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Huntington Music and Arts Festival set for Saturday

HUNTINGTON — The hills of the Ritter Park Amphitheater will be alive with the eclectic sounds of live music for the first Huntington Music and Arts Festival set for Saturday.

Gates open at noon. Music starts shortly after 1 p.m. with some 15 local, and eclectic live music acts to play at the park amphitheater, which will also be filled with local art, food and beverages.

Such acts as Fletcher’s Grove, The Demon Beat, Jeff Ellis, Sasha Colette, Qiet, Richie Tipton, Adam Bieniek, Sly Roosevelt, Jess Graham and headliners former Jive Records recording artists, American Minor, who are reuniting for one show after a five-year hiatus, are on the bill.

Tickets are $10 advance or $12 at the gate. Kids 10 and under get in free.

The event is alcohol-free. Wristbands are being sold for re-entry during the nearly eight-hour-long festival.

Advance tickets are on sale at Shamrock’s Pub, 2050 Third Ave., or at Happy Camper, 1323 Fourth Ave., Huntington.

The show is organized by Ian Thornton, who has booked nearly all of these acts at Shamrock’s Pub, which is across from Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

Thornton said the festival will be a great chance for folks of all ages to come out and see some of West Virginia’s best live acts. The acts range from Americana and pure folk to rock ‘n’ roll of all stripes to such genre-blurring acts as the zesty street band Qiet, a gypsy-souled acoustic act that features guitar, fiddle, upright bass, trombone, a washboard and musical saw.

“All of the acts are from West Virginia or the area, and it’s not just rock but folk and country and experimental, there really is no style borders,” Thornton said. “It’s really a chance for people to come out and see what amazing bands our state has to offer.”

Thornton said he’s kept the price low (10 musical acts, and five acoustic acts between sets for $10) to make sure anyone could come.

Thornton said he hopes to draw up to 1,000 people out to Ritter Park and to help the area launch what will be an annual festival spotlighting local and regional acts.

For more information about the fest, and a full schedule, videos and contact info, go online at www.hmafestival.com.

Contact Ian Thornton at 2010hmaf@gmail or call 304-544-1656 for an interview.