Fourth Annual Oliver Hazard Day Features Five Regional Bands

Oliver Hazard. PHOTOS COURTESY OF OLIVER HAZARD DAY
Bendigo Fletcher
Lullanas
Riddy Arman
The Wonderfool

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — The day is named after the Waterville-based band that now has millions of fans worldwide, but Michael Belazis, Devin East and Griffin McCulloch want Oliver Hazard Day to be about championing fellow indie artists.

Thousands of fans will converge in downtown Waterville on Saturday, August 13 for the fourth annual Oliver Hazard Day.

“We started this with the goal of creating an emerging artist festival that would grow as we grow,” said Belazis.

The bands are sourced through the community of artists they’ve met while on tour since 2018, and this year, three of the five are from Ohio.

“This year, it feels like it’s regional acts that all have a national presence,” Belazis said. “We try to make sure that all the artists have one degree of separation or a direct friendship with us.”

The gates open at 4:00 p.m. with Lullanas taking the stage at 5:00 p.m.

Twin sisters Atisha and Nishita Lulla, aka Lullanas, offer easygoing Americana and country folk. While their parents immigrated from India before they were born, the twins grew up listening to Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton and the Beatles. 

The Wonderfool, a side project of Caamp’s Matt Vinson, takes the stage at 6:00 p.m. Vinson, an Ohio native, is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer who was the special guest during a holiday charity show that Oliver Hazard hosted at the Ohio Theatre last December.

Riddy Arman grew up in Monclova Township, then spent several years hanging out with horses and immersing herself in agriculture in Virginia before moving to Montana. Last year she released a self-title CD with La Honda Records. 

“She has these vibes that are straight out of the ’60s … a very vintage sound like the era of Hank Williams and Dolly Parton,” Belazis said of Arman, who takes the stage at 7:00 p.m. 

“She’s really big in the country folk scene,” Belazis said. “She did some pretty remarkable tours with some really big artists out west. This is kind of like a homecoming show for her. She hasn’t played in this area in a long time.”

At 8:00 p.m., Louisville-based indie band Bendigo Fletcher takes the sage.

“They’re really hitting their stride right now, playing a lot of really big music festivals, like the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island,” Belazis said. “We’re excited to have them.”

Oliver Hazard rounds out the evening, beginning at 9:15 p.m., and will no doubt perform top-streaming favorites like “Dandelion,” “Grenadine,” “Caesar Knows” and “Cecilia” – along with “Two x Four,” a new single to be released on Friday, August 5. The band has a whole new album recorded and will be releasing individual songs every six weeks for the next eight months, Belazis said.

Fans from around the Midwest are expected to come for the family-friendly event, which will include food trucks with tacos, hot dogs and lemonade. Those 21 and older can try an Oliver Hazy brew from Patron Saints Brewery or Hornitos seltzers.

Tickets are $15.00 in advance or $20.00 the day of the show. For information, visit www.oliverhazardday.com.

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