After the COVID break, Eddie Music Fest returns this year to honor the beloved local musician

0

In honor of the late local Johnstown musician Edward Lakata, 14 bands are set to take the stage at the annual Eddie Music Festival at the Concordia Club in Gloversville on Saturday.

By Jordan Ries

For the Chief Herald

GLOVERSVILLE — In honor of the late local Johnstown musician Edward Lakata, 14 bands are set to take the stage at the annual Eddie Music Festival at the Concordia Club in Gloversville on Saturday.

The festival will start at noon and is expected to end at 10 p.m., although organizer John Lakata said the festival has tended to run a bit longer in recent years. Admission is $5.

“The feedback has been that the music at The Eddie is fantastic,” said John Lakata. “We have never had any complaints about either of [the bands].”

Edward Lakata died in a bicycle accident in 2013 when he was hit and killed by a motor vehicle. He was 55 years old.

After his tragic death, Lakata’s relatives and friends organized the music festival as a tribute to him and his musical career.

After a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s event will be the eighth Eddie Festival. An excellent relationship between the organizers and Club Concordia, as well as an experienced committee, contribute to the smooth running of the planning of the festival, said John Lakata.

The one-day event features two stages under the Concordia Pavilion where guests can listen, mingle, participate in raffles, drink and eat from food trucks parked near the venue, which is on Concordia Club Road .

Most bands seek out the festival on their own and agree to offer their services, John Lakata said.

Profits go to the Edward Lakata Memorial Scholarship for students at Johnstown High School for music or math and science – two hobbies that Edward Lakata devoted most of his time to. Annual recipients of the award earn a $1,000 scholarship to pursue higher education.

Edward Lakata enjoyed performing and even built a recording studio in his house, where other artists were invited to use the space. Often he would help mix records and musicians would stay longer to hang out with the Fulton County native.

“I have never seen a funeral where so many people attended,” said John Lakata. “I mean, it was twice the size of any public burial I’ve ever seen. It really showed us how many lives he really touched.

“He was a consummate professional. He was a fun guy to be around. You know, he was one of those personalities that drew people in,” said Phil Schuyler, lifelong friend of Edward Lakata and former band member.

Schuyler, 60, played alongside Lakata for 30 years, writing music together, performing, touring and enjoying each other’s company as lifelong buddies.

“[Lakata] studied alone. He was one of those guys. He went to buy books and learned. And then somehow he ended up better than everyone,” Schuyler said. “His talent, his approach, his style. It’s really hard to put your finger on one thing.

A teacher at BOCES in Johnstown for the Career and Technical Center and Director of Musicals at Gloversville High School, the Schuyler alumni will open for Eddie, as Stump City, beginning at noon. Edward Lakata’s son, Austin Lakata, will also perform on Saturday at 5:50 p.m.

“The first one [festival] was tough,” Schuyler said. “It’s just amazing that he’s still so popular. He literally grew up even after eight years. It’s quite a tribute, honestly.

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.