The fifth annual Gloucester Harvest Music Festival brings together a powerhouse of musicians, from rock ’n’ rollers to a Nashville street performer who has wowed millions of social media followers around the world.
The all-day celebration benefiting the Addison Gilbert Hospital Citizens Fund takes place Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. along the Gloucester HarborWalk on Rogers Street.
The lineup features bands based from coast to coast, including the headlining all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band Zepparella from San Francisco, Tennessee’s fiddling and dancing street performer Hillary Klug, and the Boston-based Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents. Also taking the stage will be Hayley Jane, The Big Takeover, Jamie Hart and Cape Ann’s Alexandra & Josh.
Christopher Silva, a festival volunteer who arranged the entertainment, said that he sought diversity in organizing the lineup.
“We have a little bit of everything for everybody,” Silva said. “We want to bring something new to Gloucester that is different than other music festivals in the area. This year, we wanted to showcase women in rock. We did it three years ago, and it was very successful with great feedback.”
Zepparella returns to the nation’s oldest seaport after receiving a warm reception here in year three of the festival.
“Zepparella is so excited to be back on the East Coast and especially to the Harvest Festival,” said the band’s drummer, who goes by the name Clementine. “We had such a wonderful time in 2016, and we can’t wait to see some familiar faces and to celebrate Zeppelin with Gloucester.”
Festivalgoers will also be treated to Hayley Jane, an indie musician whom Silva called “a great performer and a great musician” and the seven-member New York reggae band The Big Takeover, fronted by Jamaican-born female singer-songwriter Nee Nee Rushie.
Then there is Jamie Hart, an award-winning Boston recording artist regarded for her powerhouse vocals. Previously known as Jamie Lynn Hart, her musical journey almost led her to leave music altogether because of her disenchantment with the industry.
Hart said that she encountered a pivotal moment earlier this year when she asked herself what she would do if she only had one month to live. Her answer was to write and record all she could, “creating freely from the depths of her soul with a new passion, purpose and sound,” according to her artist statement.
Tennessee native Klug started dancing at age 8 and picked up the fiddle at 13. She later won a national buck dance championship performing the style of folk dance that originated among African Americans during the era of slavery.
Klug has fans around the world, and her most recent video had 60 million views. She also has a Facebook following of more than 700,000.
“I liked her energy and vibe,” Silva said. “I thought it would be something new and something different to bring her here. I put these performers together nearly a year in advance. It takes that long to develop the group of musicians and get them on the calendar. Gloucester is on the map, and that’s why these musicians love coming here.”
Silva said that organizers are hoping to top last year’s total attendance of about 640 and have set a goal of attracting 750 people on Saturday. No coolers will be allowed, but there will be food vendors and a beer garden.
“The audience is welcome to come and go throughout the day,” Silva said. “They can go to restaurants and shops and return for the music and vendors. It’s about the whole experience of Gloucester.”
Lee Swekla, president of the nonprofit Addison Gilbert Hospital Citizens Fund, said they are grateful for the support that the event receives from local businesses.
“It’s important that the community know this is a benefit for the AGH Citizens Fund,” Swekla said. “Other than the entertainment and the sound system, all the rest (of those) working are volunteers.
Organizers have dedicated this year’s music festival to the memory of Gloucester native son Brian Tarr, a longtime supporter of the hospital and its Citizens Fund who died last year at the age of 67.
A member of the Addison Gilbert Hospital Associates, Tarr would regularly call for the need to keep the hospital open and continue providing surgery and other services. Tarr also dedicated his career to the Gloucester schools as a teacher and later as assistant superintendent.
“Brian’s warm smile, kind heart and love for his community will always be remembered,” Swekla said. “We honor his memory and are forever grateful for his allegiance to the Addison Gilbert Hospital Citizens Fund.”
IF YOU GO
What: Gloucester Harvest Music Festival
When: Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: I4-C2 site along Gloucester HarborWalk, 65 Rogers St.
How much: $20 general admission; free for children under 12, police officers, firefighters, emergency medical service providers, U.S. military veterans and active service members with valid IDs
More information: www.gloucesterharvestmusicfestival.com
10:30 a.m.: Opening ceremony
10:45-11:15 a.m.: Alexandra & Josh
11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents
1-1:45 p.m.: Hillary Klug
2:15-3:30 p.m.: Jamie Hart
3:45-5 p.m.: The Big Takeover
5:15-6:45 p.m.: Hayley Jane
7-8:30 p.m.: Zepparella