Mark your calendars for this weekend: it’s the third Conch Records Music Video Fest on Friday, Saturday and Sunday — Jan. 3-5 — at Marathon Community Park. The purpose, according to organizer Cliff Rydell, is a chance for local bands and musicians to create either a demo reel or a music video. The incredible side benefit goes to music lovers: a $20 admission fee gives everyone access to more than 40 bands over the weekend.
“There will be more than 100 musicians playing continuously on two stages,” said Rydell, of Conch Records, who is also the founder of TV88. “The Florida Keys has a lot of highly talented musicians, like Blues Hall of Fame inductee Jersey Slim.”
The festival benefits two local nonprofits: the Marathon Wild Bird Center and St. Columba’s Hammock House. The bird center is moving from one side of Crane Point Museum to another and renovating the facility. Hammock House serves local children with after-school care and special activities for school vacations.
“Boy, I wish I had a place like Hammock House when I was growing up,” Rydell said.
The festival welcomes an incredible range of musicians. Upper Keys local Dave Feder is known for his classical guitar skills. Shana Gaskill plays the cello. All three bands who were finalists in the Best of Marathon contest — Pine Billies, Stone Crabs and Fiddle Rock — will also make an appearance.
“Have you ever heard Ray West play the flute? He sounds just like Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull,” Rydell said. “West was one of our early supporters when we started bouncing around ideas for a music festival. I told him we could do it, but only if his band, Windpower, could dress up as Jethro Tull and so Marathon Community Theatre’s costume department is helping out.”
Rydell said he’s also excited to see son-and-father duo Marc and Christian Davis play together. “Everyone knows and loves Marc, but his son Christian is one of the most talented guitarists on the planet.”
Friday, Jan. 3
5 p.m. Opening Ceremonies
5:40 p.m. Billy Brown Band
6 p.m. Ukuleles in Paradise
6:40 p.m. Marian Joy Ring
7 p.m. Rachel Grace
7:40 p.m. Mike Bailey
8 p.m. Moose & Bulletproof Blues Band
8:40 p.m. Lower Keys Rock ‘n’ Reggae Band
9 p.m. “Jethro Tull Tribute” with Ray West
9:40 p.m. Kim Jade & The Good Thing
10 p.m. Simply 7
Saturday. Jan. 4
11 a.m. Rita B. Band
11:40 a.m. Dan Sullivan
Noon The Cat 4 Band
12:40 p.m. Terry Cassidy & Gary Hempsey
1 p.m. Luke Sommer Glenn Band
1:40 p.m. Dave Feder
2 p.m. The Stone Crabs
2:40 p.m. Bill Todd
3 p.m. Glenn Harman Band
3:40 p.m. John Bartus
4 p.m. Pasta and the Lower Mat Cats
4:40 p.m. The Pine Billies
5 p.m. The Tim D Band
5:40 p.m. Micah James Gardner
6 p.m. Jersey Slim Band
6:40 p.m. Michael Oben’s Rock & Soul Band
7 p.m. Radio Ghost
7:40 p.m. The Tim Marshall Curtis Band
8 p.m. The Adrienne Z Band
8:40 p.m. Moon Dogs
9 p.m. The Steve Venini Band
9:40 p.m. Cultivation Reggae Band
10 p.m. Fiddle Rock w/ Brother Randy & Steve Hall
Sunday, Jan. 5
11 a.m. Keys Community Concert Band
11:40 a.m. Jennifer Newman & Mike Mitzer
Noon The Ty Thurman Band
12:40 p.m. Joe Mama
1 p.m. Four Sheets to the Wind
1:40 p.m. Michael J w/ Mona Bailey
2 p.m. Usual Suspects with Allan Truesdell
2:40 p.m. Marc Davis and Christian Davis
3 p.m. Lady A Band
3:40 p.m. Shana Gaskill
4 p.m. The Maasai Reggae Band
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
• Save the wristband because admission is $20 for all three days. Also, entry is free to all active and retired military, and children under 16 years old accompanied by an adult.
• Parking is open, except for behind the stages, which is reserved for musicians and crew.
• There will be alcohol, soft drinks and food for sale. The proceeds benefit local nonprofits; no coolers, please.
• No dogs other than service animals.