Three music festivals to grace downtown

September’s festival was such a success its hosting organization plans more

Photo by Derek Edry The Opine Few performs at the Nashua Downtown Music Festival Saturday Sept. 24

NASHUA – After coordinating a pilot music festival last fall, Great American Downtown has announced that it is planning three more music festivals this year.

Each festival will take place in spring, summer and fall respectively, and will have a different theme, said Paul Shea, executive director of Great American Downtown, an organization whose mission is to enhance a vibrant commercial and cultural Downtown Nashua.

Shea said last fall’s Downtown Fall Music Festival proved that there is a demand for such events. eight-hundred to 1,000 people attended attended the festival, which was held along the Nashua River near Water Street, he said.

The first festival this year, Nu Muse Festival, will feature an “eclectic variety” of musical acts from across the nation, including Consider The Source, The Grand Slambovians and Bella’s Bartok.

Consider The Source, an instrumental trio, categorizes itself as sci-fi, Middle Eastern fusion, while the Grand Slambovians create “moody but upbeat alt-roots rock.”

The festival will be held May 6 from 1-10 p.m. on a closed-off section of Main Street between Pearl and Temple streets, and will be free to the public.

Ben Ruddock, arts coordinator for Great American Downtown and creative director for the Riverwalk Cafe, said he intentionally sought out an eclectic lineup for Nu Muse that he hopes will attract an open-minded audience.

“They definitely capture the spirit of creativity in music, and they’re all unique in their own way,” Ruddock said.

The event will mark the rollout of the Nashua street pianos and City Arts Nashua’s Comeback Kitchen Table art installation, and will feature street performers, an arts and artisans market and food trucks.

Those interested can learn more about Nu Muse by visiting www.down, which features music videos and a Spotify playlist with songs from the artists that will be performing.

The next festival in the series, the Merrimack Valley Battle of the Bands, scheduled for July 22, will be a contest up-and-

coming artists from the Merrimack Valley. The winner, Ruddock said, will receive a recording contract with Studio Metronome in Brookline; the recording would be produced by Ruddock, who owns Weird Fish Productions. Studio Metronome has worked with the Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Pixies and many others.

“I really want to keep the focus regional, because I aspire to help musical acts in the area that are on their way up,” Ruddock said.

Bands interested in applying to perform in the Merrimack Valley Battle of the Bands should email Ruddock at ben@

The final festival of the trilogy, the New England Roots Festival, is scheduled to take place Sept. 30 and will be sponsored by the River Casino & Sports Bar.

The New England Roots Festival will feature roots, folk and bluegrass artists, much like last year’s fall festival,

Ruddock said.

Derek Edry can be reached at 594-1243, or @Telegraph_Derek.