BRISTOL – People who came up to the Indian Rock Nature Preserve Sunday were treated to blues and jazz music at the Music on the Farm Celebration.
Sponsored by the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut (ELCCT) to support wildlife and educational programs at Indian Rock, the event returned over the weekend for its fourth year.
It was cancelled in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic.
“Not being able to have it last year interrupted our momentum I think; but everyone who is here is having a great time,” ELCCT executive director Scott Heth said, pointing towards the center’s brand new patio space, where rock cover band Cajun Ray & The Steamers jammed to Creedence Clearwater Revival.
“We moved the festival up here because of the impending rain,” Heth explained. “We just put in this patio a month ago and it worked out really well for us. We didn’t want to take the chance with the thunderstorms expected.”
Volunteers would have liked to see a larger turnout for the event, which featured three live performances by New England-based musicians, with acoustic guitar in between, courtesy of solo artist Matt Sperzel.
Two food trucks were also on site – Dem Boyz Grill and Moon Rocks Gourmet Cookies. Meanwhile, local craft breweries Firefly Hollow and Counter Weight provided afternoon libations alongside the Thirsty Owl Winery.
In between hitting the stage, the musicians themselves enjoyed something to eat and drink while their ears tuned in to other groups’ performances.
“I always love coming here,” said .Wanda Houston, one of the day’s featured performers. “This place is so impressive to me. And I’ll do anything to support Scott.”
Heth happens to be her band’s keyboard player and occasionally takes the microphone alongside Houston.
She’s been to Indian Rock lots of times, even singing to the animals who call the preserve their home.
“Doing the music festival is just double the joy for me,” Houston added.
Shaded Soul’s self-proclaimed “CEO of Soul” Renee Prescott chatted with her band mates and others inside the Indian Rock facility while having a bite to eat mid-afternoon.
“This is our first time playing here,” Prescott said. “They are very hospitable vendors. Everyone is really nice.”
About 20,000 local youth come to Indian Rock each year as summer campers and wildlife learners. Music on the Farm is one of the preserve’s largest fundraisers.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at email@example.com.