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First Red Sky Music and Arts Festival strikes a sweet chord

Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 9:46 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - A virtual project became real Saturday night. What began as a podcast to promote South Mississippi artists of all kinds, turned into The Red Sky Music and Arts Festival in Biloxi.

And organizers along with those who came said it struck a sweet chord.

The event was produced by Red Radio Productions South and is an outgrowth of the group’s podcast that took off during the pandemic.

Just like the podcast, the in-person festival includes musicians, visual artists, sometimes working in tandem as well as performing artists across the Coast and beyond.

And, it’s been a journey.

“It makes me feel tired,” organizer Mandy Andersen said with a big laugh. But, she’s happy.

“It’s very rewarding. It’s nice,” she said. “We have a village around us and they have helped us 100 percent if not more.”

Andersen said it is everything the podcast is and more.

“It’s a way for our viewers to be able to come and see what we’re experiencing at home and through the internet,” she said. “Now you can experience it in person.’

If first reactions are any indication, the festival may be in for a long ride.

“I think it’s amazing for a local community like this to have a really good turnout. We have great watermelon margaritas,” Michael Wetzel said with a smile. “I think an opportunity like this will draw a lot of people in. I think it’s really good for the community.”

And, it’s good for the performers.

“It’s really great because they are showcasing the talent we have in South Mississippi,” said Paul Robinson.

Robinson has watched the podcast and now he’s watching it real-time.

“Let’s put it this way: We support those who that are supporting the community, right?” he said. “So, we are here supporting every effort, especially to bring this back to the district in downtown Biloxi.”

The festival is just now wrapping up and organizers are considering having the event again next year.

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