Guest Columnist Jim Olsen: Enjoy the Music, Protect Each Other

Posted: 08/25/2021 20:18:38 PM As we start the week leading up to the Green River Festival 2021, the fields are mowed one last time,...



Posted: 08/25/2021 20:18:38 PM

As we start the week leading up to the Green River Festival 2021, the fields are mowed one last time, the sets roll with our stages, the big tents go up and many great artists circle our way. Jon Batiste, the son of New Orleans. Ani DiFranco, fair girl. Shakey Graves, Valerie June, Drive By Truckers and many more from all over North America. Look at this range. It is breathtaking. Icons and emerging artists. Old friends and exciting firsts. We regard our venues and festivals as landing places for these magnificent birds.

They – and we – all land for the first time at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. Our staff have worked for months to prepare the infrastructure to move here, two miles from the home of Greenfield Community College for 33 years.

The fair is one of the oldest agricultural fairs in the United States. We are honored to use their magnificent expanse of fields, tracks and period fairground buildings for our weekend home, and only two weeks before they use it for the 172nd fair. The Green River Festival Campground has been at the Fairgrounds since 2016, and we’ve made friendships with the leaders and teams here. We thank them for their generous welcome.

We don’t need to tell you, it’s been 16 long months. On March 13, 2020, after a show in our smaller venue, the Parlor Room with John Paul White, Signature Sounds (Green River Festival producer) began canceling months of shows and switching to live streaming. A month later, on April 30, with an industry on its knees and musicians taking their tours off the road, we canceled the Green River Festival 2020. Our friends at 93.9 The River hosted a festival weekend with us on waves. With the kindness of friends and the ingenuity of a small team, we’ve made it possible for everyone to work since the halls fell dark, and we’ve provided musicians with a virtual place to be. We’ve donated over $ 155,000 to artists we’ve never seen in person (except the occasional masked and socially distant).

This summer is different. With new know-how on how viruses spread, the industry is working hard in tandem with health boards to keep artists and audiences safe, especially while we keep the artists and festival staff alive. employees. A festival can be festive; shows can be fun; but another truth is that music is the livelihood of artists on our stages. We are indeed a place for them to land.

This week we are all coming together for the Green River Festival for the first time since 2019 and we need your help. If we follow all the protocols and we all keep ourselves outside, socially distanced, masked when we are nearby or when using a shuttle or a toilet, together we build a scene that protects us from each other. It is science informed by love. Love not only for our own families and community, but also love for strangers we have yet to meet, for musicians, staff and salespeople who need to work for a living, and for the idea of ​​hoping in a year of darkness.

Jim Olsen is the director of the Signature Sounds festival.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Guest Columnist Jim Olsen: Enjoy the Music, Protect Each Other
Guest Columnist Jim Olsen: Enjoy the Music, Protect Each Other
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