Food trucks and people on downtown street

Third annual Moonlight Festival set for Saturday, Oct. 16

Country music star Matt Stell and soul singer-songwriter Devon Gilfillian close out a day of music, food and art in downtown Somerset

SOMERSET, KENTUCKY (Sep­tem­ber 29, 2021) – Down­town Somerset’s sig­na­ture fall event is back Sat­ur­day, Oct. 16, mix­ing the sounds of south­ern soul, gospel blues, Amer­i­can coun­try and blue­grass with the fla­vors of Ken­tucky and the col­ors of local art.

The third annu­al Moon­light Fes­ti­val will kick off at 11 a.m. at Foun­tain Square in the heart of down­town Som­er­set.

“Moon­light Fes­ti­val is our largest, and has quick­ly become our most antic­i­pat­ed, event of the year,” Tourism Direc­tor Leslie Ikerd said. “There’s just some­thing about great music and deli­cious food on a crisp fall day that peo­ple can’t wait to expe­ri­ence. We always look for­ward to show­cas­ing our beau­ti­ful down­town every year and hope peo­ple will spend their day with us.”

Down­town streets will be lined with a robust slate of food and spir­it ven­dors while a full day of musi­cal tal­ent is planned on the Foun­tain Square stage, capped off with per­for­mances from soul singer-song­writer Devon Gil­fil­lian and coun­try music star Matt Stell.

“We are so excit­ed to wel­come Matt, Devon and a host of local, region­al and nation­al per­form­ers to Som­er­set this year,” Ikerd said. “With this line­up we’ve includ­ed some­thing for every musi­cal taste, and hope the crowd goes home hav­ing heard some­thing new they love.”

Or some­thing they’ve heard before — which could be the case with Stell, who cat­a­pult­ed to coun­try music suc­cess in 2019 with his hit, “Prayed for You.” The song spent two weeks at the num­ber one spot. As the only debut sin­gle to top Bill­board’s Coun­try Air­play chart in 2019, and one of NSAI’s “10 Songs We Wish We’d Writ­ten,” the hit has gone on to have 270 mil­lion streams, Stell’s first RIAA Plat­inum cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and more than 20 mil­lion views of its offi­cial music video to date. Stell is set to release a new EP, Bet­ter Than That, on Oct. 16, the day he takes the Moon­light Fes­ti­val stage.

Fes­ti­val-goers who attend­ed July’s Mas­ter Musi­cians Fes­ti­val (MMF) may also hear a famil­iar voice in Nashville singer-song­writer Gil­fil­lian, who was a fan-favorite at the event. Gilfillian’s soul­ful voice has joined the likes of Kei­th Urban, Gladys Knight, The Fray, Grace Pot­ter and Mavis Sta­ples on the road. Gil­fil­lian was an instant hit at MMF, Ikerd said, prompt­ing her to start a new tra­di­tion for Moon­light— bring­ing MMF’s most talked-about per­former back to Som­er­set as a way of pro­mot­ing both fes­ti­vals and emerg­ing artists.

“MMF has built an incred­i­ble rep­u­ta­tion for our com­mu­ni­ty as a leader in the music indus­try,” Ikerd said. “There are so many artists who go on to have suc­cess­ful careers who were just get­ting start­ed when they per­formed at MMF. It’s the place you hear your next favorite artist. With this part­ner­ship, Moon­light can con­tin­ue ele­vat­ing those artists while also part­ner­ing with a sta­ple event in our com­mu­ni­ty.”

Local vocal­ist and stu­dent Cassie York will start the day’s per­for­mances at 11 a.m., fol­lowed by local musi­cian Spooky Fox, blue­grass gospel duo Hei­di & Ryan, and acclaimed Amer­i­cana group The Bare­foot Move­ment.

SET Moonlight Promo 1200x1700 FINAL

Moon­light Fes­ti­val is spon­sored by Somerset’s future dis­tillery, Horse Sol­dier Bour­bon, which will be on hand once again to serve the festival’s sig­na­ture drink — Somer­Cider.

“Somer­Cider was a huge hit at last year’s Moon­light Fes­ti­val,” Ikerd said. “We love being able to high­light two local favorites — Horse Sol­dier Bour­bon and Haney’s Appledale Farm apple cider — with this fun twist on fall fla­vors.”

Spir­its will also be avail­able, com­ple­ment­ing a food truck line-up that includes every­thing from Mex­i­can to bar­be­cue, Ital­ian cui­sine to gela­to.

Moonlight’s live art com­po­nent will also return this year, Ikerd said. Sev­er­al local artists have agreed to par­tic­i­pate in the theme, “How Do I See Som­er­set?” by paint­ing how they see the com­mu­ni­ty on wood cut into the shape of Pulas­ki Coun­ty. These pieces will be auc­tioned dur­ing the next #see­my­set Art Mar­ket, an ongo­ing effort to raise mon­ey for the city’s art fund. The fund sup­ports local arts ini­tia­tives.

Pieces cre­at­ed at oth­er city fes­ti­vals through­out the year will also be avail­able for auc­tion dur­ing Moon­light. Those pieces will be on dis­play at the Coop­er Com­mu­ni­ty Arts Cen­ter Oct. 1–13 and bid­ding will begin online at at https://www.fordbrothersinc.com/ on Sat­ur­day, Oct. 16.

A com­plete list of Moon­light ven­dors will be released in the com­ing days. Vis­it seesomerset.com and or fol­low @SeeSomersetKy on Face­book for updates.

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