After surviving Mother Nature’s attempt to put a damper on last year’s inaugural Rhythm & Foods Festival in which an estimated 4,000 people passed through the gates at the Champaign County Fairgrounds, the two-day event is back in Urbana for another go-around.
“We got hit with everything last year as far as the weather goes, but the event was very well received from those who came,” said St. Paris resident David Bacher, who organizes the event through Rhythm and Food LLC, a business he co-owns with his wife, Darcy. “Based on the positive feedback we got, we decided to try it again this year.”
The 2016 version will take place from noon to 11 p.m. on June 10 and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on June 11. Admission for the two-day event is $10 per person for a weekend pass or event-goers can elect to camp at the fairgrounds for $45 a night, which includes two weekend passes.
As the name suggests, the two-day event will feature plenty of live music and food.
“We will have some southern rock, blues rock, bluegrass, rock and roll, folk music and pop rock,” Bacher said. “Our selection kind of runs the gambit.”
Scheduled to perform at the Rhythm & Foods Festival are 10 bands, two of whom – Small Town Sleeper and The Muleskinner Band – are based in Urbana, while the lead vocalist for 5 & Out – Lucia Ober – lives in West Liberty.
Scheduled to perform on the main stage on Friday are The Muleskinner Band, the Jonalee White Trio, McGuffey Lane and Raven Cliff. Saturday’s lineup includes the following bands: Small Town Sleeper, 5 & Out, Southern Drawl Band, Drop Dead Dangerous, Terry Davidson & The Gears, and Erika Hughes & The Well Mannered.
A limited amount of bleacher seats will be available at the main stage, so event-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
“I’m looking forward to hearing some good music and bringing people together for a good time,” said Bacher, adding the decision was made to add a second stage for entertainment that will be located in front of the Woodruff Arena.
“This area will feature a mix of deejays, and (Soft Rock) 92.9 FM will be doing a live remote from there on Friday,” Bacher said. “We also have local line dancers scheduled to perform at 6 p.m. on Saturday at this location.”
Food, drinks and merchandise
Individuals planning to attend the Rhythm & Foods Festival will have plenty of options available when it comes to satisfying their appetites as 30 vendors will be at the fairgrounds serving up a wide variety of different foods.
Alcohol will be available as area craft brewers will be offering a selection of various beers.
For event-goers who prefer something other than beer, organizers have decided to allow the sale of wine this year as St. Ives Winery of Cable will be in attendance.
To promote the area food and drink vendors taking part in the festival, food and beverages are prohibited from being brought through the gates. Food and beverages, however, are allowed at the campsites.
Along with live music, food and drinks, nearly a dozen merchandise vendors will be on hand, including Robert Rothschild Farm, which will be holding its annual warehouse sale in the Michael Farms Horticulture Building.
In order to make the second annual Rhythm & Foods Festival a reality, Bacher said, several area businesses came forth to lend financial support.
Robert Rothschild Farm and BNFS Insurance are serving as event sponsors, while Joe Sampson Auctions and Streamline Design & Print are sponsoring the bands. Other corporate sponsors include The Peoples Savings Bank, Security National Bank and Heidelberg Distributing Company.
For more information on the festival or to reserve a camp site, visit the festival’s website at rhythmandfoodsfest.com.
“We just want everyone to have a good time and bring a few friends,” Bacher said.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.