New music festival brings country stars, Lynden native to the stage

Published on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 by Kelly Sullivan

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The East 542 Music Festival is set to be Washington’s country music party of the summer. The festival will be coming to the Deming Logging Show grounds the weekend of September 14 and 15.

East 542 will be pure country music with big names, up and comers as well as some local talent. Organizers Don Adams and Billie Jo Bryce are planning a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere.

The venue holds 4,000 people, and with artists such as Lonestar, a band with a string of hits and a new single about to drop, the festival will be one of the biggest music events to ever hit this area. Sawyer Brown, Dr. Hook, Crystal Shwanda and Juice Newton are some of the other heavy hitters in the line-up.

“We want to be the music festival that everyone puts on their calendar,” said Canadian-American country singer Bryce, who has opened for acts such as Loretta Lynn, Brad Paisley and Tim McGraw. Now marketing director for East 542, she says it will be a true-to-form country music festival. Bryce will be also singing during the event.

Reserved seating and camping will be available – tickets are available for purchase online if festivalgoers would like to avoid lineups at the gate. Vendors, concessions and event merchandise will be inside the grounds. A general store by the campgrounds will have essential supplies such as bug spray and beer for sale. An after hours party will run 11:30 p.m. through 1:30 a.m., and entrance is limited to the first 300 to buy tickets.

The opening performer is Whatcom County local Rachele Lynae, a Lynden native. The rising star is currently on a summer radio tour around the country and working on her album, which she will preview at East 542 including her new single “Party ‘Til The Cows Come Home.”

Reached by telephone, Lynae said, “I’m a country rocker at heart. I was raised with country music.” The themes in her songs cover heartbreak and having a good time, much like her own experiences. She likes to connect with the audience emotionally during her performances, she said.

Lynae considers her appearance at East 542 to be an important homecoming and is excited to perform for everyone who supported her when she was working on her dream in Lynden and those who continue to encourage her on the road.

Music won’t be the only attraction at the festival. There will be a beer garden, BBQ pit and yes, mechanical bulls. Monster trucks, pole climbers and artist meet ’n greets will also supplement the main entertainment. The Roller Betties will meet fans during a meet ’n greet, and an antique road show will add an element of nostalgia.

Don Adams describes the festival’s partnership with the Whatcom community as an important foundation to the festival. Proceeds from the $5 pancake breakfast, the monster truck show and the after-hours event cover charge, will go to the Summit To Sound Search & Rescue, the local girls’ basketball and junior basketball teams and the Bellingham Little League.
Members of the organizations will be out in force, providing a hand in flipping pancakes, working at the BBQ pit and helping out with festival security. Festivalgoers can help out the local food bank by bringing non-perishable food items to the drop-off at the entrance.

East 542 has contracted the location for the next five years, so it was important to develop a strong relationship with the local community, Bryce said.

Bryce is anticipating the pleasure of watching everyone enter through the gates, see the stage light up and hearing the crowds starting to cheer. It’s when everyone will find out the high caliber of the East 542 show, she said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing everybody come together,” she said. “There’s nothing better than that feeling you get when you start to see the line of cars coming in. Then, as I like to say, ‘It’s on!’”

For more information visit 542musicfest.com or call Adams at 604/564-3667 or Bryce at 604/418-8062.