Despite rain, VOV was a ‘big success,’ organizer says
The 17th annual Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival held last weekend was “a big success” despite some thunderstorms, Sonny Kay, Low Key Arts’ executive director, said Tuesday.
The event reached a “whole new level of wow, and excitement,” Kay said, noting there was a point on Friday when the band was playing, it began to rain and everyone in the audience left, but within five minutes they came back.
“That was the most catastrophic impact it had on any one performance. The rest of the time it was just kind of like drizzle. And then Saturday, there was no direct conflict whatsoever,” he said.
“The rain created a few hours of havoc. Fortunately, those hours were earlier on Saturday, allowing us to kind of regroup a little bit,” he said. “And then from early afternoon until the end of the night, it was clear. You couldn’t have asked for a better day, honestly, it was great.”
The music kicked off at 4:30 p.m. Friday with opening band Crush Diamond from Houma, La.
“The crowd got bigger and bigger all night and by the end of the night on Friday the whole area in front of the stage was really full with people,” Kay said, stressing the audience still had room for social distancing.
“But there were people down there dancing and having a good time and (that) was exactly the reason why we did the festival in the first place. It was very rewarding.”
Kay said he thinks Cedar Glades Park is the most suitable venue nearby for this kind of event.
“All of the bands were thrilled, the audience members who hadn’t been there before were just wowed, the ones who had been there before were wowed, as well. We really attempted to kind of just create a whole new atmosphere there,” he said, “and I think we were successful with that.”
As far as holding VOV in October next year, Kay said, “That’s a discussion that we’re going to need to have amongst the board of directors of Low Key Arts, and we are keeping all options open at this point.”
The festival is traditionally held in March and has been informally connected to South by Southwest, which comes back in 2022, he said, noting, “There’s the simple fact that all these artists will be passing through this region, so for us to not take advantage of that seems shortsighted.”
Though LKA is still in the process of deciding future dates for the festival, Kay said, “It’s clear that the popular opinion is the Valley of the Vapors could maybe have a whole new life out in Cedar Glades.”
“Exactly where the chips are gonna fall remains to be seen in the next few months …
I’m not sure,” he said. “But I think it goes without saying that as far as Low Key Arts is concerned, we have every intention of doing more events at Cedar Glades. The county seems pleased with the way things went and cooperative and open to the idea of more in the future.”