Funhouse Fest 2017 bids farewell

As the dust settles on the lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg following the conclusions of this year’s Funhouse Fest, music fans from near and far who attended can reflect on a weekend of new discoveries and old favorites.

Mark Hammond and his wife, Cathy, came out from Newport News for one day of last year’s inaugural Funhouse Fest, and they enjoyed it so much that they bought a three-day pass for its return.

“We really enjoyed the first night, seeing Sheryl Crow put on an awesome show,” he said, adding that he enjoyed Bruce Hornsby’s set of Grateful Dead songs Saturday night as well. “He did a great job on that.”

The rest of the lineup, including Rhiannon Giddens' country blues on Sunday, also helped convince them to return. They came prepared with ponchos, although those weren’t necessary in the end.

The forecast was a potential damper on festivities going into the weekend, with the National Weather Service predicting possible rain Friday and Saturday.

“I think all the weather predictions hurt sales,” said Jim Kennedy of Food-A-Tude, one of the food trucks on festival grounds. But the weather turned out beautiful, albeit warm, and his team saw success throughout the weekend.

“Friday night was really strong,” he said, adding that he saw a consistent line of 50 to 100 people through about 9:45 p.m. “Sheryl Crow and Bruce packed them in.”

Business dwindled somewhat as the weekend continued. The crew saw long days, setting up around 11 a.m. or noon each day; on Saturday, they didn’t leave until nearly midnight. But Kennedy said there are no regrets.

“It’s a bigger event. It’s a long day,” he said. “But you know, it’s a lot of fun. It’s what we do. We’d do it again.”

Copyright © 2017, The Virginia Gazette
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