Tuesday, June 18, 2013 • Bandwagon Festival saw few attendees for kickoff event

Publisher’s note: This story originally appeared in the Tuesday, June 18, 2013, edition of the Lassen County Times.

Small crowds attended the inaugural Bandwagon Festival at the Lassen Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 8, but those who went enjoyed the sounds of local and traveling artists.

New Mexico singer Tori Ashley performs her songs to the Bandwagon Festival supporters.

“Hopefully (the Bandwagon Festival) will work into something a little bigger to bring music back to Janesville during the day,” said Janesville Superintendent and Principal Zach Thurman. “I just appreciate everyone’s effort and the musicians for volunteering their time.”

The event ran from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. showcasing young local talent and some better known musicians with the money going toward new music programs at Janesville School.

Although the Bandwagon Festival did not meet the $5,000 fundraising goal, A.R. Danes, who works for Janesville as staff and dedicates his free time to giving music lessons to students, believes the festival is just in the beginning stages and will continue to grow.

Crowds stay in the shade and observe local artists take the stage.

Headlining the event was New Mexico-based country singer Tori Ashley who, with her parents, made the two-day drive to support Janesville students.

“I had (music classes) when I was little and I want them to have it, too,” said Ashley.

Ashley took the stage in the evening, energetically performing a few of her songs.

Lexi Whittemore, 4, dances in front of the crowd while Tyler Futrell sings original songs and covers at the Bandwagon Festival last Saturday.

Sharing their time on the stage were Janesville School talent winner Sierra Campell, accomplished Lassen High sophomore and fiddler Tallon Sandoval, Janesville student and singer Gracie Claypool, local Sarah Gotcher, who auditioned for the X-Factor, guitar player and singer Tyler Futrell, piano player Violet Giese, the bands Denim Heart and SideFX Band and a performance by J and J Performing Arts students.

Despite the small crowds, and at times the unbearable heat, Danes has hopes that the festival will grow much like the similar festival he spearheaded in Nevada, which has grown into a two-day event.

“This is for the school, the kids are the focus,” Danes said. “We want this to be a success.”

Donations for a music program at Janesville School are still being accepted. If interested, email Danes at ardanes@rocketmail.com for more information.