Catch every act in Vail all at once |

Catch every act in Vail all at once

Erik Vienneau

It would take months to hear all the live music available in Vail. That is unless music lovers are at the Ford Amphitheater on Sunday, Aug. 18, when the fourth annual Vail Music Faire kicks into overdrive.The day-long party is the equivalent of those Cliff Notes back in college – you can fit a ton of learning into bite-sized packages. The only difference is this is a lot more fun than homework.More than 44 musical acts will cram their varied music into 15-minute sets between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Audiences are kept enthralled by the up-and-down nature of the talent levels and the shockingly nonsensical transitions from act to act.It’s probably the only time audiences hear the alpenhorn, Bavarian singing and crass jokes of Vail mascot Helmut Fricker followed by the in-your-face punk-funk-rock act Sucker.”The festival is kind of like Colorado weather,” says Vail Music Faire’s music director Bob Finnie, “If you don’t like what’s up there now, just wait for 15 minutes.”Finnie’s been in town since the ’80s and says the local music scene has seen more changes in quantity over the years than it has in quality. He says the local talent has always been impressive, but that more and more performers and additional venues for them to play keep adding to the excitement.”The diversity of the faire has always been there,” Finnie says. “You just watch them all come across the stage one right after the other. We’ll go from a classical pianist and the Children’s Choral to community theater doing a song to a jazz guitarist like Justin Allison and then the all-girl band Psycho Barbie.”Although there are no rules as far as grouping the bands into genres, there is a rule about who gets to play. Although acts from across the state call Finnie to perform, they all get shut down. You have to be a local to play.That is unless you used to live in Vail and are the special guest that is invited back to perform. Prince Havely, who longtime locals will remember as one of the stars of the dinner club, Club Majiks, in the late ’80s and early ’90s is this year’s special out-of-town treat.Havely has gone on to perform at President Clinton’s inaugural ball and now lives in D.C., playing soul and R&B for high society. He’ll also play Saturday, Aug. 17, at Club Chelsea’s reunion party.”You’re going to hear a great variety at the faire,” Finnie says. “Justhaving a black person in Vail is enough to draw an audience around here. Prince always jokes about how few brothers there are here all the time.”Besides a little welcomed ethnic and musical diversity on stage, the final jam of the day features almost all of the day’s performers hitting the stage to jam and really show the diversity of the local music scene.As the festival has grown, there have been more family activitiesadded to make the festival welcoming to all.”At Club Chelsea we’ve met wonderful local musicians and local entertainers and wanted to expose their talent to the whole community,” says Judy Alexander, who owns Chelsea and whose foundation sponsors the event. “There is so much talent in this valley, and I wanted to provide a wonderful day for this beautiful community I live in.”The Vail Music Faire is free, thanks to Alexander, and begins at 10a.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at the Ford Amphitheater in Vail. The pre-party kicks off at Club Chelsea the night before. Call (970) 477-2280 for more information.

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