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The Post  
Haverford Music Festival Q and A with Tom Kelly, Chairman
  by: iradiophilly - Philadelphia, PA
started: 08/31/12 7:13 pm | updated: 08/31/12 7:14 pm
Why was this festival put together in the first place?

The concept for the Haverford Music Festival was introduced by the Haverford Township Civic Council, a private, non-profit organization that funds historic, environmental, business, and community initiatives in Haverford Township. Inspired by the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Bethlehem Musikfest and other music festivals in the area, Chris Whiting, Mary Courtney and others on the HTCC sent a call out in the community for volunteers to organize our own music festival. With my experience in the music and broadcasting industry, and my association with the radio stations at, I gladly stepped up. I was encouraged by the vast experience of many of the other volunteers who showed up at the initial meetings. Haverford Township resident Drew Pompilio runs a talent booking and production company called Dbuyer, Emanuel DelPizzo is an accomplished musician and music teacher at Malvern and is a voting member for the Grammy awards, Scott McClatchy and Laura McClatchy have many years’ experience in music and artist hospitality, Jeanette DiLuco worked many years helping to organize WXPN festivals. Having enthusiastic township residents who have skills in marketing, graphic design, public relations, construction, security and all the necessary areas, we felt confident we could put on a first class FREE music festival.

Without the volunteers, we could not get it done. Haverford Township granted us a permit to hold the festival. However they were very clear that the township would not fund the event. NO TAXPAYER DOLLARS was the directive and so we need to work very hard to recruit sponsors and vendors to pay all the bills for things we cannot get donated. We are very grateful to our top sponsors Xfinity, GEICO, PECO, AQUA and many others who help make the Haverford Music Festival happen.

Most of the performers are volunteers as well. And our headliners have drastically reduced their fees for us. The spirit of generosity and volunteerism permeates the entire festival. Professionals whose time and talents are extremely valuable contribute their abilities for the good of the community. It’s gratifying to be among a group of musicians and volunteers who donate themselves so that friends and neighbors in Haverford Township and beyond can have a good time.

What is your personal goal and hope for this year’s festival?

This is our second year. We hope to have 10,000 people attend this year. In our first year, the Haverford Music Festival was more like a big block party. We did not promote it very heavily and on the day of the event, many people said they had not known it was going to happen. This was part of the design in year 1. We needed a festival that would be very manageable in our first year as we built the system. Last year we attracted about 7,000 and learned a lot from the experience.

We have excellent musicians from Haverford Township in the lineup. Returning this year is Scott McClatchy, formerly of The Stand. Scott is a singer/songwriter who blends Rock, Folk and Country and has worked with nationally known artists like Steve Earle, John Hiatt, the BoDeans and Little Steven. Last year Scott added a horn section and put on one of the best performances of the day. We also have Jazz vocalist Denise Montana and an outstanding young Rock band, Blue Apple Groove returning this year.

This year we want to make the Haverford Music Festival bigger and better than last year. We decided to expand our footprint and attract audiences from further away. To draw more attendees from outside Haverford Township, we added some very talented, well known performers to the lineup. Blackthorn is a well-known Irish rock band from Delaware County. And from the other direction, John Flynn is a popular singer-songwriter who has played the Philadelphia Folk Festival numerous times as well as Rose Tree Park and many venues in Chester County as well as touring nationally. Both Blackthorn and John Flynn have been featured on Philadelphia radio and television. We think that performers of this caliber will help attract new visitors to Haverford Township and bring more people to the Haverford Music Festival.

Also, for the first time this year, we plan to broadcast LIVE from the Haverford Music Festival via audio/video stream on Music fans who can’t come out or stay for the whole day will be able to tune in and watch the Haverford Music Festival from anywhere in the world at

We want to offer a music festival that features something for everyone. There will be Rock, Folk, Jazz, Blues, Classical and many of the performers are from Haverford Township. It’s really exciting to see young performers get a chance to play to the biggest audience they have ever seen. All the performers will be available after their performances at a "meet and greet" tent where they will have their music available for sale, pose for pictures and sign autographs.

The festival will go later into the night this year with Blackthorn playing until 9:30 on the Field Stage. Parents will have the opportunity to bring the kids to the festival in the afternoon, then take them home to a sitter while mom and dad rock into the night. We are encouraging people to bring folding lawn chairs and blankets. We have three stages and folks will want to move around to get a taste of the whole festival.

We are very grateful to have the support of our sponsors. Milkboy is sponsoring the performer green room areas and providing refreshments to our artists. Starbucks is providing coffee to our volunteers whose day begins very early the morning of the event. Portable generators are being donated by Gaffer Baron. Security personnel is being donated by National Event Services. Advertising time and live broadcast are being donated by iRadioPhilly.

This year we are also encouraging people to ride their bike to the Haverford Music Festival. Parking is limited in the immediate area, so this year we will provide a secure bike parking corral for festival-goers to check their bikes when they arrive. The Friends of Haverford Trails and members of the Philadelphia bike coalition will staff the bike corral.

New this year, we have invited the Haverford Guild of Craftsmen to display and sell their crafts and art at the Haverford Music Festival. There will be an impressive display of fine art, clay, metal, paper, jewelry, glass, photography and fiber.

Can you tell me some of the specific vendors, both food and crafts that will be at the festival? Will there be food present from other cultures?

The Oakmont National Pub and The Lamplighter Tavern will have outdoor beer gardens and serve food near the stage on Darby Road. They are also cooperating on a beer and wine garden, new this year, near the Field Stage on Hathaway Lane. Burke’s Inn on Darby Road will feature drink specials as will the Cheese Club on Darby Road. The menu offered by vendors on the street this year will include Irish, Italian, Indian, Chinese and American cuisine. Chickie’s and Pete’s will be on hand with their amazing seafood and world famous crab fries, the Sam Pan Inn will feature Chinese, Twenty 9 Restaurant will offer an elegant selection, Zac’s Burgers, Centrella’s Deli and several other food trucks will feature sandwiches to feed the music lovers. There will be pizza from Paisano’s, Cenzo’s and Bob’s Bake At Home. The Edgewood Café will have a booth too. We will have plenty of snacks and desserts as well. Testa’s Bakery and Frozen Delights Ice Cream will be on hand.

Are any profits from the vendors going to the non-profit organization?

All of the profits from the Haverford Music Festival directly benefit the Haverford Township Civic Council. The HTCC is a 501c3 non-profit that supports local community initiatives such as Tree Tenders which has planted hundreds of trees in Haverford Township in the last few years. Funding also benefits the Haverford Township Historical Society, Haverford Trail Preservation and the Haverford Township business community. The Haverford Township Civic Council was instrumental is raising $350,000 to build Freedom Playground, a handicap accessible playground at Haverford Reserve. The HTCC is dedicated to making Haverford Township a more attractive place to live, raise a family, work, and do business.

We will be selling wristbands for a small donation to the festival. Each wristband is also uniquely numbered and eligible for raffle prizes like sports memorabilia donated by the Phillies, Eagles, 76ers, Flyers as well as gift certificates to local businesses like Testa’s Bakery, Corner Pizza and the Havertown Bicycle Shop.

Are most of the vendors local business owners?

Most of our vendors are local to Haverford Township or the immediate Main Line and Delaware County areas. Each of these sponsors and vendors has an opportunity to make a positive impression on thousands of festival-goers.

Some of the sponsors and vendors on hand at the festival this year will include Unique Indoor Comfort, Gothicstone Travertine, Marple Sports Arena, Century 21 Alliance, Sovereign Bank, Alliance Bank, Saint Denis Church, BQ Basement Systems, Gans Plumbing and Heating, F. A. Bartlett Tree Experts, IFG Mortgage, Keller Williams Real Estate, Wave Home Solutions, MetroPCS, Renewal by Anderson, Sherwin Williams, Boyle Energy, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Arthur Wagner Real Estate, Earlington Hospitality, H & B Driveway Resealing, Harcum Medley Music School, Havertown Bicycle Shop, J&J Concrete and Paving, Nolan Painting, John Cippolone Heating and Cooling, MusicWorks, Paul Green School of Rock, Penn Therapy, Ultimate Wellness, Snap Fitness, Scott’s Fireplace, Barber Law Offices, Richard Pfeiffer, DMD, Relay For Life, Radomile Academy of Dance, Penn Therapy, Jano’s, Keystone Gardening, the Haverford Township Democratic Committee, Veze Wireless, Dasani and more.

What is there to do that appeal to children VS. what appeals to adults?

There is music for grown-ups and music for the kids. Music moves everyone. One of my favorite memories from last year is the children dancing their hearts out right in front of the stage for hours. I am sure they all slept well that night. This year, there will also be a moon bounce, hula-hooping and other activities for the kids. We’ll also be selling glow necklaces to help create an extra special, after dark spectacle.

Grown-ups will love the music, of course and the people. It will again have the feel of a huge neighborhood party. It’s part reunion too, giving people the opportunity to reunite with old friends and neighbors in a social setting that only happens once a year. The crafts and art will add a new dimension this year. The food, beer and wine complete the Haverford Music Festival experience.

Overall, what do you expect festival goers to take/gain from their experience at this festival?

I hope people come away from the Haverford Music Festival feeling that the event is one of many reasons that they are proud to be residents of Haverford Township. I want people to know the great musical talent right here in our backyard and come to appreciate the artists who play and maybe buy a few of their CD’s. I want our sponsors and vendors to get the recognition they deserve for making this great event possible.

Live music can create an uplifting experience for artist and audience. Most of all I want people to go home with smiles – a little happier than before. If we can bring a little joy to everyone, I’ll be satisfied.

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(1) response


 by: iradiophilly - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 08/31 7:14 pm


THE POST | News | Sports | Culture | Business | Free Forum


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