The Spark

This past weekend (July 31 - August 2) Fort Smith, AR hosted the inaugural Peacemaker Music & Arts Fest. Fort Smith has had several different music festivals in its time but this one was different.  No, it wasn't filled with mainstream headliners or record setting crowds but it was put together for a purpose. This was one of those "you needed to be there" type of things. The energy, the atmosphere, the feeling – it was completely different than anything we've had in Fort Smith. It was fresh, and it was forward. I'm paralleling this with the movement with within our community right now. It seems like everywhere I look there is development. To my readers who aren't from Fort Smith, I'm sorry – bare with me for a second. I've recently been reading Bill Backer's book The Care and Feeding of Ideas. Bill was the creative director for the famous 1971 'Hilltop' Ad. He mentions something very unique in the opening of his book about ideas:

“There are millions of people who try each day to keep things moving in a positive direction. That means they have to harness the power of ideas. These people need simple, workday, easy-to-use definitions. In modern parlance, you might say they need to have “basic idea” and “executional idea,” or “substance” and “style,” made use-friendly.
So I respectfully submit the following pair of definitions:
- A basic idea is an abstract answer to a perceived desire or need.
- An executional idea is a rendering in words, symbols, sounds, color, shapes, forms, or any combination thereof, of an abstract answer to a perceived desire or need. ”

In my opinion, Peacemaker was an executional idea that a group of talented people came together to produce and execute. It was an incredible experience and I cannot wait until next year.

With all that said, Fort Smith is formulating so many amazing executional idea – we need more people to start executing them.

Now that's out of the way, how about some recap photos?

Jason Isbell headlined on Friday night and KILLED the stage. It was amazing!

Saturday evening started off with these guys, Red Wanting Blue. It was a great performance and I've been listening to their album since I saw them on stage. They are my new favorite.

Corey Smith band took the stage that evening, I'm really not a country guy, but he was fun to see.

Chris Robinson Brotherhood headlined on Saturday night, let me tell ya, I've never heard of these guys before and I couldn't stop dancing. Excuse my terminology but groovy is the appropriate word.

All images Copyright Shane Gray Photography, Shot for Mason Kesner Blog