Muncie Music Fest 2012 bigger and better than ever
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - A huge, live music celebration with more than 60 bands will be held in the streets of downtown Muncie on Saturday and promises to rock the house of Middletown USA.
Downtown Development and its diva, Cheryl Crowder, were online Wednesday promoting the event featuring local and area groups like Mike Martin Band, Losing September and Glostik Willy that will play in downtown bars like Center Stage, Doc's Music Hall, The Silo and The Heorot. along with three outdoor stages in downtown Muncie.
And the music will range from rock, folk progressive, country, blues, jazz, hip hop, metal and electronics. And imagine music on seven or eight stages at once, creating that Chicago or Indy music scene only in Muncie, IN>
The event starts at 5 p.m. Saturday and ends when the bars close. Last year, the event attracted more than 3,000 people and has been ongoing since 2009. The gate is only $10. And the trolley will run between the Village and downtown. More details can be found at munciemusicfest.com.
Music Fest succeeded another popular downtown venue, End of Summer Jam that brought national groups like ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd and others to Middletown.
This year's event will be bittersweet for those loyal to Doc's since it will the last before the downtown venue closes next week, and possibly turned into a micro brewery by new owner Stan Stephens. Doc Peterson, Phil Dunn and others from various Peterson bands and countless other musicians have been playing there for 20 years. It has been the place to be more recently for all kinds of live music.
The future for Doc's regulars could be the old Starlings' Bar on Mulberry next to Muncie Civic Theater or some joint near Be Here Now in the University Village.
The future of live music downtown appears to be Center Stage or the old Columbia Theater nearly a century ago on Walnut near Charles Street, Many know it as an old Walgreens or past Muncie Children's Museum.
Downtown handyman and lady's man Jim Ralston was hard at work Wednesday putting more finish to Center Stage that hosted a tribute band to Grateful Dead last month. The rich gold and red colors recall the theater's earlier day when saloons, hotels and theaters filled the downtown along with business and commerce.
Ralston was just usual happy self showing his signal that welcome downtown bar visitors and others.