Who wants an early Christmas present? Yeah? Well here you go: Announcing Waynestock VII, taking place Feb. 3 and 4 at Relix Variety Theatre, 1208 N. Central St. in the “Happy Holler” neighborhood!
The Reader’s Digest version: Waynestock began as a celebration of life for Andrew “Drew” Bledsoe, the son of local music writer extraordinaire Wayne Bledsoe, who died suddenly in 2010. Wayne’s friends, many of them local musicians, wanted to offer comfort the only way they knew how: By playing.
It was amazing. It was life-affirming. It was magic, so much so that we did it again the following year for the family of the late Phil Pollard … and the year after that … and so on, until Waynestock became a festival that raised funds for worthy causes (including the Community School for the Arts, the E.M. Jellinek Center, WUTK-FM and the Knoxville Girls Rock Camp) in addition to being a hell of a good time.
This year’s beneficiary is the iconic Old City venue known as The Pilot Light, which this year obtained 501(c)(3) status and now operates as a non-profit. It’s a beloved local institution, a bastion of culture and music you won’t find anywhere else and fits perfectly with the Waynestock aesthetic. According to Pilot Light Executive Director Jason Boardman, “We are so thankful to be chosen as this year’s beneficiary. The interior fixtures, seating and lights, made largely by volunteer help, are now 12-15 years old and need some help. We plan to use the money raised to replace and repair things that have always had to wait due to more pressing priorities. These are features that will make it a more comfortable environment to see a show.”
Speaking of shows, here’s who you’ll see gracing the Waynestock stage this year!
As always, admission is only $5 per night. And as always, there will be a raffle going on with plenty of sweet prizes. And as always, you’ll come away with new friends, new favorite bands and a renewed appreciation for just how spectacular this local scene is.
Mark your calendars and plan on being there. We can’t wait to see you and celebrate once again.