The Taste of Clermont featured a true taste of local musical entertainment Aug. 10-11, with more than 18 hours of music and 27 performers from the Clermont County area.
“The line up and the talent, to me, was amazing,” Gary Farmer, entertainment organizer, said. “All the performers were just so good.”
Farmer not only selected a variety of local bands to play during the festival, but also had students from local schools perform solo or with their bands during the festival.
Mylee Nipper, a sophomore who will be attending Williamsburg High School next year, played twice during the festival and said she had a lot of fun performing and watching other performers.
“Gary gave me the opportunity and I was totally up for taking it,” Nipper said. “It was definitely a lot of fun.”
Nipper said she is joining the band, Salt Box, which won the battle of the bands during the Taste of Clermont, and beginning to focus more on her musical career.
She said the festival provided a great opportunity to sing in front of a diverse crowd.
“They were welcoming,” she said about the crowd. “Some of the songs I did weren’t country or classic rock. Everyone seemed like they enjoyed it a lot.”
Farmer said a lot of the younger performers expressed gratitude for the opportunity to perform in front of a large crowd.
“The high schoolers and younger ages were so determined and so prepared,” Farmer said. “It was great to see their own personal ethics.”
Farmer said he got the same feeling from some of the adult bands who performed.
Midnight Fire, a band made up of members from the Eastgate area, headlined the musical entertainment on Saturday night.
Jeff Hager the lead singer, guitarist and keyboard player for the band, said they enjoyed playing at the festival for the second year.
“I thought it was great,” Hager said about Taste of Clermont. “They do such a good job of reaching out to the community. We really enjoyed it.”
Hager said his band plays a variety of music and tries to reach out to all different genres. He said the crowd at the Taste of Clermont was definitely their type of crowd.
“The thing we enjoy the most is when we see there is a connection,” he said. “People dancing and singing along.”
Another change to the festival this year was the battle of the bands competition.
Farmer said The Hedge, a safe, redemptive and local music venue for students and adults, held the final competition at the festival.
Salt Box took home the best band award and Ciera Hayes took home the best solo artist award. All of the artists attend Williamsburg High School.
Farmer said organizers began setting up the stage Thursday night and Friday morning, the first band began playing Friday afternoon and there were performances for 18 hours until Saturday evening when they broke down the stage.
“To see the kids perform, all Clermont County talent, and even the adults, a real taste of Clermont County occurred,” Farmer said. “That made the weekend well worth it.”
Terry Morris, president of the Village Association of Batavia, which organizes Taste of Clermont, said he thought they hit the nail on the head with the local musical entertainment this year.
“The amount of really talented musicians and entertainers, I was really blown away,” Morris said.