Anne's Show Pics of the Week - Sailfest Edition (July 10)

By Anne Castellano

One of the best weekends of the year is coming up, which means New London is going to be filled with great live music. Sailfest 2014  will be this Friday July 11 through Sunday July 12 in the downtown area, or if you prefer, "The District". Band stages will be at the Hygienic Art Park and the Custom House Pier, with the local clubs also hosting their own events from early evening until closing time. Due to a last minute cancellation, there will only be one ship in port for the festival (I could go on about that, but this is a music blog and you really don't want to get me started on that subject anyway), but for me Sailfest has always been about the music. Sure, there's lots of fair-type food (although not many vegetarian options), vendors, and the best fireworks show anywhere around. But one of the best things about living in New London is the opportunity to see live music in an outdoor setting on the waterfront. That's why this is one of the best weekends of the year.....

(continued from above) On Friday, some of New London's finest bands will be playing at the Hygienic Art Park and on the pier. The Art Park is arguably the best venue in town, so it's a shame we only have a few months each year to enjoy it. All their shows are open to all ages, and beer, wine, soft drinks, and snacks are available for purchase. Add in some nice clean bathrooms, and this becomes the place to be this weekend. Music starts at 5 pm on Friday with the CBYD Jazz Trio , followed by Chris MacKay and the ToneShifters at 6 pm, Elison Jackson at 7 pm, The 3-Pack (former members of the Reducers!) at 8 pm, Horns of Ormus at 9 pm, and finally The Suicide Dolls at 10 pm. Down on the Custom House Pier, bands will start at 6 pm with The Hoolios, followed by Nickel, a NYC hip hop band, at 7 pm. The Hoolios are no strangers to Sailfest, and they seem to really shine in an outdoor setting like this. I love seeing new people discover what an excellent band they are. The Womacks will play last, at 8 pm. It's been a couple of years (I think), but the Womacks (aka Womack Family Band) have played here many times, visiting from Norwalk, Ohio. At this point they have made enough friends here to be considered honorary New Londoners, so it's appropriate that they play here during Sailfest.

On Saturday, the die-hards will stake out their spots for the big fireworks show beginning early in the morning. (I've never understood this, but to each his own.) The fireworks (by Garden State Fireworks) start at 9 pm, and music for the show will be broadcast on both 98.7 FM and 100.9 FM. It's the 4th largest fireworks display on the east coast. Anyway, there's a lot of great music on Saturday, so I'll highlight some of my recommendations, beginning with the Shoreline Acoustic Music Fest at the Hygienic Art Park from noon-2 pm. Performers will be Braiden and Friends, Peter Magrane, Golden Ratio, Raymond Lange, and Sue Wilber. On the Custom House Pier, Josi Davis and Hot Damn! will play a set beginning at 3 pm. Steve Broderick and the 100 Watt Suns are playing at the Hygienic Art Park at 4 pm, so you should be able to catch both bands if everything runs on time. John Fries and the Elements will go on at 5:30 pm at the Art Park, then Wolfghost plays at 7:30 on the Custom House Pier. The Hempsteadys will play at the Oasis Pub after the fireworks, beginning at 10 pm. Yeah, it's going to be crazy in there, but I bet it's going to be a good show. The weather is supposed to be beautiful too. What more could you ask?

On Sunday, the Shoreline Acoustic Music Festival continues for a second day at the Hygienic Art Park, with the first of fourteen bands and solo artists going on at noon and the last, Blonde Furniture, taking the stage at 5:45 pm. Check the calendar for the full list of performers and set times. Down on the Custom House Pier, the Paul Brockett Roadshow plays at 1 pm (it's going to feel really early!), followed by Carl Franklin and the Franklin Brothers Band at 2 pm. All in all, this year's Sailfest has a good lineup of music with a decent representation of the local scene.

Please check my calendar on Local Band Review or the show schedule here on WailingCity for the full lineup of entertainment for the weekend, as I've only given you my recommendations. There's a lot going on! To quote the Sailfest website, "cookers, backpacks, or strollers will NOT be allowed in the Waterfront Park. There will be check points before entering the waterfront." I think they meant "coolers", not "cookers", but you probably should leave the stove home anyway. And this: "If you are going to carry personal items, we ask and urge you to carry them in clear plastic bags." If you work at the casino, you probably already have one of these. The rest of us are going to have to improvise or take our chances. Also: "Please leave your pets and reptiles at home". You heard them. No reptiles. On a serious note, dogs do not enjoy fireworks and many will be uncomfortable in crowds this large, so it really is a good idea to leave your dogs home. We have all the details here on regarding road closings (for our Sailfest music & info article - click here!) and other important information, and the site will continue to be updated with any last minute shows or changes in show lineups. See you downtown!



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