The pandemic has been tough on everyone in one way or another, but arguably no one more than the performers.
âNot touring or performing in the country and the world for the past two summers is quite a departure from my usual routine, and it hit hard,â said Rochelle Bradshaw, known in Northwest Arkansas. for his “easy fusion of reggae and R&B” with his band. Hypnosis. âThey say you never know a good thing until it’s gone, and that’s so true. Not being able to travel freely, hug freely, dance freely, it all upset me on a deep emotional level that really surprised me and left me in a state of depression – so I had to do something about it.
That Something is the first Live Free Music and Arts Festival, scheduled for October 23 at Prairie Street Live in Fayetteville. While Bradshaw and Hypnotion will lead the event, the day will also feature all kinds of music, dance performances, art installations, artisans, vendors and speakers, said co-organizer Wendy. Love Edge.
âWhen Rochelle came to see me to produce this festival with her, I immediately understood the theme and I knew it was a great idea and that it was necessary,â she says. âThen we had to drop it off due to the pandemic. It was then that I understood that it was necessary.
âWe’ve all been smothered to some extent creatively over the past year and a half,â she explains. âAs creatives, we have continued, even with the reduction in human contact and the huge reduction in experiences that normally stimulate all forms of creativity. We were challenged to dig deeper. This means that we also need some sort of outing – and this festival will be perfect for that. “
The theme, “Free Yourself,” “could just get out of the house today,” says Bradshaw. But “it really is a universal call to celebrate or just recognize one another and our individual struggle.”
âWe all want to be free,â Edge expands on the subject. âIn fact, the freedom to be yourself should be a basic human right. So that’s it all – LGBTQ + rights, women’s rights, cannabis rights, Black Lives Matter and more. In recent years, with the pressure cooker of fear and the turmoil we have all experienced in our communities, many people from these minority groups have risen up. They stand up for the freedom to live as themselves and to have the same rights and privileges as their neighbors.
âIn addition, we were more stuck at home with our families,â she adds. âFor some it was a great experience. For others this has been a major challenge, often because the family does not accept them for who they are. And for the attendees of this festival, we say this: We want you to be yourself in every way when you step into the Live Free Music and Arts Festival. We invite you to “free yourself” and feel the freedom!
Also on the day’s schedule are performances by the Flip-Off Pirates – âa legend here,â says Edge; rocker Angela Edge, who âsings about freedom from trauma, bad relationships and other themesâ; Nic Wit It, an â11-year-old activist singing about the unfair incarceration of parents, factory prisoners and moreâ; and “the talent of Rachel Ammons and her one woman show”.
âThe art installations are the creation of Trisha Guting of the Out of Hand collective,â adds Edge. âAs we were discussing what experience we wanted for people to have, she created interactive designs for the event, as well as giant glowing jellyfish. Jellyfish, a favorite animal of Mrs. Bradshaw, are symbolic of fluidity, survival, instinct, movement and simplicity. They teach us that we don’t need to resist life and rather let it guide us naturally. The Art Experience will also be present in the evening with its illuminated jellyfish.
Finally, she says, there will be a âpop-up wallâ for people to create their own street art and a âleave and take somethingâ altar, a selfie area and more.
âThe Live Free Festival was inspired by my own need for expression on and off stage,â says Bradshaw. âKnowing that I was definitely not alone, I wanted to invite my community into a space of self-awareness, self-forgiveness, self-acceptance and self-love – a space that allows us to express ourselves – and others if need be – whatever. is that it has dimmed our light or blocked our path to growth, whether it’s external or internal societal issues. It’s on stage. that I really feel liberated, so I can’t wait to play!
Free live music and arts festival
WHEN – 1 to 10 p.m. October 23
O – Prairie Street Live, 509 W. Prairie St. in Fayetteville
COT – $ 30 to $ 45; children under 12 enter for free
INFO – livefreemusicandartsfestival.com
for your information
Free live music and arts festival
2:00 p.m. – Green Acres Band
3 p.m. – Angela Edge
4 p.m. – Hip hop with Nic Wit It
7 p.m. – Rachel Ammons
8:15 p.m. – Rochelle Bradshaw & Hypnotion
9:30 p.m. – Flipoff Pirates
Also to be released – Queer Planet, Deanna Starshine, TerraNova Troupe & DJ Soulfree
for your information
Spotlight on artists
This is the first live show since 2020 for the Farmington musician.
Q. How did music become a passion for you? And when?
A. I have been creating music for most of my life. My musical journey began when my father put a bass in my hands at the age of 14. I immediately fell in love with this new four-string instrument. I learned to play on the Pentecostal Church stage in my father’s hometown and learned by watching and listening to other bass players. It shaped my concept of bass, melody, and harmonic style. I had already started playing the trumpet at the age of 12 and eventually got a scholarship for AU in trumpet and music education. I don’t remember when music was not a part of my life. My father recently passed away and I will be forever grateful to him for putting this bass in my hands and opening my world musically. Despite our ideological differences, we could still connect with music.
Q. How would you describe what you do musically?
A. I have become a one-woman show. Before the pandemic, I hired a percussionist to accompany me. But the pandemic has solidified for me that I have to do everything on my own. Fortunately, I also learned the guitar and the piano myself. Using my voice, bass, guitar, and trumpet, I can get closer to the sound I want with the help of a loop pedal. I may be open to adding other musicians in the future, but this current setup suits my style and what I’m trying to say musically.
Q. What has music meant to you throughout the isolation of the pandemic?
A. Music has allowed me to continue to express myself and grow creatively during this difficult time. In times of sadness, fear or worry, music is a comfort to me.
Q. When you play, what do you hope the audience will experience?
A. I want them to experience music to the extent that they do and get what it means to them. This festival, in particular, is dedicated to self-expression and personal freedom, as well as individual freedom, community, peace, and a host of social issues that have limited people’s freedoms. So I put no limit to what people take in listening to me and watching me play. For my part, I hope they will leave feeling amused.
Q. What is the next step for you after the Live Free Festival?
A. I hope to do more recordings and productions and maybe more concerts. As this is my first for a long time, I will have to see what I think about it afterwards. The short answer is, I’m not sure. But I know the world will continue to hear about Angela Edge in creative ways.