The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 24, 2014

'Bigger and better' for FAIRfest '14

FAIRFIELD — With the theme of "bigger and better," Fairfield's annual free music and more festival has released the lineup for this year's FAIRfest '14.

More than 6,000 people attended last year's three-day weekend of fabulous free music, and organizers are looking to double that this year. The event is scheduled for June 20-22, and it will feature more than 40 national, regional and local musical talent. The festival spreads over several venues throughout town, including a 40-foot stage between the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center and the county courthouse, in the Sondheim Center and on the town square.

Headlining Friday night is Los Lobos, celebrating its 40th anniversary tour. Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band, the New Orleans institution, brings the Mardi Gras atmosphere to Main Street Saturday night. Sunday has a full lineup, including Fairfield's Apocalypso Tantric Boys Choir and the Jefferson County Green Band.

In 2012, several community supporters approached KRUU radio and asked if the station would be interested in spearheading an annual, high-profile, free weekend summer festival. Last year's FAIRfest decided to say "DIY-not" and took the lead in hosting the event. That success has convinced everyone involved that a second extravaganza was greatly needed.

"I think Fairfield deserves a festival of this scope on an annual basis," said James Moore, co-founder of KRUU radio and one of the event's organizers. "We had fun last year, we worked hard and we thought, 'we did it once, let's see if we can do it again — bigger and better.'"

This year, there will also be a literary component to the festival. Starting small, FAIRfest will be partnering with Fairfield Public Library and sponsoring a children's activity. Iowa writers will do a program for children on Saturday afternoon, an adult reading and an adult writing workshop.

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