Music festival spotlights local bands for charity

Burcham Park event attendance low, but some revenue goes to humanitarian group

Ryan Magnuson, a KU junior from Lawrence, and Shelby Bauer, of Iola, watch Approach and DJ Sku on Saturday at Burcham Park Music for the Masses.

Sean Approach Hunt performs Saturday with Corey Aguilar, also known as DJ Sku, not pictured, at the third annual Burcham Park festival. Eight local bands highlighted the event, which donates some of its revenue to charity.

Lonnie Fisher sat on the hood of a white Cadillac hearse, waiting for the chance to show his talent.

Other members of his band, Lonnie Fisher and The Funeral, puffed on cigarettes.

Then it was their turn to take the stage as performers in the third annual Burcham Park: Music For The Masses, or BPMFTM, concert in Burcham Park, 200 Ind.

Water from the Kansas River, directly east of the park, brought a cool breeze to performers and a pleasant view for their audience.

Saturday’s concert, which imitates a scaled-back version of the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival, highlighted eight bands. The music ranged from rap to instrumental funk-jazz-jam to rock. There were about 30 to 50 people scattered through the park in the evening, compared with 200 last year, said Chris Armstrong, concert organizer.

“I’ll probably take a financial hit, but it’s fun,” he said.

The event gives local artists and musicians the chance to shine.

“It means a little bit,” said Jake Zacharias, a freestyle hip-hop rapper from Lawrence. “It’s definitely a good feeling just to be able to play for a few minutes and show people what we do.”

The music festival is also a way for the artists to give back. Part of the revenue from the event will be donated to Project Scio, a Lawrence charity that supports humanitarian needs in Africa, said Alex Jacobson, who helped organize the event. Last year, about $500 was donated to a different cause.

“You get recognition, you get promotion and you get to help out a good cause,” said Brett Shoffner, an acoustic artist who beat on a drum and played the guitar and harmonica between sets.

Other artists that performed were Approach, The Yards, DOJO, Trucker and Square Show.

Burcham Park Music for the Masses