This past weekend proved to be quite the adventure for myself. It was one of those weekends where I don’t have anything planned but then all of a sudden my friends invited me over for an Elijah Craig bourbon tasting event at their house. It was all downhill from there, friends.
One event I certainly hadn’t planned on going to was HUE Fest, the Harrisburg University Esports festival last Saturday night.
The first-ever HUE Fest combined music with a national esports tournament presented by iHeart Radio and Alt 99.3. I personally do not have any interest in esports, but the popularity of it is undeniable. I went for the music.
HUE Fest spanned a couple of city blocks in downtown Harrisburg with the main stage at the intersection of 3rd and Market streets. This main stage is unlike anything I have ever seen in Harrisburg. The entire production was top-notch. The stage was huge, the lighting lit up the streets and the sound was booming through the blocks. I could not get over how many people were there and how it actually felt like I was in a bigger city like Baltimore or Philadelphia.
Harrisburg doesn’t do festivals like this in the heart of the city. Philly does. Baltimore does. But, Harrisburg? No way.
Yes way friends.
Atlas Genius formed back in 2009 in Adelaide, Austrailia. Their debut album, When It Was Now, was released in 2013 and peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200. They are still releasing music including their 2017 single, 63 days.
Entry to the festival was free but there were vendors selling gaming gear, food trucks with tasty food and even some refreshing Troegs Perpetual. Which, felt very strange to be standing in the middle of Market street drinking, but I’m not going to complain because Harrisburg needs more of this.
There was even an after-party at Club XL featuring the nationally touring DJ Whipped Cream. I would love to tell you I went to the after party but when the live music ended at 11 p.m., my aging self needed to turn down from turning up.
HUE Fest got it right on the first try. At least from a live music point of view. This wasn’t some small stage with a sketchy PA system set up providing background music to other activities that day. This outdoor live music venue transformed those few blocks of Harrisburg this past weekend. There was a crowd of people there for the live music, engaged with the bands and creating an atmosphere I have only ever seen in our city a handful of times. I cannot recall any time in recent history seeing a single live music even this successful and well run in Harrisburg.
IfHUE Fest can do this well on their first try then you can mark my words that HUE Fest will be the crown jewel of live music events for the Harrisburg area.
Check out the official HUE Fest website to keep up with any news about next year’s event.
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