Music festival draws 1,000-plus

By Tonya Fennell: CNJ staff writer

The Clovis Music Festival was a weekend filled with rock ‘n’ roll and reminiscing.
The event honored musicians from the 1950s who had ties to the Norman Petty Studios.

Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Liz Eisenbraun said the festival drew more than 1,000 fans from around the world. “We had people come from Australia and England,” Eisenbraun said, “and they (visitors) said they had the time of their lives.”

This year’s music festival had several firsts, including venue and tours of the historic downtown theaters.

The Clovis Civic Center reverberated with the sounds of live music each night during the festival. Eisenbraun said the building was a good choice for the event, but adequate seating and lighting were an issue.

“Overall it (Clovis Civic Center) was a good location,” she said. “But there will be some minor details to work out next year.”

Eisenbraun said a large group toured the Main Street theaters where they heard from the Fireballs how the strands of gold chain were hung from the ceiling of the Mesa Theater. Daily tours of the Norman Petty Studios were also offered during the three-day festival.

“Everyone loves the music history here in Clovis,” Eisenbraun said.

Rock ‘n’ roll aficionados were treated to a premier performance by Mike Berry on Saturday night. Berry, often called the British Buddy Holly, is known for his hit song “A Tribute to Buddy Holly.” “He (Berry) has an amazing voice,” Eisenbraun said, “and he put on a great show.”

The LA Party Dolls also appeared for the first time. Eisenbraun said the group brought a fun element to the festival.

Hailey Greene echoed Eisenbraun’s sentiment regarding the trio. The Clovis mother and her family attended the Sock Hop where the LA Party Dolls performed songs from the 1950s and Motown era. “My daughters loved their (LA Party Dolls) costumes and wigs,” Greene said, “and my husband was even smiling and tapping his foot.”

Greene, a first-time attendee to the festival, said she was impressed with the entire event. “My family had a magnificent time,” she said. “My daughters haven’t stopped singing the songs they heard at the Sock Hop.”

The festivities wound down with a Sunday Gospel held in the gardens of the Norman Petty Studios. “It was very touching,” Eisenbraun said.

“It (Clovis Music Festival) went fantastic,” she said. “It was a fun time.”