Fest creates musician, Utica bond
While milling around Varick Street, I caught up with a few returning bands.
The Jay Wiley Band from Pittsburgh and IMI from Albany both played last year's fest and have subsequently returned to perform in Utica throughout the year. They both point to the music festival as a means for garnering a fan base in Utica.
"If we didn't play Utica Music Fest last year, we wouldn't have played Utica so many more times, and wouldn't know there were cool people who dig music in Utica," said IMI band member Justin Metz.
The festival has created gigs and fans for IMI and a bond with Utica, said member Johnny Smith.
"We were looking for Utica, we just didn't know where it was," Smith said. "The festival helped us find it."