Apple-themed festival in Shutesbury to provide platform for local musicians

  • Apples FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 9/7/2021 2:59:52 PM

SHUTESBURY — Since the cancellation of 2020’s “Mud Season” music festival, musician and event organizer David Bulley said he’s felt the absence of live music in his core. He hopes to fill this gap with Early Apple Fest, a one-day apple-themed music festival that will provide a platform for local talent.

Early Apple Fest, a celebration of early crop growth and of regional talent, will be held Saturday, Sept. 11, from noon to 11 p.m. at the Shutesbury Athletic Club. In addition to live music, the event will feature food, craft vendors and even the Worcester Red Sox.

Bulley said Early Apple Fest is a “replacement” for Mud Season, which was slated for March 2020 but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that with “everything else under the sun” suffering the same fate, he felt a profound emptiness.

“If you’re a person who enjoys live music, then last year was just a giant hole,” Bulley said. “I really think that it’s going to take years to recover from the pandemic emotionally, spiritually and community-wise.”

Bulley’s organization of the festival was his way of beginning to fill this hole. He said Franklin County, in particular, has the talent to do so. After loving what he’s heard, he wished that there were more opportunities for smaller musicians to gain notoriety.

“We’re pretty lucky, as far as music goes,” Bulley said. “It’s been my experience for years and years now that you can go to a bar in Western Massachusetts and hear some great talent with a crowd of five to six people.”

Playing at Early Apple Fest will include the J-pop fusion band The Yasu Suzuki Method, groovy and bluesy band SpaceBar, the soulfully eclectic Electric Button Band, the Americana-playing Dave Bully Band, The Raconteurs cover band Petey’s barnRocket Racketeers, blues-rock band John Sheldon’s Blue Streak, and Greenfield’s folk-rock band Love Crumbs.

To help fulfill the apple theme, Bulley said there will be apple pies, apple fries with hot caramel sauce and other dishes. Food vendors will be joined by craft vendors selling various wares, as well as a station where the Worcester Red Sox minor league baseball team will give away memorabilia and autographs. Bulley said he’s currently looking for more vendors to attend the festival and wants anybody interested to contact him.

As a musician, Bulley hopes his festival and band’s performance can help recapture what makes live music a “spiritual experience.”

“I think the goal of a successful event is the smiles on people’s faces when they leave,” Bulley said. “You can stand outside and watch people smiling and talking when they come out. It’s a really worthwhile feeling.”

Tickets to Early Apple Fest can be purchased online at for $15, as well as at the door for $20. Vendors interested in attending the festival can reach Bulley at 413-522-0032 or

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or


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