On Monday night at 7 p.m., Mount Vernon locals braved the chilly evening to attend Foodstock, a benefit concert to raise money for Food for the Hungry at the Knox County Memorial Theater.
At the concert, a band of Mount Vernon locals performed the music of Tom Petty, the Rolling Stones and various numbers by other musicians, including Fleetwood Mac.
The members altered their accessories and dispositions to mimic the members of these bands The lead singer wore a wig to resemble Tom Petty’s signature hairstyle, and made comments throughout reminiscent of him or Mick Jagger. The lively performers’ upbeat music forged a festive atmosphere, while the elegant high ceilings and pillared facade of the Memorial Theater added an element of solemnity to the otherwise jovial occasion.
Food for the Hungry is a community food drive for Interchurch and The Salvation Army to support the food-insecure population of Knox County. The website for Food for the Hungry states that nearly 8,000 families in Knox County live below the poverty line. The organization aims to decrease that number by hosting local volunteer events and donation opportunities throughout the year. At the concert, attendees donated money and canned food items that will be distributed to families and individuals throughout the county.
The benefit concert was also part of the Chautauqua series by Elixir Presents, an organization that coordinates live presentations of historical figures throughout the community. The presentations are often centered around music, and the performers impersonate the musicians that they are covering by adding verbal background about the songs to their sets. The performers are passionate about music and history; in addition to their work as a band, they also spend time with middle schoolers to facilitate youth reenactments of historical characters. Their goal is to encourage the community to stay engaged with art, music, and history.
The band members emphasized that charity was the true importance of the event. “It’s not work, it’s not a sacrifice; it’s just giving,” said Chris Petee, who appeared off and on throughout the show as a Stevie Nicks impersonator.
Foodstock gave the public an opportunity to come together to support their community and engage with one another over a shared musical experience. The crowd sang along, clapped and laughed at the performers’ jokes. The audience and band members greeted each other enthusiastically before the event and during intermission.
Foodstock served as an opportunity for Knox County residents to relax and enjoy each other’s company in a communal atmosphere.