For the City Times
Central Wisconsin music lovers of all genres will be able to enjoy a day of free music at the Friends of Rapids Music (FRM) Music Fest, part of the 2016 Cranberry Blossom Fest, Jun. 18, 2016.
New to this year’s lineup of Blossom Fest events, the festival is set to run 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Robinson Park, 1150 17th St. N., Wisconsin Rapids. Seven bands are scheduled to perform: The Cowboy Union Jam Band (country), The Phixx (acoustic), Alex Quinnell’s Polka Band (polka), Central Wisconsin Jazz All Stars (jazz), Blues Summit Band (blues), Vada’s Rockhouse (rock), and The aTOMix (dance variety). The headliner, set to begin at 8 p.m., is Paul Cebar and the Tomorrow Sound from Milwaukee.
“This is a non-profit event promoted by the Friends of Rapids Music,” said Connie Tomski-Faville who started FRM about a year and a half ago, as a group on Facebook. “The music fest came about because the organizers of BlossomFest were familiar with FRM and asked us to bring music to Blossom Fest.
“With a total of eight bands performing that day, there will be plenty of music” she said, “And it’s all free.”
“We’re also hoping to start a fund to help local musicians in times of need,” Tomski-Faville continued. “There is a thriving live music scene here in Rapids and FRM supports all local musicians, venues that support live music and ‘music lovers’ who just want to come out and dance.
“We wanted to start this fund and all come together to celebrate both community and music on one day.”
Festival admission is free; vendors will be on site for beer, soft drinks, food and event merchandise. The Friends of Rapids Music steering committee is currently seeking event sponsorships and also has a GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/wut4ng8c. Donations of $15 or more get an official music fest T-shirt, designed by Mark Larson, graphic designer and keyboardist for the Lizardz, steering committee member and retired Lincoln High School art teacher. T-shirts will also be for sale the day of the fest.
The Friends of Rapids Music group started as a Facebook page just over a year ago to share live music information and events with musicians, venues that support live music and music lovers. The group now has nearly 1,000 members in Rapids, Central Wisconsin, the state of Wisconsin and beyond.
“The music fest will be held rain or shine in beautiful Robinson Park — an underutilized bandshell with great seating for music in our city,” Tomski-Faville said. “There is plenty of parking and we will also have a free shuttle service running all day between Robinson Park, downtown, out to Witter Field where other Blossom Fest activities are happening, and back to Robinson Park again.
“And did I mention it’s free?” Tomski-Faville said.
More information also is available at the FRM Facebook page. Type in FRM in the Facebook search box.
Contact Connie Tomski-Faville at (715) 570-1429 for more information about the event, to discuss a sponsorship, or to schedule an interview.