Street Beat Festival sets up a bigger tent, figuratively speaking

Attractions go beyond the 15 bands at music bash

Outside: sports, activities, events

October 09, 2003|By Sarah Schaffer | Sarah Schaffer,SUN STAFF

The annual Federal Hill Street Beat Festival will take place Sunday, and organizers say this year's celebration will be bigger and better than ever.

"It is much expanded," said event spokeswoman Bonnie Crockett.

Besides a standard array of food, beverage, craft and antiques vendors, the event will include 15 bands on three stages and a new children's area.

Now in its third year, the festival was improved and expanded in an effort to attract the attention of families, potential homeowners and local business people.

"Years ago, it brought a lot of twentysomethings into the neighborhood [just] to drink. But we wanted to bring people into the neighborhood who were going to come back" to either shop or set up households and businesses, Crockett said.

"We changed the tone of the festival ... to broaden the appeal," she added.

Local bands such as the Bridge and Kustom Blend will entertain the crowd before national recording act and New Jersey alt-rockers the Smithereens, most notable for their hit singles "Blood and Roses" and "A Girl Like You," takes the Cross Street Stage at 5:30 p.m.

But adults aren't the only ones who'll be entertained at the revamped Street Beat Festival.

Children can create, imagine and engage at Little Ones' Lane, a kids-only activity space on the south side of the Cross Street Market.

The area will feature pumpkin painting, crafts and activities from the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center and the Walters Art Museum.

Crockett hopes the family-focused happening will draw thousands -- from parents and young couples to empty nesters and singles -- to South Charles and Cross streets, where rowhouses, shops and industrial buildings are undergoing an urban revitalization.

The new $3 per person entry fee will help to finance some of those projects.

Crockett isn't worried that the price will deter some from attending the formerly free event.

The hours-long festival experience, she said, is worth the cost of admission.

"There's lots to look at, lots to do. It's really a fun day. [And] $3 for 15 live bands is a pretty good deal," she said.

The Federal Hill Street Beat Festival will take place at South Charles and Cross streets. Admission is $3 per person. Hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information, call 410-727-4500 or visit

Street Beat

More than a dozen bands will play at the 2003 Federal Hill Street Beat Festival.

Here's a schedule:

Cross Street Stage (at Cross and Light streets)

11:30 a.m. -- The Ordinary Way

1:00 p.m. -- Bluestring

2:30 p.m. -- The Lost Trailers

4:00 p.m. -- Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

5:30 p.m. -- The Smithereens

Hamburg Street Stage (at Charles Street at Hamburg Street)

11:00 a.m. -- Circle 9

12:30 p.m. -- Blind Buckwheat Gumbo

2:00 p.m. -- Algernon

3:30 p.m. -- Mofofunka

5:00 p.m. -- The Bridge

West Street Stage (at Charles Street at West Street)

11:30 a.m. -- Crazyfish

1:00 p.m. -- Ocean

2:30 p.m. -- Tribe of Ben

4:00 p.m. -- Old Man Brown

5:30 p.m. -- Kustom Blend

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