What began as a vision for local resident and composer Rick Clark became a reality last Saturday, October 3rd, as the inaugural Muletown MusicFest brought Columbia’s historic Square to melodic life.
Despite chilly temperatures and a persistent drizzle, 18 establishments on the Square opened their doors to more than 500 patrons who came to hear and experience a variety of artists who performed throughout the day and late into the evening.
Above VIDEO: John Oates of the famed duet Hall & Oates performs "You Make My Dreams Come True" to a packed house upstairs at Pucketts in Columbia. He received a standing ovation as illustrated in the top photo.
While the legendary John Oates was the festival’s headlining act, an impressive number of other world-class musicians and bands brought their harmonic notes to the Square, as well. The sounds of rock, country, alternative, symphonic and children’s music flowed into the streets – there was something appealing to all ages and for all tastes.
Local patrons Joe Steward, his sister Darlene, Kate Barr and Harvey Church in front of Puckett's.
Without a doubt, the musical quality and quantity made the event one not only to be remembered, but that is also the beginning of what promises to be an annual attraction which will draw patrons from both near and far - a boon to our city and county.
Nashville's quintet Humming House played upstairs at Venue Tenn.
In addition to John Oates who performed with the band band 18 South, festival attendees who purchased wristbands were able to choose from a variety of artists playing at Puckett’s, Venue Tenn and Westbury House, including: Phil Madeira’s Mercyland, Humming House, Kelsey Waldon, FireKid, Peter Cooper with Thomm Jutz, Cindy Morgan, Alicia Michilli, Parker Millsap, and Casey Wasner.
Lindsey Howell, Communications Director of Mt. Pleasant Grille, with Lydia Jolly at 822 South watching Scott Holt play.
Many other venues participated, such as Variety Records, Muletown Coffee, 822 South, Wall Candy, Square Market Café, Ted’s Sporting Goods and the Old Curiosity Book Shop, which all offered a bevy of entertainment at no cost.
A packed house at Muletown Coffee to see local artist Austin Tyler play.
Favorite local acts like Scott Holt, Damien Boggs, Austin Tyler, Serina-Joi Crowe and The Palm in the Cypress packed the establishments, as well as Indie-style and alternative bands like Wax Museum and Jordy Searcy, many of which rocked their respective establishments late into the evening.
Above VIDEO: Singer-songwriter Jordy Searcy from Muscle Shoals performing at Variety Records on the Square.
Not to be excluded, children were treated to afternoon events with a Lego-building contest put on by Play Well, a musical petting zoo sponsored by Hewgley’s Music Shop and performances by Farmer Jason at the children’s museum, aMuse’um, as well as to a Barber Shop Quartet performance and mustache contest at Daniel’s Barber Shop.
Singer-songwriter Farmer Jason performing at aMuse'um - Columbia's Childrens Museum.
In summary, Muletown MusicFest was an all-inclusive event for patrons, musicians and businesses alike, as well as Maury County as a whole and the beneficiary, United Way. The inclement weather was no match for such powerful and pervasive musical talent.
Lead organizer Rick Clark summed it up well: “Even though the drizzly cold weather was less than ideal, I see it as a kind of blessing in that it tested our concept of having most all of the entertainment indoors. As a result, practically every establishment that participated had excellent business, and several had record days. I'm really looking forward to next year. It's only going to be better and better.”
To see more photos from Saturday night, clickHERE.