BradFest carries legacy of old friendThe friends of a northeastern Minnesota musician who passed away in 2009 are hoping to keep his memory alive with an annual music festival in Two Harbors.
By: Brittany Berrens, Lake County News Chronicle
The friends of a northeastern Minnesota musician who passed away in 2009 are hoping to keep his memory alive with an annual music festival in Two Harbors.
The second annual BradFest, organized by the Friends of Brad Memorial Foundation, is set for Aug. 5-6 at the Earthwood Inn, Bar and Grill. The music festival is a fundraiser for the foundation, which supports local musicians through scholarships and other financial help.
Brad Rozman was an Iron Range native. He went to St. Cloud State University to pursue a graduate degree in percussion performance. He was active in the Duluth music scene, performing solo percussion shows and as a drummer for High Volt Rustler and Equal Xchange, before his unexpected death in May 2009 from a seizure.
Friends of Rozman wanted to carry on his memory and passion for local music through a fundraiser, and thought that a music festival would be an obvious choice. The first festival was last summer and brought in more than $7,000, which was used for music scholarships and the purchase of new percussion instruments for the Two Harbors High School band.
Troy Rogers, a festival organizer and long-time friend of Rozman, is certain his friend would appreciate the gathering of musicians and the contributions made to the local music scene. “Part of our goal is to make an event worthy of his spirit,” Rogers said. “We strive to be worthy of his name.”
This year, organizers are hoping to raise even more money. New this year, the foundation will set up a fellowship for musicians who are just starting out and may need money to hold community events such as concerts or music workshops. Rogers said the idea for the fellowship came from the experiences Rozman had as a musician just graduated from college – he found it hard to find venues for his performances as a solo percussionist.
BradFest 2011 will feature more than 10 regional and local bands as well as belly dancing, a silent auction, and food and drink venders. The festival runs from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday. There is no set entrance fee, but there are suggested donations of $21.82 for the weekend, $12.82 for Friday, and $15.82 for Saturday. Donations can be made online at www.bradfest.org or at the festival. The first 125 people to make the suggested donation will get a BradFest 2011 mug.
Festival organizers are still in need of volunteers for the event to help with setup, cleanup, working the gate, serving food and beverages, and assisting bands. Volunteers will get a T-shirt and are offered a free camping spot at the festival site. A volunteer form can be found on the BradFest web site.