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Mace & Crown | October 23, 2017

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Colley Avenue Music and Arts Festival Celebrates Second Anniversary

Colley Avenue Music and Arts Festival Celebrates Second Anniversary
Lindsey Lanham
Staff Writer

On April 23, the Colley Avenue Music and Arts Festival celebrated their second annual event with a mix of live, local music and various art vendors. There was food and even a rack of hula hoops for attendees to use throughout the day.

The daylong festival kicked off at 12:15 p.m. with the reggae/ska band False Cape. They played into the afternoon, which was bright and sunny. During Blind and Dirty’s set, it started to rain.

“Let’s finish up before we become blind, wet and dirty,” the lead singer said.

But even the rain didn’t slow the festival down, as band ESP stepped on stage next.

The Fritz ended the day, their set not starting until 9 p.m. Their tracks had a psychedelic rock appeal. They didn’t let the small crowd bring them down, but rather, played into the night to an enthusiastic audience. The Fritz was the perfect band to end the festival, playing a fun set and giving the crowd a reason to come back again next year.

The festival was a mixture of tie-dye, dancing and fun–hippie central in the middle of Norfolk. Even when the weather was anything but sunny, it couldn’t dampen anyone’s attitude. Attendees kept dancing to songs they didn’t know and eating delicious festival food.

The Colley Avenue and Arts Music Festival was a free event. All proceeds made from food and merchandise sales went to local nonprofits Hampton Roads Art Initiative and ForKids.

ForKids is a charity, which strives to give homeless children and their families a chance for a home, work and medical services. They offer employment counseling, healthcare and life skills workshops throughout the Hampton Roads area. Some of the sponsors for the event included Hip Hop Highlights Radio and Back Bay Brewing Company.

The festival’s main goal was to bring together a community and to celebrate diversity in Norfolk. There was a great variety of attendees; even a cosplay group showed up. It didn’t matter there was rain or if you were there by yourself; people were there to celebrate music and art within the community.

There was a plethora of vendors also featured at the festival. Some sold their handmade jewelry. Others sold their original artwork. One stand was set up for people to buy their own canvas and paint during the day.

The Colley and Arts Music Festival was an eclectic collection of hippie, reggae and rock music. Even though it was small, the crowd was interactive and positive. The food was good and the music was better. All in all, the festival is something Norfolk residents can look forward to every year.