Counting down to the big show at the Mushroom Festival
● By J. Chambless
Andrew Miller (right) with Alejandro Escovedo. 'He's a performer, a storyteller, and surrounds himself with some of the best musicians in the world,' Miller says.
By John Chambless
This Saturday night in Kennett Square,
Alejandro Escovedo will take the stage in Kennett Square as the
headline act for this year's Mushroom Festival, and hopes are high
that the show will be more than a concert. Andrew Miller, the
director of the Kennett Flash, believes the show will be a statement
of support for a whole community.
“I'm very excited about this show, because I believe this concert helps us meet our mission,” Miller said recently. The show, he said, “is about the possibility of connecting the current immigration discussion with Alejandro, a first-generation Mexican American, playing a massive agricultural festival, in a town that is 50 percent Latino -- a town of immigrants and migrant workers.”
The Escovedo concert, which will take place in the Special Events tent at the Mushroom Festival, is another coup for The Flash, which scored a sold-out concert by 10,000 Maniacs last year.
“I really felt the need to do something that reached beyond money for the Flash,” Miller said. “This event is an opportunity for us to do something more important than a fundraiser. ... In his announcement of the show online, Alejandro made mention of the Mushroom Festival being 'one of the important community festivals,' and I really think he got it, and got what we wanted to do. It wasn't about a payday.
“Alejandro already has a foothold in this area. He has history in Philadelphia, Wilmington and Arden – shows upon shows,” Miller said. “But he reaches beyond that with this concert. He goes deeper. And I totally think he gets that, and that's why he wanted to do this.”
On Aug. 29, Miller sent an email message to friends and patrons of the Kennett Flash, asking for their support.
“As many of you know, the Mushroom Festival concert is to serve as our largest fundrasier of the year,” he wrote. “Last year we invested over $33,000 into the performance with 10,000 Maniacs. It was a huge risk, but it paid off. We were able to raise over $14,000 in one night for one of the most important non-profit performing arts centers in Chester County. We once again are sparing no expense to bring the largest concert of the year to downtown Kennett Square. Last year was easily the largest concert downtown Kennett has ever seen, and this one will be no different.
“We need your help to make this concert a success!” Miller wrote. “Nothing is guaranteed at this point, other than the fact that we will be presenting an amazing concert. The possibility remains that our entire investment this year will be a break-even venture. But it will still be our biggest fundraising effort of the year, the largest concert we present this year, and one truly memorable event!”
For the show, Escovedo will be bringing his six-piece band from Italy to the United States for the first time, promoting a new album, “The Crossing,” and playing selections from his extensive solo catalog. This is the U.S. premiere of the band.
“I was happy to make a personal donation in support of this concert last week,” Miller wrote in his email last week. “Please join me in supporting The Kennett Flash and our Mushroom Festival concert. You can support in one of three ways -- by sponsoring the performance either as an individual or a business, by making a tax-deducable donation to The Kennett Flash, or simply by purchasing tickets to the show.”
Tickets for Alejandro Escovedo with Don Antonio are $35. The show is scheduled Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. The event is all-ages. For more information, visit www.kennettflash.org.