LAKE WYLIE — Lake Wylie boaters can anchor and listen to the music for one day only as Lake Wylie Music Fest returns this summer.
Following a year off after two seasons, Lake Wylie Music Fest will return June 8.
“We simply did not have enough volunteers,” said Jan Pendleton, one of the event’s organizers. “We decided to come back small and go from there.”
Pendleton, along with husband, Jon, and friends Paul Noble and Caroline Boatright launched the fest in 2010.
The organizers, who all live on the lake, held three events June to August at “The Cow Cove” in the back of Boyd’s Cove.
“We knew we’d bring it back,” Pendleton said. “It’s great fun that quickly became a tradition for hundreds of lake lovers.
“We’re excited to come back with a handful of new volunteers infusing our efforts with renewed spirit and commitment.”
With about 14 volunteers, the banners and fliers are being distributed, sponsorships are being accepted and the music lineup is being set.
“Everybody is volunteering, including the musicians,” said Pendleton, adding the fest is free and accessible by boat only.
And, apparently it’s a gig regional musicians are looking for.
“We’ve been inundated by people wanting to play the fest,” Pendleton said.
“It’s a venue for folks trying to grow their music. We’re not looking for big names; we’re looking for people and spirit behind their music.”
However, some music lovers may know Josh Sanders of Kannapolis, N.C., as former “American Idol” contestant in season 11.
“I’m interested to hear him,” said Noble, who owns an audio production company.
“We have a really good lineup – the best yet so far. We’re just praying it doesn’t rain.”
Performers set up on a beach stage at a private residence playing to an audience of as many as 150 boats, or 500 people, bobbing on the water, Pendleton said.
Noble said each band will have about 40 to 45 minutes.
This year’s lineup includes an initial set at 2 p.m. called Lake Locals & Fest Familiars Gettin’ the Party Started with Tony TBone, Demperio Hertz Music, and Chris Shepherd & Friends.
Following that will be the fest’s traditional Sunset Celebration at 3:30 p.m. with The Mighty RhythmBusters, Fountain Penn, Eddie Barnette Band, Josh Sanders & Band, Red Dirt Revelators and Chubby Knuckles. The event will end at dark with a special fire finale by Stray Cat.
“He was a major hit when he performed the first season,” Pendleton said.
Noble said the professional sound setup, including 250-pound speakers, “covers the cove really well.”
Pendleton said the group wanted to bring the event back because there’s been a lot of interest in it.
“We had such an amazing turnout and the core of it is Lake Wylie has a lot going on, but it’s spread out in a lot of directions,” she said.
“And, there’s not a lot of music fest-style events here.”
New this year will be tie-dye wristbands and women’s tank tops for sale to help offset the costs.
There also will be an Audience Design and Culinary Challenge. Boaters are challenged to decorate their boats, and prepare special food and drink to celebrate the fest.
A panel of floating judges will award trophies.
“If folks want it to be continued, we’d love to have their help,” Pendleton said.