Community Comes Out to Raise Money for Local Organizations
Committed people always help build a committed community, and the people of Hantsport, Nova Scotia, know exactly what that’s like. On July, 25 the city gathered at Foundry Field to watch the Hantsport Homecoming Music Festival, which lasted for seven hours and featured five musical acts.
All profits from the festival go into community programs. The event helps fund minor baseball, minor soccer, the foodbank and fire department, along with their shamrock ball club and memorial community center. Festival Co-Chair Kevin Guptell notes that they had a pretty specific goal in mind for the function. “We wanted to raise awareness of a great community that has fallen on hard economic times, and help financially support community volunteer groups.”
The second annual concert featured performances from The Parson Brothers and Friends, the No Name Blues Band, Highway 125, The Hupman Brothers and Matt Minglewood. Last year’s event raised over $24,000, and this year they raised over $33,000. The money is always split evenly between the groups the festival supports.
Guptell told the Hants Journal that “none of the organizers actually live in Hantsport, but we love our community and just want to give back since they were so good to us. It was never really about the town of Hantsport, it was really always about the community of Hantsport and the surrounding area.”
People could camp at the community center grounds, about a five minute walk away, for the weekend long homecoming event, which featured a lot more than music. Organizers also arranged for a barbecue, meet and greet, breakfast and high school reunions. Guptell says one of the highlights for him was “seeing the matriarch of a local family with four generations, all of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, having a big old time listening to great music in a great venue, and in an even greater community.”
Guptell coordinates the concert with Raye Myles. They used many means to promote their show, including newspaper coverage, social media, radio, local magazines, notices posted around town and even trade shows. Members of the groups the event supports give back by volunteering to run the gate, at the beer tent and at other facilities.
As for sage advice to anyone planning a similar event, Guptell has some pretty basic views on the process. “Do it right the first time, run it like you own it, and have fun.”
What’s your experience been like while planning music festivals?