Arts On The Square is an art festival that has been going on in Waupaca, Wisconsin for several years in support of the Waupaca Community Arts Board. The Waupaca Community Arts Board is a diverse group of passionate volunteers dedicated to incorporating the arts into everyday life of people of all ages and artistic abilities by promoting creativity, artistic expression and community building. They work all year tirelessly to put together a place where all artists can come together to share their passions with the community, especially this year.
2018 was my second year working with the Arts on the Square members as the photographer. This year things were a bit different as they had all decided to include the more ‘edgy’ and ‘alternative’ independent artists of the Waupaca community. When meeting with Marci Reynolds (President of the Waupaca Community Arts Board) and Nate Moe (Vocalist – Of The Earth) earlier in the year, it had been decided that this part of the art community, which often was overlooked in events such as these, was to be brought forward in a section known as ‘The Underground’ of Waupaca. As most everyone knows, the underground community is our specialty, and collaboration with The Union Street Emporium (a place for local artists, craftspeople, and performers to sell their works and share their talents with the community), The Underground was given life!
The weather was perfect for this event! The musicians worked hard to prep the stage while members of the community gathered curiously. Several tents surrounded the area; they included emerging artists, belly dancers, henna artists, glass work with live demos, tie-dye and other activities for kids, as well as brew supported by Badgers Den Brewing Club!
The sound was set, and Simply Meggo entered the stage. Their performance was fun and charismatic, bringing forth a unique style of alternative rock. Video below:
Their performance was full of nostalgia as well, covering bands such as Weezer in-between original songs. They gave it their all and truly set the pace for a great day of live music for The Underground. As their set progressed, more and more people began to make their way down to the stage.
Of The Earth was next on stage and they kept that energy going! They instantly grabbed everyone’s attention. I turned around, and the crowd had doubled in size! Children were laughing and dancing with their parents, people were enjoying their lunch, and to my surprise, even the older members of the crowd had taken a seat to enjoy the entertainment. Truly, it was something I had never seen before in my community, and it was beautiful! Of The Earth was just the beginning of the beauty I was about to witness.
[Of The Earth]
It was time for the headlining act to hit the stage-All Kings Fall. Children, parents, elderly, and even pets had all arrived in The Underground. Everyone was eagerly awaiting the next act to hit the stage, and the energy of everyone was incredible. Honestly, my heart was full of happiness. Seeing people in my community enjoying something I struggled to explain to them was unreal. There was nothing but joy, happiness, and fun surrounding me. Members of my own family surprised me with their attendance as well! They told me how great it was to finally have the chance to see these bands play since it was at an hour of the day they could enjoy it. My niece, who is the age of 4, was bragging to all of us about how her uncle was up there playing guitar! The sparkle in her eye was enough to bring a tear to my eye.
All Kings Fall brought their power in full force to the stage! People cheer and laughed and sang along. They interacted with the crowd members young and old as they all gathered in to enjoy the performance! I mean, I saw a ‘mosh pit’ with children in it! I wish I could explain how cool that was to witness. My ‘big, scary’ metalhead friends were dancing around with the children, and it was honestly the cutest thing I had ever witnessed!
[All Kings Fall]
This summer was truthfully an excellent year for the music community. Events like The 400 Block Party in Wausau, Project Mayhem in Rhinelander, The Pantera Tribute in Watertown, and The Arts On The Square right here in Waupaca has shown us all that music has a huge place for all of us here in the community. It brings us all together, and in a world today where it seems like things are so divided, we can’t get enough of these kinds of moments. So much love, joy, and fun was had by all! Many thanks go out to the Waupaca Arts Community Board for putting this all together as well as all of the artists and citizens that came down and showed their support!
Until next year!!!
Edited by Samantha Crocker
Photos- Emily Maehem Photography
Find the Bands below!
Support The Waupaca Community Arts HERE