Lancaster – Concert-goers at the 2013 Lancaster Festival may see Michael Bolton and Crystal Bowersox in a different light so to speak. That's because the canopy that covers the Wendel Concert Stage on the Ohio University Lancaster Campus is new this year.
"Everything is whiter, brighter, stronger and better," said Lancaster Festival Honorary Director Eleanor Hood. "The light should just sparkle off the new white canopy."
Ohio University Lancaster and the Lancaster Festival have been working together on the summer musical event for more than 25 years. Festival volunteers started to put up the new 2.5 ton canopy and prep the Lancaster Festival site at OUL earlier this week. Groundskeepers from Ohio University Lancaster are out mowing, mulching and trimming to spruce up the primary festival concert site that forms a natural amphitheater on OUL's back lawn.
Hood said the canopy fabric, which is the white piece over top of the stage and the maroon piece along the back of the stage, along with some mechanical parts cost the festival about $30,000. The canopy is stored in a barn on the OUL Campus.
"The shelf life of a canopy is about 10 to 15 years. The canopy was last replaced in 1994 after it was badly damaged in 1993. It seemed like it was time." said Hood. "There were signs of fraying and the old canopy just seemed like it was not as strong as it should be. So, we got a new one and now we're good to go again for another 10 to 15 years."
The stage, scaffolding, sound system, lighting and video screens are all put up and taken down each July. Both Saturday night shows and a Wednesday night performance are held at the OUL amphitheater location. Another show, on Friday, July 26, will be held on the Ohio University Lancaster Herrold Hall Patio.
More than 600 volunteers donate their time each year for preparation at more than 20 venues around Lancaster. The festival runs July 18-27. For more information on the festival, visit www.lancasterfestival.org.