"Great," "Wonderful," and "Awesome" were some of the words echoed by festival goers who attended Saturday’s Inaugural Haverford Music Festival.
The day was a bit cloudy and a fall chill was definitely in the air but that didn’t seem to put a damper on the crowd.
Tom Kelly, festival director, says the event was “a good day, really good day. Everyone was well behaved and I am glad to see everyone enjoying themselves. Our staff and volunteers have been great. They are real pros’s!”
Estimates for the crowd exceeded the expected 5,000 throughout the eight-hour festival which started at noon and ended at 8 p.m. and tipped to about 7,000 by day's end, Kelly said.
Kelly says that the event raised an estimated 4- to 5,000 dollars that will be “added to the township council kitty” for future programs in Haverford Township.
The mixture of performers kept the festival goers energized with two stages set up with continuous music all day. The Oakmont stage was set up in the field behind the Oakmont administration building and the Darby Road stage was set up on East Darby Road between the and the restaurant.
A “beer garden” was set up in the parking lot of the Lamplighter with tables and chairs for people to relax and enjoy the music, while the Lucky Dragon had food for sale along with other vendors from Haverford Township and beyond.
The first band to take the Darby Road stage was Stelladora, a rock band followed by Neon Black a Christian rock band and later Live at the Filmore, a tribute band. A bit later in the afternoon Scott McClatchy’s rock band hit the stage and drew what might have been the largest crowd of the day. McClatchy’s band had the young and not so young dancing in the streets.
Non-food vendors included various local businesses selling their products and giving out information on their services, but one of the most unusual was . Owner Lawrence Nelson set up a chair to give discounted haircuts right on the street.
Thirty-four-year old Kristen Lantz of Havertown took advantage of the opportunity while her young daughter slept in a stroller nearby.
“I have a wedding to go to soon and I thought why not,” Lantz says.
Talent staff member Erin also set up a booth to put braided feathers in people’s hair.
Kaitlyn Meckley, 16, of Havertown and a junior at tried it out and said, “I like it!”
Nelson, owner of the Talent Hair Salon located in Manoa shopping center, says, “Setting up a chair for this kind of event is unusual but I thought it would be fun and let people get to know us!”
Another “beer garden” was set up at the while other vendors along the street included pizza, and deli.
The Oakmont stage was a bit more subdued in terms of the music but no less enjoyable. Solo Pianist Willy Potts and the Lansdowne String Quartet along with many other performers serenaded the crowd as festival goers relaxed on the lawn.
Havertown resident Jean Strawbridge says, “I am already looking forward to the second annual Haverford Music festival.”
That is good news to 1-month-old Payton Rose Gleason of Havertown who may have been the youngest festival-goer and seemed unimpressed by the whole event snuggled in the arms of Dad, Jim Gleason but Dad promises to bring her back next year when she can dance to the music.
Three-year-old Timmy Kent was more impressed with his free cheeseburger than the music. Wendy’s hamburgers donated nearly 1,500 of their new “hot and juicy” cheeseburgers for the event and there was a steady trying them out most of the day.
Things went so well that Kelly says "Haverford Township Deputy Police Chief John Viola reported no problems at the event and says we are ready to start planning the second annual Haverford Music Festival."
With that in mind their first meeting is Tuesday to start plans for next year. Kelly also says, “I would love to hear feedback from the attendees, they can email me from the website.” Pictures and video from the event will be posted on the website and Facebook page.
Kelly also hopes to have the township access channel play the event for those who could not attend.
If you would like to be part of the festival next year or just have a comment, please visit the website at www.haverfordmusicfestival.org