Archive for Friday, October 3, 2008

Get Down Town festival kicks off

Rick Martin, executive chef at Free State Brewery, talks on his cell phone and sets up his vendor booth at the Get Down Town music festival. This is the first year that Free State has sold food at the festival.

Rick Martin, executive chef at Free State Brewery, talks on his cell phone and sets up his vendor booth at the Get Down Town music festival. This is the first year that Free State has sold food at the festival.

October 3, 2008


Downtown gets grooving with festival

Good weather, good food and good music have brought at least several hundreds of people to downtown Lawrence Friday night. Enlarge video

Workers set up for Get Down Town

Laborers construct the stage, wire sound equipment and set up vendor booths for the third annual Get Down Town music festival. The festival will be held today and tomorrow on New Hampshire Street. Admission is free. Enlarge video

Past Event
Get Down Town

3rd annual music festival with Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk / Split Lip Rayfield / Cowboy Mouth / Trombone Shorty and more

  • When: Friday, October 3, 2008, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Where: Downtown Lawrence, Lawrence
  • Cost: Free
  • More on this event....

Friday night, three months of work for Brett Mosiman came to a head when the third annual Get Down Town festival kicked off.

It's no small get-together, either.

Mosiman is a producer for Just Like Lawrence Inc., a nonprofit that's hosting the event along with the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau. The city donated the funds; Mosiman's group handled the details and permits.

"There's a lot of little things," he said. "The logistical things: tents, porta-potties, labor, vendors and bands. There's quite a bit of energy."

Energy indeed. Since 6 a.m. Friday morning, about 60 laborers - both paid workers and volunteers - constructed the stage, wired sound equipment and prepared for a flock of Lawrencians to attend the festival.

The city donated $20,000 for the festival. Mosiman said that local vendors, shops and the downtown district as a whole would benefit from the large crowd.

Madina Salaty, a vendor coordinator for the event, spent her morning drawing chalk lines on the pavement, mapping exactly where vendors would set up shop. She said eight food vendors and a number of beer vendors would be at the festival.

"In the past, it's been wall-to-wall with people," she said. "It's good exposure for those businesses."

Rick Martin, an executive chef who's worked at Free State Brewery for 17 years, helped set up and organize Free State's food tent at the festival. He said that Get Down Town was a good opportunity for his business to "support the local scene and make some good local food."

"Lawrence needs a festival," he said. "Hopefully, this could be it."

Not all of the vendors at the festival are from Lawrence. Hall's Fantastic Funnel Cakes, a Topeka-based business, is making its Get Down Town debut this year.

"It sounded like a huge event," said Debbie Hall, who ran the funnel cake business with her husband, Warren. "When you get a lot of spectators, it could be a good show."

She said that her business hoped to lure locals with both funnel cakes and Indian tacos (a deep fat-fried bread with taco toppings).

"I think the tacos will make them happy," she said. "I know it'll make them full."

And for many businesses near the festival on New Hampshire Street, the roadblocks and 40-foot stage are no bother.

Jess Hicks, an esthetician (or waxer, in layman's terms) at the Fix Salon, 845 N.H., thought that the festival would actually bring more business to the beauty parlor.

"Drinks and free music is always a good thing," she said. "Always."

Mosiman said that the show's benefits extended past that of mere financial gain. The biggest profit, he said, would be getting 10,000 people in the downtown Lawrence area.

"I think that we like the idea of street parties," he said. "If you think it's the best thing or the worst thing in the world, everybody shares the pain or the gain."

Mosiman said that Downtown Lawrence Farmers' Market, located in the parking lot near the event, wouldn't be affected by the festival. The market will open at 7 a.m. Music will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday.


mwwkw 8 years ago

Okay, okay - you all win. (Though I still say good luck to the families with kids in bed, the elderly, or the folks who have to work the 2nd or 3rd shift). As for me, I'm going to put on a happy face -- tomorrow night I'm going to change my attitude - I'm giong to open all my windows, buy some beer, and just relax and listen... :-) If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

Deja Coffin 8 years ago

Aww I wish I could go but I'll be at the good ole' Eudorafest. Yeah I know.....not exactly thrilling but anything to please my mother and grandmother. So if you go to Eudorafest and see a woman with the two cutest little girls in the whole world.....that'd be me!!! Have fun at the Get Down Town!

Marcy McGuffie 8 years ago

I live by the hospital and don't think it has been that bad. It's definitely no worse than the noise pollution on any home KU football game day (and the crappy music they insist on playing!). Anyhoo, I for one, can't wait to go check things out tomorrow. DeWayn Brothers and SLR in one day - woohoo!!! I'm always willing to drop some dough on Split, color me extra happy that there's no admission charge for me to see one of my fave bands...that's a rarity.

Deja Coffin 8 years ago

TOB, did you just say F it? I'm telling your wife!!! Wait, I don't think your 2 year old reads yet so I guess it's okay. Enjoy Split Lip....whoever they are.

mwwkw 8 years ago

They must have had some complaints because all of a sudden it just stopped - just like that. Phew!

Mixolydian 8 years ago

Happy tacos...mmmmmmmm. Sounds fun.I miss Lawrence, when I was getting my undergrad at KU it was some of the best 7 years of my life. (well, OK, 6 and 1/2, but what's wrong with 220 hours for an undergrad?)

John Spencer 8 years ago

We left around 10:30-45 and there was a bad scene on 6th street near Tennessee st. At least two cars were involved in an accident, one was t-boned. The police and other emergency crews were coming in from several directions. Two blocks west, there was 5 police cars and what looked like a male laying in the road south of 6th. I was hoping some info might be on here, but nothing.TOB, I am not sure why you are bagging on Brett, the festival has run flawlessly for three years now. Great location, great stage, plenty of places to hang out with friends. His running of the Wakarusa event has also been great. I have personally organized/worked for/consulted and volunteered in many many festivals all over the world, mainly as a sound engineer but also in the capacity as an organizer, field design, security etc. and the Wakarusa festival is on par with some of the very best. It will truly be a loss if it does end this year.

mwwkw 8 years ago

My mistake - it really is going to blare until 11pm. What city department is in charge of issuing permits for this sort of event? Can it really be legal to produce this much noise for this long? It wasn't this loud after we won the NCAA tournament. I know, call me a curmudgeon but how exactly does this draw me to GO downtown when I can hear it right here in my house, even though I've closed all the windows but three?

rollcar 8 years ago

Do we know if this is a "kid-friendly" event? I would assume so, at least in the daytime. As a parent it seems like there are very few opportunities to expose younger children to live music and local culture without also exposing them to a bar atmosphere. This sounds promising though...

George_Braziller 8 years ago

What a suprise - b3 being his usual snarly, negative, depressive self. Dude is there ANYTHING in life that you like? Seems like you hate everything and everyone.

Bone777 8 years ago

Sounds like a blast, at your house near the hospital. All that music and bitching sounds like lots of fun, mwwkw.

mwwkw 8 years ago

Yeah, I figured someone would say I was a curmudgeon. But still... I'm not sure how much community appreciation there is for the folks who can hear the music living so far away - people with kids, older folks, people who don't work 9to5 and might need to be sleeping right now. And it's not unreasonable to think that maybe, must maybe, the best way to celebrate the community is to think of all members of the community. :-) Seriously, who issues the permits for this?

Marcy McGuffie 8 years ago

mwwkw - now, you're talkin' - neighbor! ;-)

mwwkw 8 years ago

I'm all for increasing pride in Lawrence and downtown, but it's TOO loud. I live way over by the hospital and I've had to close all of my windows because I could hear the music and vocals as if they were next door. I actually took a walk around the block to see if maybe some students were gearing up for an all-nighter party in my neighborhood before I caught myself and realized it was this Down Town Festival. Does pride have to be so LOUD? And jeez, I'm not even that old...

Ralph Reed 8 years ago

mwwkw (Anonymous) writes:"Okay, okay - you all win. (Though I still say good luck to the families with kids in bed, the elderly, or the folks who have to work the 2nd or 3rd shift). As for me, I'm going to put on a happy face - tomorrow night I'm going to change my attitude - I'm giong to open all my windows, buy some beer, and just relax and listen: :-) If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!"***Now you're talking. Actually, you ought to walk down and check it out. You're close enough it won't take that long. You'll have fun.****I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

Wendy magillicutty 8 years ago

maybe it just stopped for the same reason my TV and computer and lights and movie "just stopped" at 7:15 pm: our power went out! And we're on the west side of Kasold! ah yes, now I remember the days of living on kasold as a kid...power outages galore. yay.

q_ball2kand1 8 years ago

Those Topeka funnel cakes better not start any trouble.

Janet Lowther 8 years ago

And the Westporting of Downtown Lawrence continues.Is Downtown Lawrence supposed to be a business district or an entertainment district?Sometimes, when Downtown is in entertainment district mode doing business there is nearly impossible.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.