Here and Now music festival features vendors, food trucks, artists

Aug 15, 2017

The 2nd annual Here and Now Festival will be held on Aug. 25 and 26 at Austin Park featuring more than 70 vendors, 13 food trucks and 14 musical artists.

Pastor Jason Norton said it is a coalition between churches and ministries, with corporate sponsorship, in attempt to bring unity.  

“There seems to be a lot of division between denominations,” Norton said. “We’re trying to see the walls torn down, where we can all come together for a time of worship.”

Here and Now is a revival of an event that happened in 1916. A group of five churches from the area built a structure out of lumber in the middle of winter, where Austin Park is currently located.

“We have the same spirit behind it,” Norton said. “This year, in commemoration of that, were doing the same thing they did, on the same ground they did.”

While the music groups are Christian, Norton said it shouldn’t stop people from coming because the genres vary from 70’s rock, folk, rap and hard rock. Christian Cuevas, the runner up from last year’s TV show “The Voice” will be performing on Saturday night.

There will also be many activities for children, including face painting, balloon animals, cotton candy and Kona ice.

On Friday, the doors will open for VIP ticket-holders at 5:30 p.m., with regular admission at 6. The concert will start at 7 p.m. and end around 11. On Saturday, events will run from 10:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. For a full schedule of events and full list of artists, click here. http://greattabernacle.org/

Norton said the concert will draw people from nine different states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Vermont, along with people coming from Ontario, Canada, and British Columbia.

“Right now, we have 1,500 tickets sold for Friday night,” Norton said. “We’re expecting every bit of 2,000 or 2,500 people to attend this year.”

More than 100 people from local churches are volunteering this year. Norton and his wife ran the event by themselves last year, but decided to involve more people to run it for this year.

Tickets are $5 each to help cover the cost of the festival. If you would like to sponsor this event or advertise your businesses, call 297-3155.

"We hope that this will be a real blessing to the city," Norton said. "We hope people come down and see the city come together at this great event." 

By Maria Pericozzi, The Batavian