‘Round Town festival comes to Kent

Submitted Photo

Neville Hardman

The ‘Round Town Music Festival will set a melodic veil over downtown Kent on Friday, Sept. 19 as more than 60 artists perform at various venues — all free of charge.

If one were to stop by Standing Rock Cultural Arts Center, they would see Emma Shepard getting ready to preform. Armed with a keyboard and a set of original songs, Shepard is set to play at 9 p.m.

As a Scribbles Coffee House barista by day and musician by night, Shepard says that she is “excited to be back” to the festival.

“Jeff Ingram, who owns Standing Rock, asked me to come back since I played there last year for ‘Round Town,” Shepard said.

Originally a Hudson native, Shepard was anxious to get immersed in a “more artistic, open-minded community” as she settled into Kent. She grew up around a wealth of musical influence that motivated her to start a path towards becoming a recognized artist.

“My mom is a musician and my dad owns a record store, so I grew up singing and listening to music and I knew it was what I wanted to do at a really young age,” Shepard said.

Shepard says it is “warm and welcoming” to be able to play ‘Round Town, especially because it is a Kent hosted festival.

“It’s important to me to play in my home town because I really want there to be a bigger musical and artistic community,” Shepard said. “The first step would be for artists to get themselves out there as much as possible, so Kent can blossom back into a DIY wonderland.”

Bed Crumb, including members Chris Corsi and Matt Schleckman, will also be preforming as a two-piece band at Standing Rock on Friday night. The duo will jam experimental indie sounds as they participate in their first year at ‘Round Town.

“I’ve always been interested in doing ‘Round Town, but the opportunity never quite fell into (our) lap so it’s nice that it worked out that way,” Corsi said.

Although Bed Crumb is just now getting the chance to play in the festival, their performance won’t be anything less matched against those experienced ‘Round Town artists like Shepard.

“Expect it to be loud, even for two people producing it,” Corsi said.

Schleckman said, “It’s going to be a spectacle of sorts. There’s going to be a lot of emotion.”

Contact at Neville Hardman [email protected].