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Interview: David Shaw

Interview: David Shaw

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Thousands of people are expected to come to RiversEdge Amphitheater in Hamilton, OH on Sept. 10 for a one-day music festival, David Shaw’s Big River Get Down, involving musicians of all kinds to be together on one stage.

Musicians such as The Revivalists, New Orleans Soul Rocker Maggie Koerner, Nashville natives The Wild Feathers, funk and soul musicians The Marcus King Band, rockers from Richmond, VA The Trongone Band, and pedal steel guitarist Roosevelt Collier. They will also bring a British Blue Rock band called The Temperance Movement. 

Shaw, front man of Louisiana band The Revivalists and a native to Hamilton, OH, had this idea a couple of years ago when the band played at the Harvest Blues and Jazz Festival in Canada.

He saw how the audience were reacting to the festival and that the festival generated $6 million in revenue in just two weeks.

So Shaw and a crew of people including Adam Helms, director of Resident Services for the City of Hamilton, put together the idea for a music festival in Hamilton, OH.

“It’s been a learning process and it’s been really fun. I hope it’s been really fun for the other people involved. I think it is.  I think they have a lot of fun doing it,” said Shaw.  “I think Adam really loves it.  He’s a treat to work with, he’s really on the ball.  He’s got it going.”

The festival, going on its second year, will feature musicians all over the east side of the nation. 

Shaw and Helms decided that by popular demand that they were going to bring back New Orleans native and Soul Rocker, Maggie Koerner.  Even though they are bringing her back this year, bringing back previous musicians is not something that they are going to be normally doing.

“We really want to push the envelope and just kind of want to broaden the scope of the musical acts that come to Hamilton because that’s one of the other things that is going to be really special about this festival is that I feel like we can expose the people of Hamilton to a whole another side of music culture that’s out there,” said Shaw.

Compared to the previous year, there will be different musicians (except for Koerner) and more people are expected to come.  The venue holds up to 3,000 people and this year it might just reach up to capacity.

The proceeds for the festival will go toward the Hamilton Fourth of July Fireworks Fund and the other half will support the RiversEdge concert series. 

“There’s a philanthropic element to the festival as well and that will certainly stay intact and as the festival gets bigger, the donations will continue to grow,” said Shaw.

In 2015, about 1,900 tickets were sold raising about $12,000 in donations. This time, more is expected.

As far as the future of the event, Shaw hopes for it to keep growing.

“My hope is to really grow the festival, grow the brand, and to make it at least a weekend thing.  Maybe even a two-weekend thing where we kind of have this world-international vibe to one of the weekends,” said Shaw.  “So we’d pull from really different styles of music like some Appalachia stuff, some improvisational jams, fusion, African styles of music, Irish music.”

Given the fact that Shaw is from Hamilton, Hamilton was where he wanted to start this festival from the beginning.

“The way the town has rallied around this event and myself and my fans is truly remarkable,” said Shaw. “I’m forever grateful for it and I will continue to always come back there and chill and have a good time and just hang out, be their regular guy that I am.”

More Information on the festival can be found here: