Town leaders have agreed to pay more than twice the amount normally reserved for musical acts as part of a new community event they say will focus on getting students ready for school.
Headlining the event will be Midnight Star, a nationally-touring band that had a string of rhythm and blues hits in the ’80s, including “Freak-A-Zoid” and “No Parking (On the Dance Floor.)” K-Fest is free and will be Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Knightdale Station Park’s amphitheater.
The town is paying $12,500 to book the band, according to police Chief Lawrence Capps That’s more than twice what popular local bands such as the Embers charge for performances. The town paid $5,500 for the Embers’ performance at the town’s July 4 celebration at the park.
Capps said the town was looking to go in a musical direction it hadn’t featured at previous events, and a $4,400 donation from the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, as well as $13,700 from sponsors, allowed it to book a more expensive band.
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The town originally budgeted $25,000 for the event, Capps said, but recently approved a budget amendment to increase funding for the event by $18,000 to reflect the additional revenue sources. Sponsors include UNC Rex Healthcare, Duke Energy, N.C. Rep. Darren Jackson, Wake Stone Corporation, Cricket Wireless of Knightdale, Dickey’s of Knightdale and WakeMed Health & Hospitals.
“We were looking for a different genre, R&B,” Parks and Recreation Director Tina Cheek said. “We’ve done bluegrass and beach music, Top 40, country, so we thought that this was a good chance to go in a different direction than we’ve gone before. ... Having the chance to have a nationally-known band is a great opportunity.”
Replacing Community Day
K-Fest is taking the place of Knightdale’s former Community Day, which the town put on for $14,700 last fall, Capps said. Donations and sponsorships were only $1,550 for that event. All told, the town will spend $29,000 more to host K-Fest than it did to host Community Day.
“We’re looking to rebrand that festival,” Cheek said. “We’re trying to connect the youth in this area with an educational background and healthy living.”
Also providing entertainment will be a youth talent showcase including modern classical, spoken word and a cappella performances. Art by local students will also be on display.
In addition to connecting students with educational resources in the county, there will also be a school supplies giveaway. “It’s not just about Knightdale,” Cheek said. “There will be groups from throughout the county.”
Education partners to be represented include Wake Technical Community College, the Wake County school board, Knightdale High School of Collaborative Design, East Wake Academy, East Wake High School, Thales Academy, Knightdale Elementary School, Lockhart Elementary School, Forestville Road Elementary School, Hodge Road Elementary School, Telamon Head Start, Job Corps Residential Career & Education Training and Shaw University. Other partners include the Boy Scouts, Dream Coat Ministries, Marbles Kids Museum and Raleigh Little Theatre.
Capps said the town expects 6,000 to 10,000 attendees throughout the day. “It may be a little difficult to keep track of everyone coming and going,” he said, “but with the draw of this band, that’s what we expect.”
The new event shows the town’s dedication to education and young people, Mayor James Roberson said in a statement. “In truth our commitment to education is about our commitment to kids,” said Roberson, who is Senior Dean for Instructional Support with Wake Tech. “K-Fest is an opportunity for us to engage, empower, and embrace the talents and contributions of our children, teens and future leaders.”
Matt Goad: 919-829-4826
If You Go
K-Fest will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at Knightdale Station Park. It is free and there will be a free shuttle from Elevation Baptist Church, 5271 EBC Village Way, starting at 9 a.m.