While the venue was smaller than some veteran music-festival attendees were used to, the presence of national touring bands and a picturesque view of the Susquehanna River ensured a strong draw of people for the inaugural year of the Lunar Bay Music and Arts Festival over the weekend.
"Where could you go to a concert or show and have that kind of background?" asked Rich Carr of Darlington on Saturday, gesturing with his hand toward the river and the Conowingo Dam in the distance as he stood on a grassy hill on the grounds of the Steppingstone Museum in the midst of Susquehanna State Park north of Havre de Grace.
Carr is a member of the board of directors for Steppingstone, which served as the venue for the Lunar Bay festival. The event lasted throughout the day and night Saturday, featuring headliners such as moe. and Tea Leaf Green.
The music continued until 8 p.m. Sunday, with Keller Williams headlining the main stage in the evening.
"It went really well," Kelley Duncan said Tuesday. Duncan organized the Lunar Bay festival with friends and fellow Havre de Grace residents Genevieve Britton and Margie Coakley.
More information about the venue and all bands can be found online at http://www.lunarbayfestival.com.
Organizers estimated about 1,500 to 2,000 people had arrived by Saturday afternoon, and expected more as the larger acts took the stage in the evening.
Duncan did say attendance fell a bit short of the roughly 10,000 that had been expected for the weekend.
"We did not sell out but we did reach our goal for budget purposes," she said after the event.
"We are very happy. We feel the community felt it was a total success. We know the state park is very pleased with us," Duncan said, adding the museum's director was on site the entire time.
She said the museum was "very complimentary, very thankful" and she, Britton and Coakley were grateful to the museum in turn.
No serious incidents were reported during the event, which featured a heavy presence from the Harford County Sheriff's Office as well as local fire and emergency medical personnel, according to both Duncan and Harford County Volunteer Fire & EMS Association spokesman Rich Gardiner.
Duncan said she was aware of only one call for an individual who turned out to be sleeping in the field.
Sheriff's Office spokesman Edward Hopkins agreed there were no incidents.
"There were effective communications and a great working relationship between the organizers and law enforcement that started prior to the event during the planning and went right [through] the Festival itself," Hopkins wrote in an e-mail Tuesday.
The parking, traffic and other logistics also went smoothly, Duncan said, and attendees seemed to have enjoyed the music.
"We want to make sure the festival treads lightly," she said. "As far as the production and sound, it was highly professional. We got a lot of compliments about that."
The parking did not overflow and grass was lightly treaded, she said.
"The public really did well because they carpooled, so we are very thankful," Duncan said.
Caitlyn O'Connor, a pre-school teacher from Bethesda, expertly twirled a hula hoop, along with a group of fellow festival-goers, as jam music played from a nearby stage overlooking the river.