Partner Profile: RiverSong Music Festival
What is the benefit of being a partner organization with Hutchinson Center for the Arts?
RiverSong uses HCA for meeting space twice a month and has used it for special community meetings and small events from time-to-time. Thanks to a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council to purchase shelving, we moved all of our supplies and materials out of our volunteers’ basements and into HCA’s! The opportunity to cross-promote our festival and connect with other community members and volunteers who care about the arts scene here in Hutch is a benefit, too.
What kind of experience does Riversong add to the community?
RiverSong is all about actually experiencing the best of our community. Each year since 2009, we’ve transformed Masonic West River Park into a beautiful and efficient festival location. We get to show off our fantastic park system, campground, paved trail and river. A few years ago, with a lot of help from the City of Hutchinson, we were able to build the permanent Front Porch Stage, which is used by many other nonprofits, churches, events, and even weddings throughout the year. We bring in delicious food vendors, have craft and domestic beers, wines, games, free onsite parking and bike check, onsite camping—it’s a fun way to experience the riverside setting!
As a completely volunteer-run organization, RiverSong is a source of community pride and has a feeling of shared ownership. We work with many local vendors and purchase supplies and services locally, helping our own businesses. We have 40 local sponsors who contribute to support the festival financially. We get a lot of local support to generate non-ticket revenue and keep the festival going and growing.
And, of course there’s the music! RiverSong brings the high-caliber talent you’d expect from a big festival but with the ease and comfort of a smaller venue—you get the best of both worlds! Fans are introduced to incredible singer-songwriters, up-and-coming bands, new genres they don’t know, old favorites, music they’re hearing on the radio and Spotify…the list goes on!
What’s new to Riversong this year?
RiverSong 2016 will bring a new twist to some of our music. Friday headliner is North Dakota native Kat Perkins, who made it to the Top 5 on NBC’s The Voice. Saturday night headliner is Crowded Streets – The Dave Matthews Band Experience. In between will be tons of other great music from singer-songwriters, those with local connections and crowd favorites of the past, like Charlie Parr, Socaholix and The Okee Dokee Brothers. The Okee Dokee Brothers will be performing on our River View Stage this year, so bring the whole family!
Also new is a hula hoop workshop led by the Twistin Vixens on Saturday from 1-1:45 p.m. and we’ll have yard games going all weekend!
We’re featuring local food vendors—from barbeque to vegie wraps to root beer floats, you’ll find something for your palate! We’ve got beer from Waconia Brewing Co. and a featured Crow River Winery wine, among other tasty beverages.
We again have free onsite parking and a bike check. If you ride your bicycle, you’ll get a $3 food voucher thanks to Hutchinson Health. Advance discount tickets are $19 Friday and $25 Saturday (gate prices are $22 and $28) and available through July 14 online or at Hutchinson Center for the Arts, Cash Wise, Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce and Tourism or Clay Coyote Pottery and Gallery. Kids 14 and under enter free with paid adults!
How can the community get involved?
We need volunteers! We still have a bunch of open spots to fill, mostly on Saturday. Grab a friend or family member and sign up for a shift together. We also are still in need of parking attendant volunteers—this would be a great service project for your art organization or perhaps a youth group you’re connected to. Volunteering is a fun way to experience the festival; plus, if you work at least one three-hour shift, you can attend the festival for free on the day worked! Don’t forget the stylish blue volunteer shirts we’ll provide for your day.
Our committee will be tuckered out by Sunday, so we’d love to have some volunteers help us with clean-up—things like packing up boxes, tables, chairs and hauling supplies back to HCA. Email [email protected] to sign up for any spots!