Buzzards and Bees music festival features local musicians, spotlights community values

The Buzzards and Bees crowd listens to Little Moon perform at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on Oct. 26 during the Buzzards and Bees music festival. (Preston Crawley)

The Buzzards and Bees music festival showcased over 80 local bands and musicians at over 10 venues across downtown Provo this weekend. Event staff and audience members said they enjoyed the chance the festival provided to discover new performers and support local talent.

Volunteer coordinator Paul Nahrwold said this festival was uniquely suited to Provo residents looking for new music because of its scope and variety. Since the event wristband provided access to all venues, festival-goers had the opportunity see 40 or 50 bands for the price of one ticket.

Robert Loud plays at The Underground Social Hall. (Preston Crawley)

“Each venue is a different genre, so we’re able to curate those different tastes in music,” Nahrwold said. “It really reaches out to a lot of different people.”

BYU student Emma Barry said she was impressed by some artists she had never heard of before seeing them at the festival.

“It’s cool because they get their names out and we all get new music,” she said.

In addition to the advertised concerts, Buzzards and Bees held two secret concerts with mystery performers at hidden venues. Only festival participants who found special tickets with the details about the secret concerts were admitted.

Concert-goer Patrick Mellor attended both secret concerts, which featured local artists Mindy Gledhill and Joshua James. Mellor said the secret concerts as well as the entire festival was exciting and entertaining.

Roadie performs at The Man Barber. (Preston Crawley)

Buzzards and Bees didn’t just feature musicians. The festival also included a Tiny Art Show exhibition, scary storytelling and virtual reality games.

Buzzards and Bees founder and coordinator Dean Cheesman said the event’s proximity to Halloween posed some challenges for marketing since most of the music at the festival was not Halloween-themed. He added, though, that the team was able to work through the challenge and give the event a successful second year.

Cheesman said he felt his participation in the event was his way of giving back to the Provo community.

“If you put enough energy behind something and you have the passion to do something, you can make the place you live a better place to live,” Cheesman said. “I love Provo. I love living here and I’ve always thought Provo could use something like this.”

Muninn plays at Third Space Studios. (Preston Crawley)

Nahrwold agreed that the Provo community is especially capable of pulling off such an ambitious event. He said the close-knit local music community and the “small-business mentality” of Provo residents allowed event coordinators and volunteers to achieve something special with the festival.

“It’s been such a fun event,” Nahrwold said. “I hope more people continue coming to it. We’re going to keep putting it on as long as we can.”

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