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Music fest are among stars of the summer season Chesapeake Country fest is first of triple crown

Country music prides itself on being down-home entertainment, full of family values and wholesome performers. But the Chesapeake Country Music Festival, which runs Saturday and Sunday at the Glenn L. Martin State Airport, takes that a step further and tries to foster an atmosphere that's downright homey.

"The objective is entertainment for the entire family," says Al Redmer, the festival's chairman.

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"The experts tell me that last year we had the biggest and the best country music festival that the state has ever seen. We had about 28,000 people on the field in two days, and we had a tremendous number of young people."

This year, in addition to performances by country stars Travis Tritt, Aaron Tippin, John Michael Montgomery and Terri Clark, there will be a children's stage to keep younger attendees interested. Redmer adds that children under 10 are admitted free to the festival.

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How does this blend of music and families work out? "We had no problems [last year]," answers Redmer. "We put 28,000 people on the field for a couple days, and they were all getting into the music and drinking beer and a-hoot-and-hollering, all that kind of thing. But there was virtually no problems at all.

"We're looking to duplicate that this year. It really will be a large family event."

Moreover, he sees the success of the Chesapeake Fest as a means of building interest in the East Baltimore area. "It's an effort to duplicate the successes of the Rocky Gap music festival, to provide the same emotional boost for the community, and also the economic stimulus," he says.

In addition to Tritt and Tippin, Saturday's bill includes Ty Herndon, Jo Dee Messina and the Hard Travelers. Sunday's lineup includes Montgomery, Clark, Kevin Sharp, the Thompson Brothers Band and Ruthie and the Wranglers. The gates open at 8:15 a.m. each day. Tickets are $28.50 for each day, or $50 for a weekend pass. Call 410-481-7328 for tickets, 410-686-2233 for information.

The Chesapeake Festival is just one jewel in Maryland's country music triple crown; the others are the Tangier Sound and Rocky Gap festivals.

Look for the Tangier Sound Country Music Festival June 28 in Crisfield. Boasting an all-star lineup, this year's festival includes performances by John Anderson, Sammy Kershaw, Joe Diffie, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Lee Roy Parnell, Billy Dean, Suzy Boguss and the Hard Travelers.

Tickets are $25 if you buy before Saturday, $30 if you buy before June 27 and $35 if you buy at the gate. Children under 10 are admitted free. Call 800-996-2688 for tickets, 800-521-9189 for information.

The Annual Rocky Gap Music Festival will be held Aug. 1-3 at Allegany Community College in Western Maryland. Among the scheduled acts are: Kathy Mattea, Sammy Kershaw and Paul Brandt on Aug. 1; Hank Williams Jr., Travis Tritt, Charlie Daniels and Jo Dee Messina on Aug. 2 and Alabama, Terri Clark, David Lee Murphy and the Thompson Brothers on Aug 3. To purchase tickets and weekend packages, call 301-722-5200, 1-888-RockyGap or 410-481-SEAT.

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Pub Date: 5/29/97



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