ShinDig Music Festival to raise funds for two local charities
WILLIAMSPORT — Randy Mazzi remembers the ShinDigs of his college days in the 1990s at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Md.
“My old fraternity, Delta Phi Omega, used to host the music festivals once or twice a year. It would draw thousands of people, people who weren’t even going to school there,” he said. “It was a massive field party that kind of petered out and faded off the map. For whatever reason, they didn’t have the ability or the commitment to do it anymore.”
Friday, Aug. 17, and Saturday, Aug. 18, the FSU and Delta Phi Omega tradition will live again at the ShinDig music festival at Comomac Park in Williamsport.
The two-day event will feature The Lightest DJ on the main stage Friday night. Saturday will bring headliner the Kelly Bell Band, as well as the Let There Be Rock School of Frederick, Md.; Velveeta; Super! Thanks For Asking; The Johnsons featuring The Porcupines; Seedbox; and Black Sabbath tribute band Children of the Grave. There will be recreational vehicle and tent camping, but sites were sold out at press time. Alumni group Fifty Shades of Frostburg is hosting the event.
“They got the moving parts, the monetary backing, the capital to put it on,” Mazzi said.
Roughly 20 years after college, Mazzi, 41, of Montgomery Village, Md., will attend the ShinDig festival again, only this time, he’ll be onstage playing with the 1990s and 2000s cover band Super! Thanks for Asking.
Comprised of Kayleigh Rose Walker on lead vocals, Mazzi on bass guitar, Keenan Yohe and Mike Macklin on guitar, and Doug Tepper on drums, the Washington, D.C. area-based band is named for a reference to the adult animated sitcom “South Park.”
Walker, 31, of Ashburn, Va., said the band “specializes in guilty pleasures.” Some crowd favorites include Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” and “Two Princes” by Spin Doctors.
“We do some ‘one hit wonders,’” Walker said. “I think we get a good response, especially when we play certain songs. You can just see people get really excited. ‘Oh man! I haven’t heard this song forever!’”
Mazzi, who studied psychology at FSU and works as a manager at an IT company, said ShinDig used to be quite a raucous event.
“I think I attended about four (ShinDigs), then I went back for one or two afterwards,” he said. “We are hoping to draw a lot of Frostburg alumni, for a family atmosphere but to still have people reliving their college days. It would be great to make it another regular party.”
Joe Coleman, a co-founder of Fifty Shades of Frostburg, also was a member of Delta Phi Omega during ShinDig’s heyday. The last ShinDig took place during 2001 or 2002, he said, until he picked up the reins to bring it back.
“It’s definitely my baby,” he said.
Another festival organizer has a connection to the owner of the property at Conomac Park, Coleman said, and the owner donated use of the land for the event. The festival of years gone by was more of a simple flatbed with amplifiers, local bands and “bring your own beer,” Coleman said.
“It’s different now. We are all grown up. In 2018, first off, we’ve never had a headliner like Kelly Bell before. That’s big. We have vendors this year, beer, food, all kinds of stuff,” he said.
Also, decades ago, the event was one day with some people camping out.
“Now we have people coming Friday, we have a DJ. We’ve never done that before. We have people camping the whole weekend, people rolling in in RVs,” Coleman said. “We were mostly in our 20s, now we are in our 50s. It’s a more mature ShinDig.”
Fifty Shades of Frostburg will donate proceeds from the event to Jeffy’s Field and Brooke’s House. Jeffy’s Field supports youth baseball initiatives in Frederick County, Md., and honors the memory of player Jeffrey Hayek of New Market, Md., who passed away at age 10 from blood clotting complications. Brooke’s House is a sober living home near Hagerstown for adult women in the early stages of substance abuse recovery. It was founded to honor the memory of Brooke Erin Simmers, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 19 after a heroin overdose.
Top photo: Super! Thanks for Asking is one of several bands to take part in the ShinDig Music Festival. (Submitted photo)