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Millvale Music Festival to benefit from fundraising series

| Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

Last year's inaugural Millvale Music Festival brought an estimated 5,000 attendees and a positive energy one “could almost feel in the air,” according to festival chairman Brian Crawford.

Even though the 2018 iteration is not until May 12, organizers have already planned the Millvale Music Series fundraising events to ensure the free festival's success. The next event will occur at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at Millvale's Bar 3.

“We receive no grant money. Everything that we do is through the generosity of our sponsors and what we're able to raise through fundraising,” said Crawford, The River's Edge Radio Network's founder.

The series will raise funds to pay the festival's street performers and to cover their busking permit fees. Additional proceeds will fund general expenses, Crawford said.

Festival venues selling items, such as food and beverages, pay 10 percent of revenue toward the festival. He said the committee then divides all of those funds among the performers, ensuring that all performers, whether they play at venues selling items or not, receive fair portions of the proceeds. New this year, volunteers will run outdoor bars with 100 percent of those profits divided among the performers and festival.

Committee member Jenny Sines said festival goers can expect to see dancers, circus performers, a puppeteer, drummers and live painters. During the festival, she will split time between fire dancing and performing with her band Jenny and the Jags.

The band, composed of Sines, Sean Zuza, Brandon Long and Mike Zicafoose, also will perform with Carrie Collins, a gothic folk singer and songwriter, at the January Millvale Music Series.

“We are a contemporary rock band with vintage undertones — old souls with young hearts,” Sines said, noting that listeners have compared them to Fleetwood Mac and Jefferson Airplane.

She said that her involvement in Millvale's music scene has changed her life.

“Not only is this an incredible way to build a healthy and thriving community, which I love so much, and not only is it great exposure, involvement and marketing for (my business) Millvale Yoga Collective, but it's a great way for me personally to express myself.” Rooney's Beer Co. will host a sampling during the fundraiser. Sines said the January Millvale Music Series event will mostly raise funds through tip money and raffles. Committee members will charge a $5 cover at the Feb. 3 Groundhog Day and Mardi Gras party at Panza Gallery featuring headliners The Goodfoots, four additional bands and dancers.

Coordinators hope to top last year's numbers of 120 performers playing more than 15 venues by featuring more than 150 bands at an increased number of venues, in honor of the borough's 150th anniversary. Crawford said new venues will include Hahn Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Draai Laag Brewing Co. and The Gardens of Millvale.

Furthermore, this year's festival will contain an art festival, with artists displaying and selling their work on a closed Sedgwick Street. The experience, Crawford said, will lead guests to Panza Gallery.

“Millvale is still buzzing with conversation about the overall success and positive memories formed that day,” said Tina Walker, Millvale Community Development Corp. president in a statement. “The community's desire to experience live music is apparent and has supplied a vibrant energy, especially to the numerous volunteers planning next year's event.”

The committee is accepting applications until Jan. 31 for musical acts interested in performing at the festival. Crawford said they are seeking people representing all genres, who play original music and reside within 100 miles of the city. Interested applicants should visit: www.millvalemusic.org/talent-submission.

For sponsorship information, visit: www.millvalemusic.org/sponsorship.

Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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