‘A showcase for Montevallo’: UM students host ValloFest

By GINNY COOPER MCCARLEY / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO—When Matt Suddarth first had the idea for ValloFest, he “just kind of wanted to do something focused on the city.”

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“There’s a lot of people who really appreciate music here,” Suddarth, a sophomore at the University of Montevallo, said. “We just really wanted to support Montevallo, though, that’s the biggest thing.”

More than 11 bands, “a dozen” artists and several food vendors have signed on to be part of the student-organized festival, slated for July 19 in Orr Park from 12:30 p.m. to sundown.

The current band lineup includes acts such as Joel Nelson, Taylor Hunnicut and Matt Willis, Alex Hall and the Dead Men, Luca, The Steele Sisters, Seoul, the Black Power Ranger, Horses As Is, Meridian and Velouria.

There is no fee for artists or food vendors looking to display their wares at the festival, Suddarth emphasized, and local restaurants such as 3-D Dogs and a shaved ice vendor will be selling food at the event.

John Engle, a senior studying mass communication, is also helping to organize the event.

“We want people from the city, the students and people from around here to see Montevallo in a way they haven’t,” Engle said. “It’s just a showcase for Montevallo.”

Suddarth and Engle hope to have more than a few hundred people attend the event, a number the group has already exceeded on their Facebook page for the event.

The event might become an annual tradition, but Suddarth said he is “just enjoying the moment” for now.

“We just want to be able to make the most out of (the event),” Suddarth said.

Both Suddarth and Engle agree that the most important aspect of the festival is the town, and Engle hopes all of the students traveling to the festival from across the state will be able to see the “rich history” of Montevallo.

“There’s a really rich music history here,” Engle said. “There is a music scene, but it’s not the way it used to be. I think doing this will kind of help explode that.”

For more information about the event or to become a food or art vendor, call Matt Suddarth at (334) 596-3232 or John Engle at (256) 348-3254.