Ninth Greencastle Music Fest offers big-time lineup Saturday

Monday, August 20, 2018
Entertaining the audience at the 2017 Greencastle Music Fest, leader singer of the Louisville Crashers, Mark Maxwell, interacts with spectators in front of the stage on Indiana Street.
Banner Graphic/Eric Bernsee

Offering perhaps the strongest top-to-bottom musical lineup in its nine-year history, the annual Greencastle Music Fest is ready for another entertaining evening Saturday, Aug. 25 on the Putnam County Courthouse Square.

Tad Robinson, the band Ellusion and the ever-popular Louisville Crashers are all set to perform.

And on top of that, a new, bigger stage, improved lighting and new sound system are also on tap for the annual centerpiece of summer music fun in Greencastle.

“I didn’t know how we could top last year,” organizer Gail Smith said of the 2017 show that drew an estimated 3,000 people and raised $5,000 for Main Street Greencastle.

Plans for 2018 point to this being the best show ever, Smith agreed.

Admission, like last year, is $5 per person (kids 10 and under admitted free) and a portion of the proceeds will be given back to a local not-for-profit group. Funds will be collected at the points of entry to the Music Fest -- Washington and Indiana streets (at ONB), Jackson and Franklin streets (across from Banner Graphic) and Indiana and Columbia streets (near the free city parking lot).

The enormously energetic and entertaining Louisville Crashers are scheduled to headline the show for the fourth straight year, playing from 8:30-11 p.m. with lead singer Mark Maxwell feeding off the energy of the crowd in putting an exclamation point on an evening of music that begins with Greencastle’s resident bluesman extraordinaire Tad Robinson.

Robinson will take the stage at 4 p.m. for 90 minutes, performing alongside another Indiana blues legend, Gordon Bonham, as well as band members Kevin Anker on keyboard, Dave Murray on bass and Jeff Chapin on drums.

The band’s set for the event will include a variety of new originals and covers of soul and blues tunes, including some written by friends and collaborators of Robinson.

In addition to his regular monthly Indianapolis area performances, Robinson this year has performed in California, New York, Romania, France, Germany and Belgium, as well as holding a recording session in Memphis for an upcoming new release.

Following Robinson to the stage will be the high-energy area band, Ellusion featuring special guest LD Miller. Ellusion, which has been playing across the Midwest for 14 years with stops in Greencastle numerous times, will play from 6-8 p.m.

“The energy that Ellusion with LD Miller (of the Miller Band on harmonica) will bring to the stage at this year’s event is exciting,” offered Smith, creator of the Greencastle Music Fest and owner of Almost Home (and Swizzle Stick) for which the music festival was spawned to celebrate its 20th year in 2010. “They are an incredible regional band, and this collaboration is sure to get people dancing, especially after an incredible opening with Tad Robinson and his band.”

Meanwhile, the Louisville Crashers have been performing all over the country this year and have a show in Colorado after their Greencastle gig.

“We did not want to miss (Greencastle) Music Fest this year because everyone is so good to us, especially Gail (Smith). She works so hard and has a great vision for this event and for Greencastle,” Crashers lead singer Mark Maxwell said. “Every community needs a Gail, she is an awesome woman.”

“I love my community,” Smith responds. “I take ownership in my community. I’m proud to say I’m from Greencastle. I’m proud to say we have so many things now we haven’t had. I’ve been here 28 years, and I wouldn’t want to go back even 10 years from what we’ve got now.”

The music festival has helped “catapult First Friday,” Smith said, alluding to the monthly event she helped start and turn into another downtown staple.

Meanwhile, the Louisville Crashers band also has bonded with the community, Maxwell believes.

“We love that the people in Greencastle appreciate us,” he said. “It’s a fun event to play because we’ve gotten to know a lot of people and business owners in the area since we’ve performed here for several years now.”

Gates to Music Fest will open at 3 p.m. with a free kids’ game area planned 3-7 p.m. The Covered Bridge Harmony Chorus will perform at 3:30 p.m.

Cornhole tournament registration is 3-5 p.m. ($30 per team) with the double-elimination tourney beginning at 5 p.m. on Indiana Street.

The Putnam County Convention and Visitor Bureau is the presenting sponsor, while York Automotive and DePauw University are the stage sponsors.

Spectators should be advised of several restrictions for the event.

-- Lawnchairs will be permitted only on the courthouse lawn.

-- No coolers, thermoses, flasks or outside beverages are allowed.

-- No pets are permitted.

-- All restaurants will be open for fan dining.

-- Street food will be available from Almost Home and Bridges.

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  • So, The Putnam County Convention and Visitor Bureau is the presenting sponsor. Isn't Gail Smith on their board of directors? Can we say conflict of interest here?

    -- Posted by FairandBalanced on Wed, Aug 22, 2018, at 7:30 PM
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