Stranded folk festival artists agree to Monday night benefit concert

Posted Aug. 28, 2011, at 5:03 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 29, 2011, at 7:42 a.m.

Several of the American Folk Festival artists who flew in this past weekend are sticking around Bangor until their canceled flights are rescheduled — and they’re doing the festival a big favor by offering to have a concert to benefit the AFF.

A capella gospel group the Brotherhood Singers and traditional bluegrass band Rich in Tradition will perform at 7 p.m. Monday at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University. A suggested donation of $10 will be collected at the door, with all proceeds benefiting the festival.

The effects of Hurricane Irene meant flights across the Eastern Seaboard were canceled, including those that would take the aforementioned bands back to their home states of Kentucky, and North Carolina and Virginia, respectively. AFF executive director Heather McCarthy said both groups offered to play Monday to benefit the festival.

“They’re having a great time with their Bangor hosts, and they agreed to do this with us,” said McCarthy late Sunday afternoon. “We’ve got a 10-year tradition of three days of the Folk Festival, and we want to continue it.”

While some of the festival artists started the drive home as soon as their Saturday night sets were finished, a handful had flown into Bangor on Thursday and Friday and found themselves held up in the Queen City at least until Tuesday.

“Nobody who’s flying has been able to get home,” said McCarthy. “We’re taking good care of them in the meantime.”

Festival volunteers and staff were on site until the wee hours of Sunday, battening down the hatches and cleaning up anything that could have flown away in the wind.

“The strike went very well,” said McCarthy. “We got all the heavy lifting done overnight Saturday.”

Despite the hurricane canceling Sunday’s events, McCarthy seemed pleased that the Brotherhood Singers and Rich in Tradition graciously offered to perform.

“We’re not going to let the hurricane get in our way,” she said.

For more information on Monday night’s concert, visit americanfolkfestival.com.

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