9 bands will perform Saturday to raise money for Bullard Park

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 August 2014 at 12:00 am

‘Rock the Park’ will showcase musicians

Provided photo – Albion native Jim Benedetti plays the drums and sings for The Bad Hands in New Jersey. The band is coming to Albion to perform in Saturday’s event.

ALBION – Organizers of a first-ever music jamboree in Albion this Saturday hope the power of music generates money to rebuild the community’s largest park.

Nine bands will perform at the Elks Lodge at 428 West State St. The bands start rocking at noon with Whiskey Rebellion and continue to 11 p.m. with Zero the last act.

The lineup includes new local bands and well-established ones, such as The Who Dats. An Albion native, Jim Benedetti, is returning home to perform with his blues band, The Bad Hands, from New Jersey. They will perform from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

“This isn’t a battle of the bands,” said Ron Albertson, one of the event’s coordinators. “It’s a music festival for a good cause.”

Albertson is a member of the Albion Lions Club. The service organization is leading an effort to raise money for Bullard Park upgrades. The Lions have already pledged $10,000 to park improvements. It would like to raise significantly more. Saturday’s event is jointly sponsored by the Lions and the Elks Club.

The music fest won’t lose money because all of the bands are playing for free. Tickets are $5 and proceeds from the food and beverages will go towards Bullard.

“Every nickel will go to Bullard Park,” Albertson said.

Provided photo – Zack Burgess of Albion and the band Zero are scheduled to perform in the final slot on Saturday from 9:45 to 11 p.m. at the Elks Club on West State State Street. Burgess helped coordinate Saturday’s music festival.

Two local musicians also helped plan the “Rock the Park” event. Zack Burgess and Dylan DeSmit are both members of the band Zero.

“I’ve been in Albion all of my life,” Burgess said. “I have a niece and nephew and I’d like to have nice things for them to play on that are safe.”

He expects a big crowd to watch the entertainment Saturday. He thanked Mark’s Pizzeria and Uncle Sal’s Pizzeria for putting flyers on their pizza boxes this week, helping to promote the music fest.

The Village of Albion twice applied for state funding to upgrade Bullard but was denied.

A committee identified about $600,000 in possible improvements, including a spray park, new playground equipment, a walking trail, reseeded ball fields, a concession stand with new bathrooms, and other improvements.

The lineup of musicians on Saturday includes:

12:00-12:30: Whiskey Rebellion
12:45-1:15: Painted Silence
1:30-2:30: Route 98.
2:45-3:45: Delano Steele
4:00-5:00: Rock Of Love
5:15-6:15: The Who Dats
6:30-8:00: The Bad Hands
8:15-9:30: Terrible Ideas
9:45-11:00: Zero

File photo courtesy of Michael Whiting – This photo from August 2013 shows the final concert for the band Above the Fog. Dylan DeSmit, left, and Taylor Whittier gave an enthusiastic performance during the band’s final concert. DeSmit will perform with three different bands Saturday during the Bullard Park benefit while Whittier will perform as lead singer for the band Terrible Ideas.