Like many festivals and events, the Milford Music Festival had to be put on hold last year because of the pandemic. This year, it will return, in July, with some captivating blues, jazz, local folk rock, and acoustic tunes filled with syncopated rhythms and harmony. The fest will sprawl all over town and take in a number musical venues and events.
“The fest used to be a big, centralized event with a big stage in the park,” said Adriane Wendell, president of Milford Presents, which coordinates the festival.
The first one was in 2002, and the last big one was held in 2008.
“At that point, it kind of fell apart because the big corporate sponsor pulled out,” she said. “The Milford Business Council took it over in 2010 and started doing it as it is now.”
It’s now run by Milford Presents. They get a lot of requests for booths, but Wendell said it’s not that kind of festival.
“We get all kinds of musicians, but there are no concessions,” she said. “Rather, we focus on the local restaurants. “Musicians get involved through local businesses or through referrals.”
The festival will be held Saturday, July 10, and Sunday, July 11. Social distancing and mask wearing will be in place even though it’s outdoors.
On the festival’s Saturday, the Dimmick Inn will throw a block party, with music and food, for which part of the street will be closed off. “We will be doing food festivities and enjoying having the fest back this year,” said Amanda Thompson of the Dimmick Inn.
On Sunday there’s music in the park — Ann Street Park — as part of a fundraiser to honor Walt Edwards, a beloved local musician who died in September. The proceeds will benefit The Walt Edwards Ashenfelter Memorial Fund at the Greater Pike Community Foundation, established by Edwards’ widow, Kathy Wolf, to support nonprofit organizations hosting live music events in the area.
The Columns Museum will have a Saturday market featuring local artisans. The festival organizers are delighted to have some new sponsors, and may even add some events to its Friday night schedule.
Milford Presents is a membership organization for local businesses. “We do events but also do basic public relations, social media, and marketing,” Wendell said. “We have members and people who go above and beyond who provide sponsorships.”
The cost is $1,000 to be a presenting sponsor, and $500 to be a regular sponsor. Milford Presents also publishes a map of local businesses that comes out each May.
“The world is changing and so are we!“ says a statement by The Milford Music Festival on Facebook. “Visit Milford Borough for its weekend-long, annual Milford Music Festival where music lines the main streets of the borough and stores open their doors for an indoor/outdoor musical shopping experience. This year may be a little different due to Covid, but mark your calendars now and stay tuned for updates.”
“We get all kinds of musicians, but there are no concessions, rather we focus on the local restaurants. Musicians get involved through local businesses or through referrals.” Adriane Wendell