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July 14, 2011

Rising stars: Riverfront Festival turns to new talent

The Riverfront Musical Festival has largely been a '90s flashback in years past, featuring acts like Blind Melon and Fast Ball. But for the 10th annual concert scheduled for Saturday, the host radio station 92.5 The River was looking to shake things up.

"We wanted to make sure we put on a bill that speaks to the audience," said Catie Wilber, program director for The River. "So, (our) focus is on rising stars."

Wilber said the concert will be versatile, giving listeners a taste of everything from pop to soul to evolved country and British invasion.

An estimated 5,000 to 8,000 people are expected to arrive in Newburyport on Saturday, said Hisham Fayed, director of marketing and promotions for The River.

Food vendors such as Mr. India, Newburyport Crabcake Co. and Plum Island Coffee Roasters will be available all day, and additional vendors will be serving free samples in and around Waterfront Park. A beer garden sponsored by Bud Light will also be on site from noon to 6 p.m.

"We also draw (listeners) from Boston and all over the North Shore, New Hampshire, but Newburyport is an area where we have done quite well in the past couple of years, and the city has been especially good planning the event," Fayed said.

The concert will kick off at 1:30 p.m. with the English band Scars on 45, whose members compare their sound to that of Keane or Snow Patrol.

Their song, "Give Me Something," has had respectable air time not only on 92.5, but in other parts of the United States. Currently, the group is on tour with Marc Broussard and are scheduled to perform all across the country, including in Tennessee, Vermont and Kansas.

"Scars on 45 are breaking through," Wilber said. "They're a new exciting band from England, really infectious, are amazing live, and their songs are blowing up the radio across the country."

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