Beatlefest returns to Kent

Alexis Amato

Beatlefest returned for it’s third annual festival last night in downtown Kent to celebrate the 51st anniversary of Beatlemania. Various artists from all around played at 18 different venues. From local singer-songwriters to big Beatles tribute bands, all played covers of Beatles songs, as well as other popular 60s ‘British Invasion’ songs.

Lydia Stater, a sophomore fashion design major, enjoyed watching the bands.

“I listen to the Beatles because my dad is a music teacher and he played ‘Blackbird’ when I was a child, and would sing all these covers (that) are just really inspirational,” said Stater. “They really have a different vibe.”

One band in particular brought their own country vibe to the otherwise psychedelic songs. Ryan Humbert and his band played at Tree City Coffee for their third time as part of the Beatlefest. The band members include Ryan Humbert, Ben Evans, and Emily Bates, who all hail from Ohio.

“We’re all huge Beatles fans,” said Evans. “We’ve done tribute shows before, but we had a lot of fun doing this one.” The band primarily plays their own stuff, which can be classified as “a little bit pop-rock and a little bit roots-rock,” as Humbert put it.

They have plans to do a Bob Dylan tribute show at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “For that one, we have a whole seven piece band set up. We practice for weeks,” said Humbert. “This one was a little easier though. We already knew the songs pretty well.” The band has played in a variety of different venues, from the House of Blues to The Kent Stage.

Megan Deierling, a Kent State junior, enjoyed the country flair.

“They didn’t sound like the Beatles, but in a good way,” said Deierling. “The whole set was pretty much acoustic and it really fit the atmosphere. It was relaxing to drink coffee and listen to some live music.”

Alexis Amato is a business and neighborhoods reporter.