The Examiner

Music Festival Helps Cement P’ville’s Status as Cultural Hub

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By Emily Whelahan

Pleasantville's Back 2 Zero, one of the winners of this year's Battle of the Bands competition, will be one of 15 musical acts performing Saturday at the Pleasantville Music Festival. Guster, KT Tunstall, The Revivalists and The Smithereens are among the headliners.
Pleasantville’s Back 2 Zero, one of the winners of this year’s Battle of the Bands competition, will be one of 15 musical acts performing Saturday at the Pleasantville Music Festival. Guster, KT Tunstall, The Revivalists and The Smithereens are  the headliners.

Since its inception in 2005, the Pleasantville Music Festival has been an event that many in the community have pointed to with a source of pride. A wide array of musical performers, including some top-shelf talent, have graced the stages at Parkway Field over the years.

The impact of the annual festival, scheduled for this Saturday at Pleasantville’s Parkway Field, isn’t only felt by the business that it generates. The municipally-run event also serves as a marketing tool for the roughly 7,200-resident village.

“It puts us on the map culturally,” said festival Executive Director Bruce Figler.

While the festival isn’t much of a money-maker for the village on its own, it does raise the visibility of Pleasantville, said Village Administrator Patti Dwyer.

“It enhances our image as a destination for people to enjoy outdoor opportunities, music and their friends and family,” Dwyer said.

In addition to making visitors more aware of Pleasantville, the festival has given many Westchester bands an opportunity to perform before thousands of people.

This year several Pleasantville natives will be on the festival’s three stages. One of the two Battle of the Bands winners, Back 2 Zero, is Pleasantville based and Zack Feinberg of The Revivalists is from the village.

During its 12-year history, the festival has become one of the most popular fixtures on the village’s calendar. Organizers have recognized the artists that can be attracted to Pleasantville while generating a strong turnout.

“We’ve gotten better and better at determining who folks want to see,” Figler said.

This year’s festival will feature 15 bands on the three stages. On the Main Stage are Guster, KT Tunstall, The Smithereens, The Revivalists, The Annie Minogue Band and Indigo King, who along with Back 2 Zero, is one of the Battle of the Bands winners, a competition that festival organizers held during the spring to identify emerging local talent and give them an opportunity to perform.

Those who attend this year’s festival can look for some minor changes. Figler said to expect a bigger tent city, an area where people can rent spaces to put up tents. There will also a larger chill tent and more vendors. In order to accommodate more festivalgoers, there are plans to push the main stage closer to the fence on the Marble Avenue side of the field.

The festival also features a Kid Zone with rides and amusements from Funtime.

Food and drink is a big part of the experience. There will be the Captain Lawrence Beer Garden with food from Walter’s Hot Dogs and George’s Souvlaki. The Vendor Village will feature Abas Falafel, Break Bread Not Hearts, Cold Stone Creamery, The Great American BBQ Co., Linekins Kettle Corn, Little Mumbai, Pizza a Legna, Rita’s Water Ice and Sundance Deli. Artisans will also be on hand.

The festival is an opportunity for the village to promote its ongoing sustainability efforts. To discourage the use of plastic bottles, music fans are asked to bring reusable cups as volunteers will provide ice cold drinking water. Volunteers will help with guiding music fans with proper recycling and waste removal practices. The festival has been implementing its goal of “zero waste” since 2012.

As the festival gears up for another renewal, it continues to grow with the impact on the community felt in a variety of ways.

“It’s a different type of event in the height of the summer,” said Dwyer.

The Pleasantville Music Festival will take place this Saturday, July 9 at Parkway Field from 12 to 9 p.m. Gates open at 11 a.m.

Tickets are available in advance through Friday for $40 for adults and $25 for seniors (62 and up) and students (12-21 years old) at the Pleasantville Recreation Center at 48 Marble Ave. adjacent to the field or at The recreation center is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Online sales will be subject to the Ticketmaster fee.

Tickets are also available at the gate on Saturday but will cost $55 for adults. Seniors and students will also get in for $25. Children under 12 are admitted free but must be accompanied by an adult with a ticket.


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