After 50 Years Sedalia Gets Ready To Host Another Music Festival
Depending on your perspective, you'll either be at the Missouri State Fairgrounds on the weekend of September 20, 2024, or you'll be hightailing it out of Sedalia to escape the expected 50,000 people organizers hope will attend The Mozark Music and Arts Festival.
Fifty years after the Ozark Music Festival, organizers are planning what they call an epic festival, The Mozark Music and Arts Festival, at the State Fairgrounds encompassing big names, some of whom appeared at the 1974 festival along with nostalgic events saluting the '70s and the making of new memories.
Mark Valentine, of United Entertainment of America out of Kansas City, is producing the event for Missouri Music Festivals, LLC. Missouri Music Festivals, LLC was put together by Dr. Doug Kiburz, an Orthopaedic Surgeon with Bothwell Regional Health whose also a noted author, poet, and artist. Valentine told me that Kiburz and some other notable Sedalia residents are behind the group and that the town has largely been receptive to the festival.
Valentine said his company was hired to book the artists and professionally produce the event for Missouri Music Festivals, LLC. The impression I got from talking with Valentine is that he wants to create a festival experience for concert-goers that evokes the good memories of the 1974 festival without the problems and drama that came with the original.
He's also excited about the prospect of The Matthewson Exhibition Center and The Missouri State Fairgrounds for other concerts and shows beyond The Mozark Music and Arts Festival. Valentine told me he wants to put Sedalia back on the touring map for artists and that The Mozark Music Festival and its associated shows leading up to the festival can go a long way to doing that.
United Entertainment of America is currently in the early stages of talking to artists about playing the festival and warming up West Central Missouri for the festival with some warm-up shows on the fairgrounds. Yet, booking '70s era artists along with being a new festival means locking in artists this early in the process isn't easy. The Mozark Music and Arts Festival site says to expect a lineup announcement in 2023.
One warm-up show is currently scheduled for the Mathewson Exhibition Center on Saturday, October 29. Billed as Peace, Love & Halloween the show stars The Ozark Mountain Daredevils and The Woodstock Flashback Band. Plus attendees can participate in a world record attempt for most harmonicas playing the Ozark Mountain Daredevils' song "Chicken Train".
Tickets for the Ozark Mountain Daredevils show at the Matthewson are scheduled to go on sale on September 1. For those interested in keeping up with the Mozark Music and Arts Festival there's a website and a Facebook page.
As for Valentine, he's looking forward to a safe Mozark Music and Arts Festival in 2024 with lots of peace, love, and music. A festival that's good for the City, good for its citizens, good for West Central Missouri, and one that puts Sedalia back on the radar of touring artists.