boast having strong tourism components to their respective economies.

Jokes about what exit a certain attraction is off of or the number of dentists per 100,000 population are likely to persist, but that doesn't mean either state is lacking or in need of making a particular change because of what someone who lives in New York or Ohio or Maryland might think.

The same goes for Edgewood. The idea of organizing a day-long music festival has been suggested as a way to help the community shake a "negative stigma." For the people living and working in Edgewood, there's really no reason to try to shake anything that might be regarded as negative. Edgewood has its problems with crime, but much of the rest of Harford County is similarly plagued, though to varying degrees.

That said, the idea of having a music festival in Edgewood is one with a lot of merit. Edgewood has some potentially solid venues capable of playing host to a mid-size "Edgewood-stock," as the event is being discussed. Edgewood Park off of Trimble Road, the chosen site of the first incarnation of this festival, is a good choice because it's relatively easily accessible to people from out of town. There are other possibilities, should the event become an annual one. The Willoughby Beach Road campus of Edgewood High and Middle schools could be converted for concert use for a day on a summer weekend. Flying Point Park is situated on the Bush River and, possibly, could be turned into the scene of a day of musical performances featuring a water side backdrop.

An annual music festival could be a fine addition to Edgewood's community activities.

The thing that will be important in such an undertaking, however, is to keep in mind the target audience for such a show: the folks who live in Edgewood and the rest of Harford County, at least at first. A multi-act event, possibly with a big name draw, could well lay the groundwork for an annual event the likes of which have become legendary in a few other communities that are off the beaten path. But such things don't happen overnight, and the community would do better to start small and build on increasing successes than shoot for a big event that ends up fizzling.

Planned for 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on June 22 at the Edgewood Recreation Park, the event seems to be on track for such a modest, yet solid start. Bring on the bands.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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