Walking around the Oakmont Business area of Havertown yesterday one could hear the sounds of live bands and see neighbors enjoying music, beautiful weather and local food vendors at the second annual Haverford Music Festival.
“We’ve more than doubled in size since last year… The sponsors, the vendors, the performers, the attendees and we’ve got more stages than we did last year too,” said an excited Tom Kelly, chairman of the Haverford music festival board.
The free family oriented festival, at the junction of Darby and Eagle roads, was an all-day event featuring live music from 30 live acts of various genres, including pop, rock, country, indie, folk, classical, jazz, and Irish.
Many of the acts were from the Haverford Township area, just outside or had a special connection to the local community. One artist, pop vocalist Sara Abo-Harb has been singing in the community since her beginnings at Manoa Kindergarten.
“I love these kinds of gigs where I can just hop in my car and drive two minutes to the show,” joked fellow local musician, folk singer-songwriter James Klueh during his set.
Haverford native, John Flynn opened for this year’s headlining act Blackthorn with a wide ranging set of original songs that included children’s songs, love songs and songs that dealt with issues of social justice. Flynn’s original song, “My Brother Ricky’s for Sale,” which he wrote with students at a local elementary school had everyone in attendance laughing and singing along, becoming one of the highlights of the day
In addition to the music, attendants enjoyed food from the various local vendors including Chickie’s and Pete’s, Zac’s Burgers, Centrella’s Deli, Bob’s Bake At Home and Frozen Delights Ice Cream, among many more.
The Oakmont National Pub and The Lamplighter Tavern hosted outdoor beer gardens outside their respective establishments near the Darby Road stage, as well as at a cooperative beer and wine garden near the Field Stage on Hathaway Road.
In its second year, the festival consisted of thousands of returning attendees, as well as local residents both young and old experiencing what the event had to offer for the first time.
“My family and I came to the festival last year and had a lot of fun, plus you get to run into friends and the weather is great,” said local resident Margaret Troncelliti.
A common theme around the event was community togetherness from the local businesses, food vendors, performers, attendees and festival organizers.
“It brings the community together. It brings the families together,” said festival chairman, Tom Kelly, “I’m hoping that one day it will become like a reunion where people will come back to the Haverford Music Festival every year, get together and see each other.”
Tom Kelly and the rest of the Haverford Music Festival board are already discussing the possibility of bringing the event back next year.
“I can’t say yet where we’re definitely going to go with it,” said an enthusiastic Kelly, “But there are already calls out to make it bigger and better than this year’s, which is exactly where we want to go”.