Middle Waves expands non-music activities
By Corey McMaken | The Journal Gazette
With more than 20 performers staggered across three stages, there will be plenty of tunes at Middle Waves Music Festival starting tonight, but the event at Headwaters Park is more than just music as it marks its second year this weekend.
“We got some feedback last year that (festival-goers) would like to do more kids activities in particular, so we expanded that to include this Mini Waves experience Saturday,” says Olivia Fabian, Vibe chair. Vibe is the festival's name for non-music events.
There will be balloon animals, face painting, playhouses, crafts, a petting zoo and more for children.
“It's a really family-friendly event,” she says of the festival. “It was last year, too, but now we have more activities just for kids.”
There are activities for the young at heart, too, in areas for each of the festival's three levels of admission. Middle Waves includes a free area on the west side of Headwaters, general admission area on the east side and VIP access areas.
“It's sort of like a choose-your-own-adventure music festival,” Fabian says.
Family activities are in the free area along with The Village, which offers food and other vendors. People with VVIP tickets have access to a lounge and will be treated to massages and special ice cream sandwiches from Yummi Bunni and Grace Kelly Baked Goods.
The Deep End tent for general admission ticket-holders is close enough to the St. Marys main stage to enjoy the tunes, but it has couches for relaxing, a braid bar, flower crown workshop, glitter bar and other activities.
The St. Marys stage will host festival headliners MGMT, as well as Thao & the Get Down Stay Downs and Sidewalk Chalk. The free-admission side of Middle Waves has two stages alternating performers throughout the festival.
In addition to music and activities, festival-goers will find original art pieces throughout Headwaters Park. Fabian says bigger music festivals often have art installations with multimillion-dollar projects.
“While we can't do something like that, we do have a group of really talented, artistic volunteers that came together to work at Wunderkammer to build all manner of art installations,” she says. Supplies for the art projects were purchased with money raised through an AmplifyArt crowdfunding campaign in the spring.
Between things like the flower crowns, glitter bar and sculptures, Fabian expects the festival to generate a lot of selfies.
“We have a big focus on photo-ops,” she says. “Because we know when you're out at the music festival, lookin' pretty cool, you wanna make sure that you document that.”
Whether or not selfies are your thing, Fabian says festival-goers will find plenty to do at Middle Waves.
“We have all levels of craziness,” she says. “Like, if you want to bring your stroller and have a crazy day with your kids and have just tons of fun, we have that. If you want to come and have some beers and party a little bit, we have all kinds of stuff for that.”