Strong songwriters resonate through generations. Close to a half century ago a young 22-year-old stepped onto the Woodstock stage and helped solidify ideals of peace and unity that shaped a generation.
That young person, one of only three solo female artists to play Woodstock was Melanie Safka, or simply, “Melanie.” She opened her Woodstock set with the song, ‘Close to it All’. Its message rings true to this day:
If I had my dream I would fill a hall
And tell all the people tear down the wall
That keeps them from being a part of it all
'Cause they gotta get close to it all
After Woodstock, Melanie continued to shine light into darkness with songs like, “Candles in the Rain – Lay Down”. The thread of unity runs through with lyrics such as:
So raise the candles high
'Cause if you don't we could stay black against the night
Oh, raise them higher again
And if you do we could stay dry against the rain
Fast forward into the new millennium and unity remains essential. On her 2010 album, “Ever Since You Never Heard of Me” Melanie sings on her opening anthem "Angel Watching":
There is a thread
That joins each to the other
Brother to the sister
Sister to the brother
There’s a thread, yeah
That joins each to the other
And it’s almost like being in love
Hope and optimism persist through the song, “Smile”, from that same album:
I love people who smile
If everybody smiles, we’ll have a hometown all over the world
Wear it well and it could appear in your heart
Indelibly printed on someone a world apart
Lights in the window all through our darkest day
Human kindness outdistances being afraid
Messages like these bring people together. This is the Gardenstock vibe. Melanie will be accompanied by her son, Beau Jarred, a truly remarkable musician, whose flamenco-based guitar style is breathtaking.
Special for Gardenstock, the union of like minds continues at the local level with a special arrangement planned for one song in her set.
Melanie is set to perform at 8:00 p.m. for the 10th annual Gardenstock Art and Music Festival. Benefit for the Sinnissippi Centers’ Youth Garden Program.
Gates open 10 a.m., Saturday, August 18, 2018 at Distinctive Gardens, 2020 Lowell Park Road, Dixon, IL. Featuring 9 bands 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; art festival 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; food vendors 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; raffle, 50/50 and Tie Dye contest 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Shuttle Service 10 a.m. – Midnight. Lee Ogle County Transit will provide additional service during the rush between 8:00 p.m. and midnight. There are no drop offs at the front gate. Three shuttle tents are located on the south end of Shopko / County Market parking lot. Over flow parking may be used if needed behind the CGH Dixon Clinic. Both are near the corner of Galena Ave. and Lowell Park Rd. Carpooling is highly encouraged. Four parking lot status signs will be located along Lowell Park and Timber Creek roads.
Picnic style: bring your own cooler, chair, or blanket. Minimum donation is $10 online or $13 at the gate for adults 13 and up; $1 children 12 and under. LIMITED tickets and tents go on sale Monday, June 18, 7AM. Visit distinctivegardensinc.com website to order. 815.285.0014
TICKETS AND TENT RESERVE
Limited Tickets are available online. Ticket Wristbands cost $10 online. Any remaining tickets are $13 at the gate for adults 13 and up. Children wristbands cost $1 both online and at the gate. Once available tickets sell out, day of ticket purchases will stop.
Tent Reserve sells fast with limited availability. Tent reserve is $40. Orders will fill based on order timestamp and availability. People should list at least their top ten favorite tent numbers in order of preference. List them in the comments field within the online order.
For the benefit of everyone, guests cannot bring large tables or any tents. This is so everyone can have a great view. However, coolers, blankets, lawn chairs and small, close-to-the-ground tables remain allowed. Tent reserve and limited ticket wristbands go on sale online, Monday, June 18, 2018 at 7:00 a.m. on the Distinctive Gardens website: www.distinctivegardensinc.com.
11:00 - 12:00 Justin Hey
12:15 - 1:15 NOVA
1:30 - 2:30 Acoustic Circus
2:45 - 3:45 Flying Fish
4:00 - 5:00 Shaky Alibi
5:15 - 6:15 Monarch
6:30 - 7:45 The 78s
8:00 - 9:30 Melanie
9:45 - 11:00 Acoustic Knuckle Ride
11:00, acoustic folk and harmonica, Justin Hey opens the show. You may know Justin via his other gig as owner of Hey Brothers Ice Cream, a Gardenstock food vendor for the last few years. He has quietly donated a portion of ice cream sales to the Sinnissippi Centers Youth Garden Program.
Next up at 12:15, new band, NOVA takes stage. NOVA is made up of a combination of music and art teachers from Woodlawn Arts Academy, and Steve Catron who plays with many area musicians. They are also in the process of writing new music of their own and releasing an album by sometime next year.
Celebrating 10 years at 1:30, Acoustic Circus steps on stage. One of the original line up, Kathy Cecchetti and crew offer a ‘get up and dance’ blend of Acoustic Rock, Newgrass, Folk, and Country Blues.
Gardenstock flashback continues at 2:45 with veteran duo, Flying Fish. Todd Lorenc and Jeff Kagay love all things 60s-80s and we might even be surprised with Todd’s more recent passion for the ukulele.
4:00 welcomes new solo artist, Shaky Alibi. Jamie Patterson, singer-songwriter out of Peoria IL uses bass drum, tambourine, harmonica, and guitar to play fun and upbeat original music. Currently he is working on his first solo album Milk and Honey. Sit back and relax with some great folk music.
From folk to rock, 5:15 brings new band, Monarch. Monarch is a rock band with a pop spin. They are currently working on post production for a new full-length record to come out in 2018.
Next up, 6:45 brings, The 78s, playing tunes from 1978.
At 8:00, Woodstock artist, Melanie graces the Gardenstock stage.
Closing the show at 9:45, the pied piper of crowd rousing, Cralles Borden and crew bring the show to a close with The Acoustic Knuckle Ride. Years past this band has turned on the juice and got the crowd roaring.
Art Alley Opens at 10:00 a.m.
The Art Festival showcases dozens of the region's best artists artists featuring a variety of unusual art and fine craft from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is packed with veteran Gardenstockers: Sinnissippi Center Garden Program kids selling handmade tie-dye t-shirts; jewelers, Sasha Tweel, Natalie Picchi, Dale Curry, Kim Ellis, Laura LaGear Adkins, Lin Karrels;; painters, Deb Cleary, Cotton Cram, Michelle Champion; sculptors, Sloane Wolfe, Matt and Michelle Jagitsch; photographers, Kevin Smoot; and mixed media artists, Heather Houzenga, Crystal Collinson, Amber Goldie, Henry Matthiessen, Natalie Gordon, Lisa Anderson, Jayne DeMarco, Judi Alvarado Kickel, Susi Alvarado Daniel, Kate Gross, Laura McGarvey, Lee Ann Breitbach, Stephanie Weems, Amy Baglin, Jennifer Arand Thomas O’Malley. New artists include: painter, Casey Folks; photographer, Bill McNeill; mixed media, Alyssa Gonzalez, Jesey Nicholson, Toni Larimore, Ramon Ramirez, Toni Klingler, Katie Feldbush, Chris Sucholl, Amy Fenwick, and Kelsey Rankin.
The Tie Dye Contest
Fest goers can enter by getting their picture taken between 11:00-3:00 p.m. Voting begins on Facebook between 3:00-6:00 p.m. Most ‘likes’ on Gardenstock’s Facebook Tie Dye Contest Album wins.
The Raffle and 50/50 Drawing
This year’s raffle has three-dozen items donated by Gardenstock artists. A catalog of their offerings can be found on Distinctive Gardens website as well as the Gardenstock Facebook page’s 2018 Donation Album. Buy raffle and 50/50 tickets at the Info Booth starting at 11:00 or from raffle ticket sellers. Raffle drawing times: 2:15, 3:30, 4:45, 6:00 p.m. 50/50 drawing is at 7:45 p.m.
Jay Pauley calls out a winning raffle number.
Gardenstock is ‘’picnic style’’ meaning you can bring your own chair or blanket and cooler or beverage. From 11 – 8 p.m., food vendors offer a fine range of beverage and cuisine such as Italian by Mama Cimino’s, barbeques and desserts by Baker Street Café, loaded Italian beef sandwiches by Kokomo’s, and brisket tacos by, former Frontera Grill Chef, Mark Segura and tasty ice cream by Hey Brother’s Ice Cream.
Pack your coolers, throw the kids in the car, and grab that favorite tie-dye. It’s Gardenstock time! It will be the best bang for your cultural buck in town, Saturday, August 18, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. at Distinctive Gardens in Dixon, IL.
The Sinnissippi Centers' Youth Garden Program provides valuable hands-on gardening experiences for at risk youth involved with Sinnissippi and is a great tool to open lines of communication. The Gardening Program serves as an add-on to regular services and utilizes both consumers and individuals from the community to raise produce from a vegetable garden that in turn is donated to the Dixon Food Pantry.