The second weekend in September saw more than 150,000 people gather in Downtown Salisbury for the National Folk Festival. During the festival, performers from across the country were featured on the Pohanka/Toyota Amphitheater stage.
What’s next for the Downtown amphitheater?
Mizzle Fest, an annual music festival highlighting talent, artistry, and urban culture in Salisbury. Scheduled for Saturday from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m., Mizzle Fest aims to foster an appreciation for urban arts culture on the Lower Eastern Shore.
Described as a “passion project” for Charlie Makoa, known as C-Mack Mizzle, Mizzle Fest has evolved over the last two years.
The inaugural event was held in 2017 at the now-closed Headquarters Live. In 2018, the event took place a Reign Restaurant and Event Center, located in the Twilley Shopping Center.
Over the summer, Mizzle Fest founders established a 501c3 nonprofit organization, Mizzle House Foundation, and they are bringing the event back Downtown, with renewed enthusiasm, sparked, in part, by the success of the National Folk Festival.
Noting that festival-goers gathered by the hundreds for every performance given by go-go band Rare Essence with legendary hip hop artist DJ Kool, organizers are confident that Mizzle Fest will be a welcome extension, celebrating urban culture Salisbury.
Salisbury resident, community activist, and Director of the Fenix Youth Project, Amber Green, attended the National Folk Festival, this year, and Mizzle Fest in previous years.
Said Green: “Mizzle Fest is definitely an event that is well-overdue for our area. We don’t have any hip-hop urban events in the area. So, having it right Downtown — that’s good for youth, millennials, and new families coming into the area. Salisbury is becoming more than the place that people retire.”
Sponsored by Pohanka, the Salisbury Arts & Entertainment District and Deadstock Shoes & Apparel, organizers hope to attract up to 1,500 people.
Scheduled activities include 3-on-3 basketball, and a pop-up skate park, in partnership with Lurking Class Skate Shop and Deadstock. Educational and cultural offerings will take place during the day, along with performing arts, and kids’ activities.
The evening will see performances by C-Mack Mizzle, Kaleb Brown and The Roots Movement, and Devon Beck. Popular social media influencer Yvng Swagg, an Eastern Shore artist with over 1.5 million followers, is also scheduled to attend and is slated to co-host and co-headline the event.
The 19-year old has been featured on MTV, and in several videos and commercials. Digital creator Yolanda Renee will serve on a panel with other brand influencers, Saturday. Vendors and exhibitors will be set up along Market Street throughout the festival.
Scheduled daytime activities include skateboarding, breakdancing, a DJ class with DJ Skeet Boogie, choreographed dancing with Fearless Action, hip-hop-ology with Devon Beck, graffiti art with Jonathon Brickus, and more. Nighttime activities will transition to music, including reggae, R&B, hip-hop, and gospel.
Food and beverages, including beer and wine, will be available. Participating downtown eateries, including Cultured Corners, Maya Bella’s, and Olde Towne Cafe will serve at the festival site. The Jaycees will serve beer and wine.
Drew Davis, one of the event organizers, said: “This is is a 100 percent family-friendly, free event.” Donations, however, are encouraged, to support future activities sponsored by the Mizzle House Foundation. “This is an opportunity to spotlight local talent — music and urban arts culture. Salisbury needs this,” says Davis.
For more information, visit mizzlefest.org.