Woodstock ... it was not.

Rather than peace and love, the Central PA Music Fest scheduled for last weekend at Lauxmont Farms in Lower Windsor Township sowed anger and frustration — all of it directed at the event's organizers.

The concept was wonderful: 110 bands jamming for three days on a hill top overlooking the Susquehanna River valley — with proceeds earmarked for the creation of a music and art school in York City.

The festival would showcase local musical talents as well as out-of-town acts, and each would get $500 in addition to the exposure.

Organizer and Red Lion native Nick Song generated buzz by holding a "big break" music challenge that featured 70 contestants from across the Northeast competing for cash prizes.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla Kroh, a Central York High School student, won the grand prize of $10,000 and was told she'd open for festival headliner Kingsfoil.

"It's a huge honor. It's crazy to think I'll do this concert and days later start my junior year of high school. How many other kids can say that?" she said earlier this summer.

Actually, no one can say that — not Kroh nor any of the other acts that signed on to play the festival.

Five days before the rain-or-shine event was to begin Aug. 22, Song canceled the dates — because of the threat of rain and the effect that could have on ticket sales.

The last-minute "rescheduling" did not go over well with some of the musicians who turned down other gigs to play the festival or had come in from out of town.


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It didn't help matters when the organizers' mini-festival Saturday and Sunday at the Race Horse Tavern in Thomasville, scheduled after the main event fell through, also was canceled.

Organizers announced this week the festival officially has been rescheduled for Oct. 25 as a scaled-down, one-day event — but some of the bands originally booked say they want to nothing to do with it at this point.

Kelly Farner, operations manager of the festival, offered a public apology from Song and herself to the bands affected by the sudden changes to the festival.

"It was a business decision. It was something that had to be done. I forgive them for the negativity — it's hurtful, but I forgive them — and Nick forgives them, but we have to move on."

We're not sure they really need forgiveness: Bands are in business, too, and they were prepared to honor their commitments. Many musicians were affected, and they have a right to be upset at the way things were handled.

However, count us among those who are more understanding, such as Kayla Kroh's mother.

While Jody Kroh said she's disappointed – and would be hesitant to book her daughter with the organizers again – she thinks Song simply aimed too high.

"I truly believe his heart is in the right place ... I just think it was too big, and I'm hoping that he can somehow rebound from all this and be successful," Jody Kroh said.

Kayla Kroh and the other contest winners are still waiting for the prizes, which were supposed to be presented during the festival. Farner said that will now happen at a Sept. 21 ceremony.

Let's hope so. It might go a long way toward restoring harmony.