GALLIPOLIS — The Ohio River Live (ORL) committee members are an eclectic bunch — businessmen and women, governmental leaders and musicians — who, through their love of live music, have banded together to not only bring a music festival to Gallipolis, but also to help the community they love to grow.
“I’d like to think of this as a jumping off point for lots of things and maybe we won’t be the end of it. Hopefully, some other group of people is going to go, ‘they did this, therefore — guess what? — we can put on our own deal,’” ORL member Matt Johnson said. “It might not necessarily be music; it might be arts and crafts or sculpture ... Our hope is that this snowballs ... that this place becomes kind of a hotbed for allowing things to happen.”
Working diligently for months, the members of the nonprofit organization will be putting on a show in less than a month — a show that they are hopeful will attract hundreds of music lovers from miles around.
The Ohio River Live Music Festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 3, on Court Street in downtown Gallipolis. Beginning at 1 p.m., six local acts, who have huge fan followings in their own right, will perform, leading up to the headlining act, Matt King, a nationally known singer/songwriter.
King, a Nashville-based musician has an “Americana” sound that, according to the organizers, will fit well with the other groups performing that night and will allow the festival goers to hear an artist who would not normally travel to the southern Ohio area.
“They are going to be able to see an act that they wouldn’t normally be able to see,” ORL member Steve Marxen said.
Tickets for the event on are on sale now, and while the $15 price may seem hefty, concert goers will be treated to an entire day of live music. In addition, children 10 years of age and under get in free, and ticket holders can come and go as they please throughout the all-day event.
The music festival will kick off with Point Pleasant-based musician Paul Doeffinger at 1 p.m., followed by five-piece band Neon Nickel, Gallipolis-based Soul of the Machine, guitar driven Blue Sky Falling, Meigs County music veterans Blitzkrieg, southern rockers Valley Road, followed up by the soulful sound of the Magic Mama Band. Matt King will hit the stage at 8 p.m. for a two-hour show.
In addition to the yearly, all-day music festival, ORL is hopeful to begin quarterly live music events at various venues throughout the county.
“We don’t want this to be just a once a year thing,” Marxen said and emphasized that the ORL members want to incorporate every genre of music into their events. “We want to do something quarterly where we bring in whoever at different times for different events.”
Tickets are available at www.ohioriverlive.ticketleap.com/mattking or at Coach’s Corner, 328 Second Avenue, Gallipolis, Ohio. Festival attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair.
Individuals interested in donating or vending at the event can call (740) 441-7189 for more information. Ohio River Live can also be contacted via Facebook.
“People in Gallipolis are always complaining that there’s nothing to do here,” ORL member Rick Van Gundy said. “We’re trying to create something to do, so the community needs to support it.”