Musicians take a 'Ramble' down memory lane
The Ramble Music and Arts Festival is known as a celebration of the musical culture of Genesee County—but to many of the musicians participating, it means so much more.
“I think it’s a very popular event because all the people get to reminisce about the old times,” says Andy Hare, who will participate in the 7th annual festival for the third time this Saturday. “It’s almost like a class reunion for many of the musicians and the people who follow them—the old guys like us, chasing the Sixties.”
The “us” Hare is referring to are the members of the Moonshine Valley Band, his former group that will be reunited Saturday night. The band is one of several from the good old days that is coming together specifically for this occasion.
“It’s a chance for guys like me to get out and show they’ve got a few kicks left in them,” Hare jokes.
Founder Bill McDonald says that the festival was started to serve that very purpose — to take a walk down memory lane by reuniting all those local musicians who had played together years ago. It has since grown from its humble beginnings — this year’s event will feature 37 acts, several artists, and “many ramblin’ revelers.”
“The purpose has always been to get the current community and folks who once called our area home involved, to share in the fun and keep the music and friendships vibrant,” he explains.
The Ramble is not strictly geared toward the middle-aged crowd — the event attracts people of all ages and generations.
“The festival day and the weeks pre and post have brought many friends, young and old, musical mates, and people in general, together for some fun,” says McDonald.
The festival-goers falling under the “young” category give the Ramble its charm, as the majority are the receivers of a passed torch.
“It shows the young people what’s coming, because many of them are offspring of the performers,” says Hare. “It’s generational entertainment.”
The Ramble Music and Arts Festival will take place from noon to 8 p.m. this Saturday, July 7, in Downtown Batavia. The 37 participating acts will perform on two different stages: the electric acts in Jackson Square, and the acoustic acts on Center Street. A remembrance of past musicians will take place at 4 pm. Admission is free.