Singer-songwriter Kayla Kroh performs at the JIngle Bell Jam in December in York. She’ll be among the performers at the first Central PA Music Fest.
Singer-songwriter Kayla Kroh performs at the JIngle Bell Jam in December in York. She'll be among the performers at the first Central PA Music Fest. (File Photo)

Kayla Kroh strummed a guitar and sang on a mountain overlooking the Susquehanna River and lush landscape of Lower Windsor Township.

The view and the music gave onlookers a taste of what they can expect at the first Central PA Music Fest.

She performed Friday during a press conference to announce the new music festival where she will open for headliner Kingsfoil.

Kroh, a 16-year-old Central York High School student, also won an online music challenge hosted by the festival's promoter, beating out about 70 other contestants across the Northeast.

"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.

The music festival will be held from 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 22, through Sunday, Aug. 24, at Lauxmont Farm, 1215 Long Level Road in Wrightsville.

More than 60 musical acts will perform during the concert, which will feature classic rock Aug. 22, reggae and jam rock Aug. 23, and blues, jazz and country Aug. 24.

"We're proud to support local artists in Central PA. There's a lot of talent here, but not much of a showcase," said Ron Kohr, co-owner of Lauxmont Farm.

Promotor Nick Song, a Red Lion native and drummer whose career includes organizing concerts for The Rolling Stones, got the idea for the festival in December.

"Central PA has a lot of bands and artists that are not getting recognized. I wanted to do something to show their talent, so I said, 'Let's do a festival,'" he said.


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The first day of the concert is free, as the venue hosts a kickoff party Aug. 22. Tickets will be $25 each Aug. 23 and Aug. 24, or a two-day pass is $39. VIP tickets are also available.

Song expects between 3,000 and 4,000 people at the event.

Proceeds will be used to start a music and art school, and clean up the Susquehanna River, he said.

"We want this to be a real community event," Song said.

Soon he will be seeking the art community, hosting an online contest that will choose art to be displayed during the music festival.

It's also a chance for local musicians to get in front of a much larger audience than what they usually see in bars and other venues on the weekends.

"We need a platform, and I think this is a great way of getting people out of the dark spots and into the light," said Parker James Hooker, a member of the two-man, York-based band Strange Foke. "A lot of us are sticking our neck out, and we just need a place to play and people to play to."

It's also a chance to fuel their passion.

"Any chance you get to play music is a great time," said Ryan Jeffrey Graffius, the other half of Strange Foke.

Angela Michele Walker said her six-piece Lancaster band is also looking forward to the festival.

The songwiriter from Charleston, S.C., writes and sings "passionate, bluesy, southern soul," she said.

She primarily plays at local venues on weekends and is looking forward to an opportunity to be among dozens of regional artists.

"I don't know that there are many local festivals to highlight music in this area," Walker said.

For a complete list of performers and more information, visit www.centralpamusicfest.com.

-Reach Candy Woodall at cwoodall@yorkdispatch.com.