and by this, we mean WOW!!
Everything was Perfect!
Perfect Weather, People, Attendance, Bands, Production Crew, Emcees, Atmosphere, Facilities, Volunteers...We can't think of one single thing that went wrong - or even threatened to disengage us from our task of putting on a great event!
You ___________________(insert your name) are to be commended and we applaud YOU!
Thank You for taking the chance on our first efforts to put on an event of this magnitude. We knew that the potential for this event could really be something Unique for the Youngstown Area, but to see and experience the overwhelming results are just absolutely encouraging!!
I would personally like to thank Lori Factor, Phil Moore & Lyndsey Hughes for the initial conversations and subsequently placing their trust in Niayana Recordings abilities to pull this off. There was never any pressure or tediousness on any of our parts - we made an excellent team even during moments that stretched us beyond what we thought we were capable of. With Lori having the added pressure of the two day Summer Arts Fest, she worked tirelessly to keep every T Crossed and Each "I" dotted - how excellent. (Uncle) Phil being the ultimate "Can Do" man was invaluable to the process and Lyndsey was not only the icing on the cake, but the strawberries too. Thank You So Very Much!
The Volunteers were & are second to none. Indescribable!! As I said on my Facebook Page, Brett & Tommy & Cindy and a few people I can't even name stepped up to the plate in the final seconds to make this event what it was and if we had a budget of millions, it would only be peanuts - as their Spirit, Professionalism, Expertise and Attention to detail were off the charts. I personally had nothing to worry about - for even one (1) second!!
The Artists: Phillip K Jones, Antoinette, Sam Blakeslee, Chico's Quintet and SounDoctrine - never mind the fact that I perform with SD - were all outrageous!! What tremendous caliber of music and excellent artistry was displayed. Those guys had so heated the stage that by the time SD donned our instruments, the atmosphere was electric!! Please - Triple Please - Visit each of these Artists websites, download their schedules and if you did not have a chance at the fest - please purchase and support their great music. Often for indie artists, CD Sales, Downloads & Performing are the ONLY way these musicians earn their living. So Thank You for doing all you can to support and encourage them (us)!!
Very Special Thanks to Catrell - who immediately became the percussionist for practically every band!! This guy can GO!! Initially he was a part of Antoinette's ensemble, but then Chico enlisted him for a tune and SounDoctrine agreed he should rock with us for the entire set - Thoroughly Amazing!!! Thanks Bro!
Let's talk about the Emcees for A Minute...as you may have known, we began to publicize very prominently that WKBN's Teresa Weakley was to Emcee our Event. Due to personal aspects beyond her control, she was unable to do so, but afforded us time during her 5PM broadcast to promote the fest. In addition, fellow anchor Dave Sess stepped right in to pinch hit on her behalf. As an added bonus, while we were looking to include a co-host for Dave, we were at a complete loss for the right person, preferably a personable woman who'd be able to engage & entertain the crowd during performance transitions. After a conversation with my eldest daughter about our predicament, she immediately offered, "Call Tara Amil." I was a little hesitant, due to the fact that although Tara had recorded and performed with SounDoctrine in the past, she's relatively private and prefers to remain in the background. "But," my daughter Tejai offered, "She is a Middle School Teacher, She HAS to hold their attention for eight hours a day, she speaks very well, is attractive and is enable to engage a crowd." So I called Tara (this was FRIDAY, mind you) - by virtue of the fact that she did not slam the phone down on me after the first 45 seconds, gave me a little confidence that she was in. After I sent her the script - we were on - and she was a COMPLETE NATURAL!! In fact, if I had not told this story here, no one would know that she had less than 24 hours to prepare for the event. Dave & Tara were perfect together - Another WOW!!
Special Thanks to Mark Tirabassi & Hubbard Music and to Jimmy & The Crew for Providing the Sound Equipment, Backline and The Incredible Lights - Everything was done promptly & professionally and not ONE Technical Difficulty - AWESOME
Much Love to Kim N Hines of Onenessound who mixed the show and EVERYTHING was crystal clear - you could hear every single little tiny thing. Absolute Perfection!!
Thank Also to Forty Two Inc which supplied the much needed Scrim & Tarp to make the stage beautiful and to Showtyme Exhibits for the Risers and Tents that made all of the difference. Oh Yeah and THANK YOU to the People from the 5K Race who afforded us the opp to utilize the Portable Bathrooms for the comfort of every one concerned....need I say more?
YSU Parking and Additional Support Personnel, coupled with The Youngstown Police Department kept the order - but here's the beauty - Not ONE Single Incidence of ANY Drama. Not ONE Official Complaint. Not ONE Moment of Irritation from the time we arrived (around 9:30 AM for set up) until we Hubbard Music left the grounds well after midnight!
Obviously, we could not have even put a single band onstage or pay for any of the production without our Platinum Sponsor, Mr. Mike Naffah - owner of Inner Circle Pizza (Canfield) The Embassy & Hampton Inn & Suites (Canfield) and Our Gold Sponsor, Mr. Mike Olson of Olfield Graphics. Mr. Jerry Thompson of VOCAL fed our Artists & Crew and the Casesses Family owned MVR for supporting this major undertaking.
Again we are truly grateful!
What we are asking you to do is to post your comments here - Of Course, we'd like to make next year even bigger and a far better experience. We'd appreciate your suggestions on the schedule, the bands you'd like to see - being mindful that we are giving first consideration to Independent Bands - and anything you can think of that we might be able to improve upon - we welcome and encourage your input. By All Means - Follow Me on Twitter (Jere B) and Befirend Me on Facebook. I Always respond!
Finally, I want to personally thank My Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. I prayed over this event from day one. I asked for His Help, Guidance, Wisdom & Strength and was afforded it without fail or delay. I had peace that this event was successful and I give Him all The Glory for allowing me to be able to participate.
I look forward to seeing you again next year!!