Minerva organizers hope to build on success

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – As far as the Minerva Festival’s organizers are concerned, a sequel to Saturday’s alternative music festival is a go.
Organizers Rick Dunsford and Christian White brought rock bands like Saving Abel, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Whole Wheat Bread and Gotham Road to Tupelo’s Ballard Park for an all-day music festival on Saturday, and White said the event was a success.
“It went really well,” he said Sunday afternoon. “I think everybody had a great time. Nothing major happened, nothing went wrong. …We were definitely pleased and proud of what we bought to the city of Tupelo.”
Police at the festival reported no major incidents as of Saturday afternoon, besides the need to help a few drivers out of the mud around the park. The on-and-off drizzle, cloudy skies and chilly wind may have turned a few concert-goers away, White said.
Final tallies on tickets and money will be done today, but White said he estimates about 3,500 attendees were at the festival.
While taking care of business, White and Dunsford were also having a film crew documenting the festival, and he said the crew captured the bands backstage as well as footage of the crowds having fun.
They hope to turn that footage into a documentary, to be released later.
“We sat down and interviewed Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Saving Abel, Framing Hanley and Whole Wheat Bread, and we did get to see their perspective,” he said. “Everybody was thrilled to be a part of the first annual Minerva Festival. We always ended it with, ‘Would you do this again?’ and everybody said, yeah, absolutely, can’t wait for next year.”
White and Dunsford will meet with city officials later this week to discuss this year’s festival and the possibility that Minerva returns in 2011.
“My gut tells me we’ll be back next year,” White said.