Musicfest unites the county's music lovers

by Angela Schnatter
Union County is a relatively quiet area — residential, nondescript. However, the community shed its tranquil exterior this year at the annual rock festival Musicfest. Held in Nomahegan Park, from September 14 to 18, this year’s Musicfest was the largest yet, featuring big-name bands such as Blondie and Neon Trees, three large stages, and a plethora of local vendors and rides.
“We call it the Union County Musicfest because it’s more about the community than anything else. We like to feature artists from the area, bring neighbors together, and really represent the good in Union County,” said Director of the Office of Public Information Sebastian D’Elia. Members of the community shared D’Elia’s sentiment, braving damp, cool weather and the long trek from the parking lot to participate in the festival.
The atmosphere and energy picked up considerably inside the park. Music from three different live bands blasted from every angle, colorful rides and balloons stretched across the sky, and the sheer volume of people made it easy to forget the horrid conditions.
Senior Krystel Charles said, “I really only went for Neon Trees, but ended up staying later, listening to smaller bands and eating cotton candy. All the people just looked like they were having so much fun.”
As soon as Tyler Glenn, lead singer of the alternative band Neon Trees, took the stage, the atmosphere of this year’s Musicfest was immediately charged with a brand of energy usually reserved for big-city productions. Glenn bounced around excitedly as he sang the band’s’ hits “1983” and “Animal,” performing quirky dances and doing his best to match the excitement of the audience. Between sets, when Glenn reminisced about going to Musicfest as a teenager, the true theme of the weekend was revealed: Union County is more than a small, residential area; we’re a community that knows how to relax and let go.
Glenn wasn’t the only star boosting the excitement of the night. As Blondie vocalist Debbie Harry took the stage, the entire festival exploded. People of all ages surrounded the stage in anticipation of fan favorites, including “Heart of Glass” and “Call Me.” Harry’s overwhelming stage presence did not disappoint and altogether mirrored the flair of the night.
“[The concert] was very well attended. Blondie was amazing,” said Principal David Heisey. Summing up the festival’s perfect combination of music and carnival attractions, sophomore Stephen Deduck said, “It was awesome.”