Las Vegas Sun

September 17, 2014

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Maryland Parkway Music Fest gets points for trying

Image

Bill Hughes

The stage at Maryland and Harmon.

Last weekend’s Maryland Parkway Music Festival presented a variety of performers—local bands, poets, upcoming national acts—at three locations along one of Las Vegas’ historic roadways. But with stages barely large enough to house the entertainers, inadequate sound equipment and rocky show flow, the festival has some major kinks to work out before attempting a second such event.

A few white plastic chairs, surrounded by a hodgepodge of local vendors, set the scene for festival attendees—who appeared largely to be veteran art and entertainment scene supporters, rather than the targeted college-aged demographic. Organizers repeatedly showcased the bands, restaurants and vendors during unorganized transitional announcements.

The three-day street festival wrapped up Sunday, nestled amongst strip malls and vacant storefronts on a blocked-off Harmon Avenue across from UNLV. One bright spot: Michigan-based bluegrass troupe Frontier Ruckus. Giving that band an outlet to perform in Las Vegas is almost reason enough to forgive the event’s many inadequacies.

The idea behind the festival—giving talented artists a platform for awareness while feeding new entertainment to culture-starved residents of the University District—is fantastic in concept. If organizers hope for increased traffic to the Parkway, they’ll need to step up their overall execution significantly.

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