SET Moonlight 2021 Stage 2000

Somerset’s signature fall event is back: Moonlight Festival set for Saturday, Oct. 15

When the City of Som­er­set launched its free fes­ti­val series down­town in 2019, the idea was sim­ple: To cel­e­brate the community’s rich cul­ture with peo­ple from across the region and state, telling Somerset’s sto­ry through food, music and art.

With music as its focus, Moon­light Fes­ti­val quick­ly became a favorite in this series, high­light­ing ris­ing stars in all gen­res on the Foun­tain Square stage. Moon­light returns for its fourth year on Sat­ur­day, Oct. 15, and will bring to down­town streets every­thing patrons have come to expect — food ven­dors, spir­its, live art cre­ation from local and region­al artists, and an eclec­tic mix of out­stand­ing music.

“Moon­light has become one of many incred­i­ble expe­ri­ences in our com­mu­ni­ty that sig­nal fall is here,” See Som­er­set Tourism Direc­tor Leslie Ikerd said. “It’s a won­der­ful oppor­tu­ni­ty to be out­side in crisp Ken­tucky Octo­ber weath­er lis­ten­ing to music and enjoy­ing the best food and art our region has to offer.”

Pre­sent­ed this year by Lake Cum­ber­land Tourism, Moonlight’s line­up fea­tures one musi­cian who has cre­at­ed a buzz local­ly since he won the Busker Music Con­test ear­li­er this year at Food­stock, the city’s spring food truck fes­ti­val. Singer/songwriter Hunter Fly­nn received the most votes in the con­test, earn­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ty to play a set on the Moon­light stage.

Fly­nn would go on to win the Mas­ter Musi­cians Festival’s Take the Stage Com­pe­ti­tion in June — earn­ing a spot on the main stage to play one song just before Mar­ty Stu­art and His Fab­u­lous Superla­tives head­lined the first night of the July fes­ti­val.

His per­for­mance was such a hit that when a band on the Som­ers­es­sions stage at MMF was not able to make its per­for­mance slot, Fly­nn was invit­ed to play an entire set — draw­ing hun­dreds to the seclud­ed third stage on Fes­ti­val Field in what was one of the most talked about acts that week­end.

“One of my favorite Moon­light tra­di­tions is invit­ing an artist to per­form who left an impres­sion with Mas­ter Musi­cians Fes­ti­val fans over the sum­mer,” Ikerd said. “In the past we’ve done this with The War and Treaty and Devon Gil­fil­lian, but to be able to car­ry on this tra­di­tion with a local artist is spe­cial. If you missed his per­for­mance at Food­stock, then you’ll want to make sure to catch Hunter Flynn’s set at Moon­light.”

SET Moonlight Stell 2000

Fly­nn joins a line­up that includes Han­nah Howard, Adam Stew­art, Gold­park, Lath­an War­lick and head­lin­er Kidd G, pro­vid­ing a day full of coun­try folk, Amer­i­cana, indie rock, rap, old-school coun­try and hip-hop.

Grow­ing up in the small Geor­gia town of Hamil­ton, Kidd G first found fame online through Tik­Tok and Sound­Cloud, where start­ed post­ing songs he’d record­ed with a friend. In spring 2020, he caught the atten­tion of Rebel Music, which signed him on the strength of his genre-warp­ing tal­ents. While ear­ly tracks like his debut sin­gle “Sor­ry” lean toward tra­di­tion­al hip-hop, he lat­er brought an ele­ment of old-school coun­try into his song­writ­ing.

“I love coun­try because it feels so nat­ur­al to me, and you can real­ly tell sto­ries in the songs,” said Kidd G, nam­ing Hank Williams Jr. among the artists he was raised on. Now hav­ing sur­passed 1.5 mil­lion month­ly Spo­ti­fy lis­ten­ers, his tracks have seen radio play from KIXX Coun­try Radio in Aus­tralia and reached new peaks on high­ly cov­et­ed coun­try playlists.

It was a near-death expe­ri­ence that drove Lath­an War­lick to a deep­er Chris­t­ian faith and a recog­ni­tion of his lyri­cal mis­sion – to write and to rap orig­i­nal music that shares the mes­sage and mean­ing of these mile­stones. The Ten­nessee rap­per self-iden­ti­fies as a “pos­i­tive artist” who reflects on his upbring­ing in a rough neigh­bor­hood and his trans­for­ma­tive per­spec­tive as a Christ-fol­low­er, hus­band, and father in his song­writ­ing.

With social media as his pri­ma­ry plat­form, War­lick has released three EPs — Tellem That Im Comin (2016), 2nd Time Around (2017), and A Church in the Trap (2018). He joined the Wide Open Music label in 2020, which includes 2021 Moon­light Fes­ti­val head­lin­er Matt Stell.

“I am real­ly excit­ed about the mix of gen­res that we will have on the Foun­tain Square stage,” Ikerd said. “There is tru­ly some­thing for every­one and paired food and art, we are set for a fan­tas­tic fall day in down­town Som­er­set cel­e­brat­ing our com­mu­ni­ty.”

Moon­light Fes­ti­val will kick off at 11 a.m. at Foun­tain Square. Down­town streets will be lined with a robust slate of food and spir­it ven­dors, with local artists cre­at­ing through­out the enclosed space. The festival’s sig­na­ture drink, Somer­Cider, will again be on the menu — a cock­tail fea­tur­ing bour­bon and apple cider that was named the Ken­tucky League of Cities Sig­na­ture City Drink in 2020.

A com­plete list of Moon­light ven­dors and artists, as well as the music sched­ule, will be released in the com­ing days. Fol­low @SeeSomersetKy on Face­book for updates.

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