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Midvale Journal

Famous Headliners Close Harvest Days

Aug 26, 2016 01:24PM ● By Chris Larson

Alex Boye performed at the Midvale Harvest Days on Aug. 5. –Midvale Arts Council

The conclusion of the Midvale Arts Council’s Levitt AMP Midvale Music Series and the Midvale Harvest Days came with a bang — literally — as fireworks and concerts by “American Idol” season five winner Taylor Hicks and local sensation Alex Boye dazzled attendees.
The Midvale Arts Council, a local non-profit, was awarded a $25,000 matching grant from the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation to put on a free concert series to “(e)nrich lives through the power of free, live (m)usic.”
According to Wade Walker, chairman of Midvale Arts Council Board of Directors, much of the total $50,000 went to paying artists.
On top of directing most of the grant money to the artists, the arts council was able to advertise the free concert series, something that Concert Chair Melanie Beardall identified as a limitation to the success of the previous free concert series.

On average, between 400 and 600 people attended the concerts. One of the better attended events was the 23rd Army Band.

However, with the combination of the Midvale Harvest Days, the concert series and two very popular acts, attendance estimates hovered around 1,500 concert attendees.
“Part of (the grant) was to attract local, regional and national artists to an area,” Walker said. “(The Levitt Foundation) really wanted us to up our game and get more professional artists.”
Walker said the purpose of the Levitt AMP Midvale Music Series and the art council generally is to bring the community together with art experiences that people may not get the opportunity to experience otherwise.

The city-organized Midvale Harvest Days approached the arts council about the possibility of combining the conclusion of both events.
This created a great deal of anxiety for Beardall, a volunteer.
“When the city initially approached us about doing a combo event, I had no intention of getting two big acts,” Beardall said.
The booking of both acts, despite the anxiety of having to fill two headline slots, came with a bit of serendipity.
When trying to book Boye for the conclusion of the Levitt AMP series, slated on Aug. 5, she happened to be referred to the same booking agent she worked with to book the bands, The Crescent Super Band and Latin Roots, who performed in earlier concerts.
“[Boye] loves to perform locally and that makes it a little easier to book him…He can stay close to his family,” Beardall said.
As is offered with the grant, Levitt AMP helped Beardall connect with booking agents to fill the second closing concert.
“We kind of happened upon Taylor Hicks,” Beardall said. “His agency said he would love to and he was in our price range. It really happened by luck.”
Beardall said her favorite acts were the Latin band, Incendio, and up-and-coming folk/indie group, Edison.
The Denver-based Edison was founded by a former member of the The Lumineers, Maxwell Hughes. Beardall said Edison heard about the grant and approached them about performing.
“They are up and coming and thought it would be a good opportunity to sign on a band who had just gotten a recording contract,” Beardall said.
Beardall appreciated Edison’s humor and laid-back approach to the administrative side of things. Specifically, she liked that the band had named their van, “Van Morrison” and their trailer, “Trailor Swift.”