Music festivals line up in path of solar eclipse – USA TODAY
If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of August 21’s solar eclipse, buyers beware.
Hundreds of events across the country will celebrate the Great American Eclipse, but a few are adding a little extra something — music.
Music festivals will kick off an entire weekend of eclipse mania leading up to the big event Aug. 21. At least five are lined up in the path of the total eclipse, which will only be visible for 2-3 minutes along a 67-mile wide path from Oregon to South Carolina.
Solar eclipse viewers headed to the St. Louis area to attend Darkening of the Sun — headlined by Reggae artist Nahko and rock band Twiddle — will catch a whole two minutes and 40 seconds of totality at the official NASA viewing location, executive producer Eric Noble said.
The event, which starts Aug. 18, originally was planned as a small gathering of friends, Noble said, but the owners of the land saw a chance to share their prime location with thousands.
Not only will the festival offer attendees a chance to watch the eclipse, but it also stands as a cultural experience. Darkening of the Sun is sanctioned by the Northern Cherokee Nation, Noble said, and is being hosted on land owned by a tribal council member.
The tribe chief Grey Elk will hold ceremonies all weekend and tell stories around a Cherokee fire ring while pow-wow drummers perform around the festival, which still has tickets available. Members of the tribe will be vending and hosting exhibits all weekend, and part of the event’s proceeds will go to the Northern Cherokee Nation.
“Our entire team can feel the energy in the air,” Noble said. “None of us really know what to expect, but we all know whatever is coming, it’s going to be beautiful.”
If eclipse watchers want the festival experience without being too close to the city, Midnight at Noon offers a more rural, small town feel, coordinator Chrysa Niewald said. The event, which takes place in Owensville, Mo., hopes to draw more than 5,000 people to enjoy a winery event called “EclipseStock” and a Bluegrass festival.
“Promoting tourism to our area during a once-in-a-lifetime event is our inspiration,” Niewald said. “We hope people will come, stay, enjoy and come back.”
Barring bad weather, eclipse watchers should get a clear view. “Our eclipse viewing areas will be away from automatic light pollution during totality,” Niewald said.
Tickets, which are still available, are a steal for a weekend long music festival — just $65 for a VIP experience.
Other totality festivals include SolarFest in Tennessee, Moonfest in Idaho and the Oregon Eclipse Festival in Oregon.
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