Arts festival is off to solid start

First two nights of fest draw large crowds.

Moore said the first two nights of the festival drew higher than normal crowds for the first weekend.

Friday’s concert by Phil Dirt and the Dozers brought an estimated 8,000 people to the park. Saturday’s performance by Trial By Fire: A Tribute to Journey drew a crowd of around 4,000.

Parkgoers on Saturday night were surprised by a statement from the lead singer of Trial By Fire, Ernie Shepherd, that the band had to be off stage at 10 p.m. due to “park rules.” Moore said there are no rules like that through the park.

He said contracts with the artists will generally ask them to play two 45-minute sets and effectively give them a time to be off the stage during intermission.

“It’s really to prevent the concert from going on too long,” Moore said.

He added that the close proximity of the new Springfield Regional Medical Center is not a problem.

“They did decibel readings as they were beginning construction and thickened windows on (the park) side so it wouldn’t be so disturbing,” Moore said.

The Summer Arts Festival continues at 8 p.m. tonight in Veterans Park with the Lenox Avenue Express: A Night of Lou Rawls with Dwight Lenox tribute.

Contact this reporter at (937) 328-0263 or

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