By Kate Klimesh,
The spark that became the Turkey River Music Festival first flickered while on a motorcycle ride late one summer day in 2017. On a ride with friends, organizer and founder of Turkey River Music Festival Roman Lensing declared, “We need more live music in Spillville. Spillville has always been a music town. I think I’m going to start a music festival, yeah, I’m going to do that.”
That spark ignited and in 2018, the first Turkey River Music Festival was held in Riverside Park, Spillville, Iowa. The fest offered a wide variety of music for all tastes throughout the two-day event. In 2019, it grew considerably as word spread about the eclectic blend of performers, beautiful setting and shared love of music that brings people together. Spillville’s Riverside Park offered camping facilities and the Inwood Ballroom provided refreshments. There were vendors at the event as well, meaning there was no lack of things to see and do.
Of course, the pandemic took its toll and the fest was not held in 2020, making the upcoming Aug. 6-7 festival that much more exciting and anticipated.
The Friday, Aug. 6 live music roster features a hard rock and metal edge, with a head-banging line-up featuring Phoenix Curse, Graveslave, Dark Agenda, Morta Skuld and Endless Reign. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. with music starting at 7:30 p.m. Endless Reign will round off the evening’s performances, beginning their set at 11:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Aug. 7, the variety of acts offers something for everyone, with Joe and Vicki Price kicking off the music at 2 p.m., followed by The Rush Cleveland Trio, Riff Worm, Wapsi River Ramblers, The Other Brothers, and Richard Arndt & the Brew. The Ben Miller band will end the night with an 11 p.m. performance.
In 2019, the permanent Ludwig Stage was built in Riverside Park by a community effort and generous donations specifically to enhance the live music playing in the park. The stage provides a grand setting for the music fest, and as they say, if you build it… they will come.
For more information, visit turkeyrivermusicfest.com or visit their Facebook page.