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Rhythms on the Rio strikes a cord in South Fork

Posted: Thursday, Aug 14th, 2014

The children’s program was a huge success for this year’s SFMA’s graduates.

SOUTH FORK—Crowds gathered Friday night for the opening of Rhythms on the Rio music festival. The weekend schedule was packed full and promised participants good music, good food and awesome company. The line-up of bands offered the crowd a diverse experience in folk, country and rock music to pacify any jammin’ appetite.

Gates opened at 4:30 p.m. Friday afternoon as crowds flowed through the field setting up their chairs and laying down their blankets to settle in for the evening’s concerts. Clouds gathered slowly in the western sky, but the crowd’s spirits and anticipation never wavered. The evening proved to be the expected relaxing event all had hoped for.

The first band of the night, Muddy Mountain Orchestra hit the stage and the festival-goers put on their dance shoes. Participants rose from the awaiting crowd and gathered in front of the stage and got their boogie on. Children danced in fantastical circles like only the innocent and free-spirited can. Vendors opened their tents to the awaiting crowd; the beverage tent swooped into full swing and the smell of food began to fill the air.

As the afternoon wore on, the clouds finally decided to have a show all their own. A downpour of light rain covered the festival while the sun played gently on the falling drops. Nothing stopped. Everyone lifted their faces to the sky and danced into the rain with sheer joy. The music from Big Medicine Gang and Euforquestra bounced the night away with a funky Reggae beat. The party lasted until shortly after 10 p.m. Those that were camping near the festival continued on well after that.

Saturday morning dawned clear and fresh thanks to the showers of the night before. Vehicles began pulling in for the second day of the festival mid-morning. Crowds mulled around drinking, eating and enjoying the arts and crafts provided by the vendors. A bouncy castle was set up for the youngsters, while happy parents stood by and talked.

Horseshoe competitions began and participants took their turns on the pits while music from Ashley Raines, this year’s singer/songwriter competition winner, opened for the upcoming bands. After Raines finished her set with a large response from the crowd, Denver local band, That Damn Sasquatch turned up the beat with a plethora of bluegrass twisted with a cajun beat. Their unique appearance combined with old school beats got the crowd’s blood flowing.

After a short pause in live music, South Fork Music Association President Paul Orr took the microphone in one hand while holding a small boy in the other spoke to the crowd, “This is the part of the festival that is very dear to my heart. We have helped provide musical lessons and instruments to almost 50 kids so far.” A group of children gathered around the stage from the SFMA kid’s program.

The headliner band, or rather the headliner one-man band, began as the sun sank low Saturday night. Keller Williams hit the stage and showed off his multitasking talents to a highly energized crowd. People danced the night away to Williams and his folk genre music. It proved to be yet another successful, fun evening for the festival and its crowd.

Sunday was a bit slower with the crowd a little more thinned out. The party had lasted the three days for the first time in the festival’s nine-year history. Sunday afternoon’s line up consisted of Kirk James Blues Band, The Os and closed the afternoon with SHEL. Though the atmosphere had settled into a relaxing, almost sleepy state, the attitude was still engaging. The festival was a sure hit and everyone attending enjoyed it immensely.

A huge thanks goes out to this year’s sponsors and volunteers for the festival, including everyone who was involved with the various areas and the SFMA in general. An even bigger thanks goes to River Mill for allowing the festival to take place on this site.

For the complete article see the 08-14-2014 issue.

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