Bands are ready to rock Bullard Park

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 July 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Zack Burgess, left, and Dylan DeSmit, are both members of the band Zero. They are also helping to coordinate to the second annual Rock the Park music festival to benefit Bullard Park.

ALBION – It will be an all-day music festival showcasing some of the top local bands. And next Saturday’s second annual “Rock the Park” will generate needed funds to upgrade Bullard Park, the most used and visible park in Albion.

Last year’s debut “Rock the Park” was at the Elk’s Club on East State Street. About 300 people attended the event, which raised $2,000 for Bullard.

This year Bullard will host the bands from under the main pavilion. Organizers think 1,000 people, maybe more, will turn out.

Nine bands will perform and all are donating their services. There will be craft and art vendors, and family activities. A beer tent will be available beginning at 4 p.m.

“This is an opportunity to improve the quality of life in our community,” said Zack Burgess, who will play guitar and sing with the band Zero to close out the event from 9:30 to 11 p.m.

Photo by Megan O’Hearn – The band Zero will perform during the Rock the Park event on July 25 at Bullard. The band includes, from left: Dylan DeSmit on lead guitar and vocals, Zack Burgess on vocals and rhythm guitar, Dan Ryan on drums, and Brad Maxon on bass.

Burgess, 26, is coordinating the concerts with help from his bandmate Dylan DeSmit. All of the bands were eager to play for the benefit for Bullard Park, they said.

Burgess said much of the playground equipment at Bullard predates his childhood. He has watched many of the pieces – merry-go-round, teeter-totters, swings and other apparatus – be removed because they were no longer considered safe.

A Rebuild Bullard committee has identified many upgrades for the park. The Village of Albion is seeking state funding to help with new playground equipment and also to add a splash park. Burgess said park users would like to see more for skateboarders, as well as a walking trail, upgraded ball fields, and other improvements.

Burgess said the music festival will help with what can feel like a daunting task of coming up with money for all of the work.

But he looks at how Albion rallied to build a new public library. The community gave about $1.3 million in donations for that project, topping the capital campaign goal of about $1 million.

“Look at the library how everyone pushed for it and we got it,” Burgess said. “If we can do that, why can’t we do this?”

Burgess made those comments at Bullard Park this afternoon after he finished his day of work at CRFS. He said many of his co-workers have young children, and he knows how important up-to-date and safe playground equipment and park amenities are for young families.

He sees a revamped park as critical to the local quality of life, for drawing young families to Albion and keeping them in the community.

The Rock the Park will utilize the talents of many of the musicians in the community. Burgess said he is pleased to see many people in the community pushing to update the park, including the Lions Club, the Rebuild Bullard Committee, village officials and many others.

Rock the Park starts at 9 a.m. on July 25 with vendors selling arts and crafts. The bands will play from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. There is no charge to attend the concerts, but donations will be accepted. There will be a $5 fee for access to the beer tent.

The lineup of bands includes:

Gregg Albertson, 11 a.m. to 11:50:
Delano Steele, noon to 12:50 p.m.
Fuze, 1:05 to 1:55 p.m.
DriVen, 2:10 to 3 p.m.
Break with beer tent setup from 3 to 4 p.m.
Whiskey Rebellion, 4 to 5 p.m.
Bobby Skrzypek and the Pedestrians, 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.
Flipside, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The Justin Crossett Band, 7:45 to 9:15 p.m.
Zero, 9:30 to 11 p.m.