Benefest 2013 poster

Athens Musicians to Raise Funds for Annual “Benefest”

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This Thursday, eight local bands will come together for the third annual Benefest, a two-night event consisting of back-to-back performances at The Union and Casa Cantina, the proceeds of which will go towards The Gathering Place and ARTS/West.

The event kicks off Thursday at Casa Cantina, starring local acts Method Air, Fathers of the Revolution, Von Lionson and Corbin Marsh, and bleeds into a series of performances on Friday night at The Union by Bright at Night, Small Steps, Mrs. Helen Highwater and Blonde.

Although both nights are technically “free” shows, attendees are encouraged to donate whatever they feel they can.

Besides encouraging donations of any amount, raffle tickets for various prizes donated by local businesses will be sold both evenings to help boost the amount of money raised.

The event is being sponsored by Lamborn’s Studio & Custom Framing and O’Betty’s Red Hot, both located on West State Street.

The organizations that are benefiting from this Hocking College-hosted event are well-known in the Athens area.

ARTS/West is dedicated to providing a local venue where local artists of all types are encouraged to further the development of the arts in southeast Ohio. The facility is used year-round by two art-enrichment summer camps, six theater companies, an independent musician’s network, a homeschool choir and countless other artists.

The Gathering Place allows a space for people struggling with mental illness to work on their recovery in a healthy, wholesome environment.

“Last year’s benefit was very successful and everyone had fun,” said Grant Engstrom of Small Steps, who performed during Benefest 2012.

It’s not unusual for Athens musicians to offer their services for a good cause–take the annual Athens Community Music Festival, for example. Like many other local performers, Daniel Spencer of Fathers of the Revolution is happy to help however he can.

“We’ve played some benefit shows in the past–Folk Fest for the Got Swabbed Drive here in town a few weeks ago, for instance. They’re all good fun to do,” he said.

Although the event falls on the last weekend before Ohio University finals, Spencer hopes students will take an hour or two to stop by either Casa or The Union.

“It’s hard to get people out to local shows, especially during the week..and week 15, no less, when we all had best be studying rather than dancing at Casa,” he explained, “but the dancing, I think, is just as important as the studying.”

This will be the third annual Benefest show hosted by students of the Hocking College School Of Music. For more information please contact Michelle Herris at 440-478-2812 or email