There’ll be an encore, of course.
The inaugural Battle, Axe & Tracks Music Festival in Reno last weekend featured virtuoso guitarists, whose chops laid a foundation for 2023.
“Our goal with this lineup was to make a big splash the first year out and we accomplished everything we wanted,” co-organizer Ken Farley said. “The response that we received from nearly 100 percent of the concert participants has been overwhelmingly supportive and positive and we’ve already sold tickets for next year.”
The next Battle, Axe & Tracks again will take place at spacious Rancho San Rafael Park, located near campus of the University of Nevada, Reno.
More than 1,500 sun-splashed spectators last weekend watched 16 bands upon two stages, including headliners Jimmie Vaughan, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robert Randolph and Samantha Fish.
“It’s a guitar-based festival and we just happened to get a lot of blues acts this year,” co-organizer Gina Lopez said. “There will always be blues, there will always be rock, there will always be soul, there will always be funk, but it’s definitely guitar based.”
An Axe Battle between nine local solo guitarists was held downtown two days before the festival. The winner, Jonny Yocum, was awarded Sunday’s opening spot. Yocum’s day job is with Timberwolf Tree Service. (We’re not making this up, folks).
“Everyone had a personalized song to the taste of guitar styles,” Yocum said about the competition. “Everyone who played was absolutely amazing.”
Yocum who performed with his band ViceGrip, was a Tahoe Forest Hospital baby, born in Truckee and raised in Tahoma. He said the event and the chance to play at the festival was “the experience of a lifetime.”
The festival was recorded, and videos will be used for promotion and was offered to each performer.
“We’re a very artist-friendly organization,” Lopez said. “We want them to be as happy with everything about the festival as we are.”
“(Attendance) was a little less than we had hoped,” Farley said. “Being a first-year festival, we didn’t really know what to expect, and we’ve got a great foundation to move forward in the future. We don’t want to have 100,000. We want to keep it as the biggest little music festival and Rancho is the perfect place for it.”