Local News

Performers want this street gig

By MIKE VOSS, Contributing Editor

Music in the Streets may need to appropriate more streets to accommodate musicians who want to perform at the festival.

For an example, take tonight's Music in the Streets. Joey Toler, musical coordinator for the event, reports having to turn away musicians seeking performance venues during the event's run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There are not enough venues to meet demand, unless performers are crowded together. Event organizers don't want that to happen; they don't want performers stepping on each other -- literally, musically and figuratively.

"I think we have definitely been discovered," wrote Rich Morin, a Music in the Streets co-chairman, to other members of the Music in the Streets steering committee.

One new musical addition to the street festival is scheduled to play tonight. Tyler Riverbark, who's from Wilmington, is penciled in to make his Music in the Streets debut. Another musician was forced to cancel his Music in the Streets premiere because a performer who was to accompany him could not make tonight's event.

Someone's Sister and Celtic musician Jennifer Licko will make their second appearances. Licko, who grew up in Eastern North Carolina, earned a music degree from East Carolina University. Someone's Sister features Georgia Winfree, a former Washington resident, and Katherine Jones.

Music in the Streets received a mention on National Public Radio on Wednesday, according to Toler. NPR broadcast a segment on Someone's Sister, including an announcer saying Someone's Sister would be appearing tonight at Music in the Streets.

In an interview earlier this month, Winfree said this about the attraction of Music in the Streets: "It appeals to everyone. It has that magical atmosphere of a street fair under the stars as it gets dark. It is a free event as well. Rarely can you see so much talent and variety on the same day without paying a dime"

Morin offered a suggestion for downtown merchants: "I think it would be nice for a downtown store to sell CDs by Music in the Streets musicians."

The street festival is more than music.

A collection of classic cars, a group of shaggers and the Carolina Girls return to downtown streets tonight. The Wind-Up Action Theater Company, featuring Dale Steele and his talents. may return, too.

Phoebe Wahab and other bubble-makers from Goose Creek State Park will display their talents at Ingalls Park, the area just east of the Bank of America building. Music in the Streets T-shirts will be sold during the event. The Beaufort County Arts Council will sell pizza slices and cold beverages at two locations, one at the intersection of Main and Gladden streets and the other near the Oasis salon.

Rain or shine, Music in the Streets will take place tonight.

Though organizers of the street festival hope rain won't fall during the 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. performances, they have a contingency plan in place. Most of the musical acts, especially those requiring electricity, will be moved off the streets and into downtown restaurants and stores.

Music in the Streets organizers will be on hand tonight to help direct people to locations where the performers are relocated in the event of rain. The "staff" will be wearing khaki pants and navy blue polo shirts bearing "Music in the Streets -- Washington, N.C." logos on the upper-left-breast area.

Music in the Streets, organized by the Historic Downtown Washington Merchants Association and a steering committee, is a street festival held each third Friday of the month from April through September. In October, Music in the Streets is held the Friday night before the annual Smoke on the Water Festival. In December, Music in the Streets is held the Friday night before the Washington Holiday Flotilla, which is on the first Saturday in December.