Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Shipyard Music Festival makes wave in downtown Cape

Monday, September 24, 2018

Shipyard Festival, a daylong event on Saturday Sept. 22 featuring seven nationally touring bands looked to create a unique experience and grow the footprint of Cape Girardeau according to event planner, and creative director of rustmedia Jeff Rawson.

It was really this idea of creating a unique kind of community space for Southeast Missouri, Rawson said. We just wanted something closer to that larger music festival experience.

Rawson said the event, which also featured food and drink vendors was in the planning process for over a year, and it was finally able to come together with help from various collaborators.

Klance Unlimited, a stage company known for its work on LouFest, set up the stage, and bands were booked with help from the Pageant.

The bands ranged from the high-energy punk-pop of *repeat repeat, to the more pop-rock Vinyl Theatre to the soulful, floor-stomping sound of Jamestown Revival, the headline act.

An uninvited low-pressure weather system also made a lengthy appearance.

The rain was problematic, pushing back the start of the event from 11 a.m. to noon and hurt attendance.

Just minutes after noon only a handful of people had filed in, but the air was already filled with music and the smell of food.

As the first act Ryan Corn, a Scott City native pop singer set up, the festival was beginning to brim with life. The five food vendors Bistro Saffron, Mary Jane Burgers & Brew, Lemonade House Grille, Faithfully Fed and Imos Pizza started serving, and the beer started flowing from the multiple beer vendors.

With rain drizzling in, Corn took the stage. His hair was wet from the rain as he sang his originals and a cover of Love Potion No. 9.

The rain picked up during the changeover following Corn. It picked up intensity as indie-rock band Towrs took the stage. The four-person group still drew the audience to the front of the stage while they held their umbrellas and kept their hoods up.

Royal Teeth was the final band to play while rain was falling.

*repeat repeat may have been responsible for driving off the rain with its high-energy act, propelled by frontman Jared Corder. The rain stopped around 3:30 p.m. while Corders energy resonated with the crowd, opening the set by singing Cape Girardeau, are you ready to party? to the opening riffs of the first song.

The audience began to grow as the day went on. Many families came to the event, children were running with face-paint all around the venue.

The most popular event at the festival besides the music were the giveaways at the Rhodes 101 and Imos Pizza tent. They held a drawing between musical sets, including giveaways for soft drinks for a year, Imos pizza for a year, fuel for a year and Cardinals baseball tickets. As soon as an act would finish, the crowd would migrate to the back corner of the lot to participate in the drawing.

Several students came to the event, either as volunteers or audience members. Southeast freshman Jacob Eisenkramer said he had anticipated the event since hearing about it at the Welcome Back Picnic.

Im just here to listen to music, have a good time and blow some stress off, Eisenkramer said.

The country-rock band A Thousand Horses played after *repeat repeat, exclaiming We beat the storm, as they began their set.

Vinyl Theater began playing as the sun went down, giving their light show a chance to shine. Vivid reds, yellows, and purples lit the stage and the park as much as their vibrant performance. Lead singer Keegan Calmes took his shirt off mid-performance and began dancing on the speakers as the unique brand of pop-rock drew the audience in larger and larger numbers.

Jamestown Revival took the stage to cap the show. The bands sound check had been rained out in the morning so they were forced to do it on stage. Anticipation drew the crowd toward the band, so they made their opening song their sound check.

Rawson, the event organizer, called the event a success, noting many compliments he received throughout the day.

Rawson said he plans to bring the festival back bigger and better next year.

My plan is that we make this a real destination event for Cape Girardeau, Rawson said.