September 2, 2014

Little River Band to headline Festival

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com

Members of Little River Band rock the stage at a live event in 2009. The Australian music group will headline this year’s Festival on the Trails. They take the stage in Gardner at 9 p.m. on June 12. Courtesy photo

One of Australia’s most significant bands will rock the Gardner stage this Saturday. Little River Band will headline the Festival on the Trails event this weekend.

Todd Winters, one of the festival’s organizers, said last winter that the band isn’t really hard rock, but it’s not soft rock either.

“They’re kind of in the middle,” Winters said. “You may not recognize some of the names of the songs, but there are three or four songs that you’d recognize if you heard them.”

Throughout their career, Little River Band has sold more than 25 million records with 13 of their tunes scoring on the American Top 40 hits. The band’s biggest hit, “Cool Change” was named one of the top 30 Australian hits of all time.

Winters said the Little River Band is a departure from the country genre acts organizers booked in 2007 and 2008. The event took a hiatus in 2009.
Originally organized to celebrate Gardner’s 150th anniversary in 2007, the festival featured Jodee Messina. The following year, in 2008, organizers booked country star, Lee Ann Womack.

After the festival in September 2008, organizers decided to re-vamp the event. Rather than a three-day extravaganza, the 2010 event will take place over the course of two days. Instead of hosting it in the fall, the 2010 festival will be in June.

Winters said festival organizers aren’t ditching country music, but Little River Band was the right music at the right time. A radio producer suggested that the committee book the band.

“They’ve played a number of festivals and different events in the Kansas City area,” Winters said. “They’re very popular, and they put on a great show.”

Although a country music star isn’t headlining this year’s event, Don’t Know Jac, a band that plays a mixture of country, blues and other music will take the stage from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. At 5 p.m. Maginness and Friends will play blues and saxophone music. Blues guitar act, Coyote Bill and the Wild Ones, will play at 6 p.m.

And finally, on the main stage, Change of Heart will open for the Little River Band at 7:30 p.m. Little River Band is expected to take the stage at 9 p.m. on Saturday.

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