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Festival wraps up fifth year

Music was able to fill the air during a damp weekend in Unicoi.
With inclement weather, the fifth annual Buffalo Valley Music Festival was still able to greet performers and music lovers to an enjoyable three-day stretch during the weekend at Farmhouse Gallery and Gardens.
The event was the third year at the premise in Unicoi and attendants were welcomed to over 60 bands, storytellers, singers, songwriters and artists lining the fields to provide various types of entertainment.
Refreshments were served during the event and activities were available for children, including a Kiddie Koral and face painting.
Different stages at the festival were illuminated to fit a more intimate style, allowing more enjoyment by listeners, according to Eric Stillions, who worked on the stages’ designs.
“We wanted to create that intimacy between musicians and the audience,” Stillions said on Saturday as a band performed at the Unicoi tent of the festival’s entrance. “What’s a better place than this actual environment? The grounds here are absolutely fantastic to work with. Every single stage we have set up has a unique feel about it and it just allows that coziness to let the music get inside you.”
Stillions brought experience with him to Unicoi with a history of working in the entertainment industry in California.
“I come from a long line of working in the entertainment industry,” Stillions said. “I’m actually based out of Los Angeles where I work on movies as a lighting technician. I bring a lot of that into the way I lit and designed these stages and with the use of lighting to enhance the raw-feel of the environment around the artist. Luckily, we have such great performers that are down to earth. That real earthy, bluegrass, Americana music to incorporate both sides has really enhanced the environment for performing.”
Eric Sommer, event organizer, has been hard at work during the festival’s third year, including highlighting the main stage on Saturday Being in the county and the feel of the area is something that Stillions enjoyed during the three-day stretch.
“It has been great,” he said. “I have really enjoyed it. We’ve had a lot of good supporters in the area that really want to see this thing succeed and think we’re out here doing something good. I don’t think there’s another festival quite like this one in Unicoi, that actually brings the environment to people and lets them experience music out in the open.”
The event is a long line of entertainment that has made its way into the town over the years to attract tourism, while highlighting the natural beauty of the area, according to Unicoi’s Community Development Director Jennifer Gryder.
“It gave Unicoi an opportunity to show off our natural beauty, educate visitors on our area and inform attendees about all the events we have planned for the coming weeks and months,” she added.
Visit buffalovalleymusicfestival.com/ for more information on entertainers that participated during the event.