The great outdoors will get a little louder this weekend as the seventh annual GearFest sets up at Eastwood Metro Park.
The original vision for the festival was to create an event that brought the outdoor community together and showcased all the resources available in the area, said Tom Helbig, special events coordinator for Five Rivers MetroParks in his fifth year working on GearFest.
“The festival really offers something for everybody,” said Helbig. “There’s a lot of opportunity to get involved in the outdoor activities and competitions. But then, if you’re just going to check out the scene, there’s all the vendors, the beer garden and the music.”
“I’m very excited about the music line-up this year. We always try to match the type of music at the festival with the outdoor culture, so expect a folk/Americana/jam band vibe from the sound.”
GearFest was originally located at PNC 2nd Street Market, before moving to Eastwood Metro Park four years ago.
“Moving to Eastwood Metro Park gave us the ability to grow the event,” said Helbig
He said organizers hope to partner with a big name sponsor and eventually bring in a high profile, national act.
“The music is getting better each year,” said Helbig. “This is the best line-up the festival has had in my time coordinating it.”
Helbig said he is especially looking forward to the Buffalo Killers show Saturday at 6 p.m.
This is the first time the Buffalo Killers, a Cincinnati three-piece, have played GearFest, said Zach Gabbard, bassist and vocals.
The other band members are Gabbard’s younger brother Andrew on guitar and vocals and Joey Sebaali on drums.
Though this is their first time at GearFest, the band is no stranger to Dayton.
“In the last couple of years, we’ve been hitting Dayton pretty hard,” said Gabbard. “We were there a few weeks ago for the Dayton Music Festival.”
Gabbard said they have been playing the Dayton area more since they all recently moved north out of Cincinnati.
“Dayton is a very cool town,” said Gabbard. “It’s got a great music scene. People love coming out to see shows and have a good time.”
The Gabbard brothers write all their songs, have countless albums under their belts and are very comfortable playing with drummer Selaabi.
Even with the success of the Buffalo Killers- they opened for some Black Crowes shows in 2007 and Dan Auerbach of the The Black Keys produced their 2008 sophomore album “Let It Ride” – Gabbard still remains humble.
“I didn’t have any concept that I could ever make a living playing music,” Gabbard said. “Now, to play and perform for people is the best part of my day.”
He said seeing the success of bands like Guided by Voices, Brainiac and the Afghan Whigs was a great inspiration for him.
“We’re excited for GearFest,” said Gabbard. “Anything to get people outside.”
Check out the Buffalo Killers songs, albums and tour dates at their website: http://www.buffalokillers.com/
For more information on GearFest or to volunteer visit: http://www.metroparks.org/gearfest/