The Hamburg Music Festival kicks-off at 2 p.m. in Memorial Park with the singing of “You’re a Grand Old Flag” by the Hamburg Nursery School. The festival will try to set the world record for the amount of people singing “All You Need is Love at 8 p.m. sharp. Wristbands for the event can be purchased online at www.hamburgmusicfestival.com for $10.
When the Hamburg Music Festival was first held in 2009, it was a way to bring people back into the village after lengthy construction.
Now the festival is bigger than ever, bringing people into the village from as far away as Silver Creek and North Buffalo.
The fifth annual Hamburg Music Festival is being held on May 4, and for the first time will incorporate Memorial Park in the festivities.
“The park is family-friendly during the day,” said Mary Jo Duggan, one of the founders of the festival and a board of director with Hamburg Music Festival, Inc., the non-profit organization formed to assist various organizations in the community through the festival. The other members include Alison Pipitone, Patrick McKee and Luke Mumbach.
The festival will open at 2 p.m. in Memorial Park with the singing of “You’re a Grand Old Flag” by Hamburg Nursery School students and continues throughout the day and evening until 10 p.m. Bands ranging from acoustic to Zydeco to rock and roll round out the bill, Duggan said.
“There is something for most people,” she said.
Wristbands are required to attend the festival, and they can be purchased at the venues, Meridia Credit Unions, the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, online at www.Hamburgmusicfestival.com
or at the park for $10. The event is a fundraiser, with proceeds going to help a variety of community groups and schools in the Western New York area.
The wristband allows festival-goers to attend all of the different venues and ride the “music bus,” which will be making stops at outlying venues. Children under 12 can attend the park for free during the day.
While originally set-up to help the Village of Hamburg, the festival has grown to the point where the organization is able to assist groups throughout Western New York, Duggan said.
“We started out very focused on Hamburg,” she said. “We expanded because of our success.”
The festival has grown to the point where not all of the bands who would like to play can get on the bill.
“Unfortunately, we have more bands than venues,” Duggan said. “We have a waiting list.”
The bands that do play the festival perform for less money than they would usually make, because it is a fundraiser, she said.
Through the festival, Hamburg Music Festival, Inc. has been able to help local art students in Hamburg by donating a digital camera and a large format printer for art students, as well as donating instruments to a Buffalo Public School music program, among other programs and organizations they have assisted.
The student recipients of the camera and printer were able to help out with the festival by creating posters for it, Duggan said. They’re also getting involved in another way.
“The art students are going to have an art show,” she said.
Food, wine and beer will all be available in the park, but tailgating will not be tolerated anywhere in the village, Duggan said.
The festival will also include a guitar raffle and community organization information booths.
An interesting twist on the festival will occur at 8 p.m. when an attempt at setting the world record for the amount of people singing “All You Need is Love” will happen.
While organizing the festival can be hectic as it gets closer, it’s worth it for the all volunteer founders because of what it means for the community, Duggan said.
“Initially it was a cool project,” she said. “Then it was, we can reach out in the community to different individuals and organizations that don’t have the resources.”