LEON, W.Va. — “I think we’ve got something really big started here,” Garry Peck, organizer of Peck Fest said Monday afternoon.
Peck was speaking about this past weekend’s musical festival at his Kanawha River Campground.
“It was 10 times better than last year and a lot of local people came out and supported it,” Peck said about last weekend’s crowd. “Now there’s a lot of local sponsors wanting in on next year’s concert, too.”
Peck said he hopes to “keep this rolling” into 2017 for the third Peck Fest concert.
“If I didn’t, a lot of people in Mason County may be disappointed,” Peck laughed when joking about the pressure of continuing the festival.
The idea behind the festival was to bring people to Mason County for a concert experience typically found only near larger cities. The gamble appears to have paid off, with local hotels being booked, gas stations running out of ice and camping lots full for the entire weekend at Kanawha River Campground.
Peck said one fan of Saturday’s headliner Kane Brown even drove seven hours to be at the concert and there was just no way of calculating where everyone else was from, though a lot of familiar faces from across the tri-county area were in the crowd.
Despite the intense temperatures, people did not stay away from the festival, where there were plenty of beverages, water and snow cones to help those of all ages cool off.
“We had fans everywhere we could get them,” Peck added.
As for the entire festival, Peck surmised, “it went really smooth,” adding, it wouldn’t have been that way without all the help from Peck Fest staff members, committee/board members, volunteers and sponsors who make the event successful.
Also, chipping in to help those affected by the flooding in West Virginia was Friday’s headliner Chris Janson, who donated 100 percent of his merchandise sales that night to flood relief.
Janson also created one of Peck’s favorite moments of the festival when he pulled children onstage, including Peck’s children, to sing one of his songs. Peck was also onstage filming the moment.
“When I was videoing that, looking back at the crowd, there were so many cell phones (lit up), they looked like stars and the fans were into it,” Peck said.
No word yet on the numbers in terms of attendance and profit, but Peck said the Peck Fest committee will be meeting soon to put all that together and to decide which community organization it would like to donate some of the concert’s proceeds toward. This festival donation is a new addition and is meant to benefit the community as Peck Fest grows.
As for next year’s concert, Peck said, people are already asking about it and “what’s next?”
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.