The first two installments of Waynestock, a local music festival and fund-raiser, were held under a dark shadow. The event was created in 2011 as a benefit for News Sentinel music writer Wayne Bledsoe and his family after the sudden death of his son Andrew in late 2010. The second Waynestock, held in 2012, was a benefit for the family of the magnetic bandleader and musical provocateur Phil Pollard, who had died in late 2011, just a few years after moving from Knoxville to Richmond, Va.
Waynestock comes out of the darkness this year, though, with an altogether happier fund-raising target. The third festival, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 1, and Saturday, Feb. 2, at Relix Variety Theatre on North Central Street, will benefit the Community School for the Arts, a Knoxville nonprofit organization that provides free arts instruction to children who could not otherwise afford it.
The lineup, featuring more than a dozen local bands and solo performers, “represents the old and the new, the adventurous spirit of youth and the tried-and-true familiarity of establishment,” according to a press release. “More importantly, we believe these bands and musicians will continue the Knoxville spirit of talent, grace, and beauty of spirit that made the first two festivals such magical and successful weekends.”
Waynestock 3 kicks off on Friday with local rapper/spoken-word artist Black Atticus (7 p.m.), followed by classic/Southern rock singer/songwriter Kevin Abernathy (8 p.m.), local country godfather Con Hunley performing with Mic Harrison and the High Score (9 p.m.), indie-pop band the Rockwells (10 p.m.), surf-rock insurgents the Mutations (11 p.m.), and prog-rock newcomers Yak Strangler (midnight). On Saturday, string-jazz outfit Kukuly and the Gypsy Fuego take the stage first (7 p.m.), followed by Knoxville klezmer institution Dor L’Dor (8 p.m.), Americana band Guy Marshall (9 p.m.), roots-rock iconoclast Sam Quinn and his backing band Taiwan Twin (10 p.m.), and indie/power-pop band Johnny Astro and the Big Bang (11 p.m.). The festival concludes at midnight on Saturday with a Waynestock All-Star Jam hosted by Tim and Susan Lee.
Admission each night is $5.