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Music Fest Gathers Steam

The Loudoun Summer Music Fest is back and better than ever.

In its second year, the Loudoun Foundation’s festival, held at Belmont Country Club in Ashburn, has already sold one-quarter of the tickets it sold during last year’s inaugural event.

The festival features some repeat acts from last year — ‘90s pop act Gin Blossoms and reggae group the Wailers among them — as well as some national touring acts such as Kansas and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

The proceeds benefit three local nonprofits: the Loudoun Community Free Clinic, the Good Shepherd Alliance and Special Love.

Last year, the foundation set a goal of raising half a million dollars, but ticket sales were sluggish.

"It’s very unpredictable," said Tracey Parent, president of the Loudoun Foundation. "Last year, our goals were very high. What we hadn’t predicted was the turnout."

But with the already-swift ticket sales for a concert series that doesn’t begin until June 26 with Grand Funk Railroad, Parent is optimistic.

"This year, people know the event is going on," she said.

Ticket prices also increased from $10 last year to $12 this year if purchased in advance. A season pass for all 10 shows is $100, and tickets are $15 at the door.

"We are still one-third or one-fourth of the price of Wolf Trap, which is where we are going to keep it," Parent said.

This Friday, the foundation is sponsoring the Loudoun All Star Battle of the Bands at Stone Bridge High School as part of the county’s first Youth Week. The winner will serve as the opening act when Little Feat performs at the music fest on July 24.

For Parent, the arrival of KC and the Sunshine Band on Aug. 21 will be the most exciting — and potentially stressful — moment.

KC’s contract rider, a document all performing acts provide while on tour listing requirements for the band and staff, complicates things, Parent said. For example, KC has asked to stay at a five-star hotel. Too bad Loudoun County doesn’t have one.

"Nobody told him it’s not 1970 anymore," Parent said. "This stuff gets comical, it’s kind of funny."

But as a fan, Parent is still looking forward to KC’s arrival.

Tickets for the 2005 Loudoun Summer Music Fest are available at www.summermusicfest.net or by calling 703-728-9500.

— Suzannah Evans

This Year’s Lineup

June 26: Grand Funk Railroad

July 3: Delbert McClinton

July 10: The Wailers

July 17: Kansas

July 24: Little Feat

July 31: Gin Blossoms

Aug. 7: .38 Special

Aug. 14: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Aug. 21: KC & The Sunshine Band

Aug. 28: Eddie Money

All shows take place at the Belmont Country Club in Ashburn. An opening act takes the stage at 6:15 p.m. with the main act following at 7:30 p.m. Food and beverages are available on site. Strict age enforcement for purchasing beer or wine is practiced.