Local talent will be on full display this weekend as more than 40 local artists take the stage for the annual Rumfest.
The seven-hour festival will feature talent of all ages and music of all genres with performances from past and current students of the Rum Academy of Music, as well as teachers. Sami Soutar, CEO of Rhum Academy, said the festival is a great opportunity for musicians of all levels to gain more experience, as well as greater visibility, by performing live.
“I think it’s huge for our students. Many of our students are very motivated to perform because we offer our students concerts every month… But above all, having gone through this pandemic, we have not had the opportunity to do them to the extent that we did. before, ”Soutar said. “So I think just being able to come back and do something like that, getting them on a big stage in front of people who are not just their friends and family, but a real local audience brings it in. sort of a whole new level to that performance experience, which is really crucial for anyone looking to perform.
The free festival starts at Foster Park on Saturday July 24 at 2 p.m. with The Page Brothers. Then, dozens of students and teachers from the Rum Academy of Music will take the stage in 5 and 10 minute increments.
Soutar said it would be a blitz of all kinds of music and an opportunity to hear the quality of talent from here in Kokomo.
“We’re going to be changing people all day for the most part so it will be a lot of variety. I always say, ‘If you don’t like a song when you get to it, stick around for five minutes, and it’ll be completely different,’ ”Soutar said.
Then at 6 p.m., Rum Families will perform before The Spice Rack, starring Tim Edwards and Aaron Beard, takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. The Spice Rack debuted at the Strawberry Festival and has proven to be popular, said Soutar.
The evening will be closed by Why Human, a local grunge punk rock band. The band’s lead guitarist, Allison Bailey, has just graduated from high school and is heading to Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music at Bloomington in the fall. Bailey was one of the oldest students at Rhum Academy, participating for almost 10 years.
“She does a great job, so we really wanted to give them the opportunity to feature before she left for college,” Soutar said. “They are doing a great job. They really put themselves forward. They have some music on Spotify so we’re very proud of them. We’re really excited to be able to feature them as the lead actor for a festival like this.
Why Human lead singer Florian Sachay was also a longtime student at Rum Academy.
In addition to music, Soutar hopes to showcase the arts during the festival. All local artists are welcome to bring a table and take a seat in the park to exhibit and sell their art. No registration or booth fees are required.
“We just want to showcase local music and art and show all of Kokomo’s talent as much as we can,” Soutar said.
As for libations, the Coterie will be selling drinks in the beer garden from 5 to 9 p.m., and a few local food vendors will also sell their savory products.