Weekender

Spin Doctors, Charles Bradley to headline downtown State College festival

Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires will perform at 8:30 p.m. Saturday for Happy Valley Music Fest.
Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires will perform at 8:30 p.m. Saturday for Happy Valley Music Fest. Photo provided

Downtown is a little quieter with most students home for the summer, but that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty to do in State College.

The Happy Valley Music Fest kicks off on Friday and continues through Saturday with 16 artists, including six national artists and two headliners, said George Arnold, executive director of the Downtown State College Improvement District.

Spin Doctors take the stage Friday and Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires will perform Saturday. Both headliners will play the Garner main stage at 8:30 p.m.

In trying to grow the festival, Arnold said, the logical next step was to bring in national artists.

The festival — which was formerly called Summer’s Best Music Fest and renamed after a contest — this year also features a lot of great local artists in the lineup, Arnold said.

Happy Valley Music Fest gives people a different “vibe” for a festival being in a downtown setting, he said.

There are a lot of local food and shopping options around the festival zone, he said.

Last year was the first time beer was available at the festival, Arnold said, and that will be the case again this weekend.

Beers sales are one of the components to help the festival be self-sustaining, he said.

New this year is the Taste of Downtown, which will take place from 4-10 p.m. Friday.

Various downtown restaurants are participating, Arnold said. People can purchases tickets for $1 and trade them in for food items.

There are four bands on Friday night on two stages and 12 bands Saturday on four stages.

Access to all Friday performances is $10 per person, and access to all Saturday performances is $20 per person. Tickets can be purchased online or at various box offices in town.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

IF YOU GO

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