(Photos courtesy of Michele Dickey, Town of Woodstock) 

The 7th annual Woodstock Music Festival was an exciting event filled with memorable moments and significant announcements. Despite a rocky start with the weather, attendees stuck it out to enjoy an evening of delicious food and exceptional music. The night also featured an impromptu graduation ceremony for performer Jackson Chance and a major grant announcement. The festival aimed to benefit the Woodstock Public Library and promote the work of ASPARC (Alabama Suicide Prevention and Resource Coalition), making it an unforgettable occasion. 

ASPARC’s mission is to educate and train individuals to handle situations where someone might be considering suicide. Through QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) training, people are better prepared to save lives in crisis situations, much like CPR for the heart and mind. 

Festival-goers had their pick in the offerings from a variety of vendors, including 7Cs Tasty Freeze, Beck’s Blissful Bites, Berries by Crystal, Big Un’s BBQ, Corn King, Creekside Shaved Ice, Dog Nation, Urban Monkey, and Wild Honey Flower Truck. 

Mayor Jeff Dodson introduced the artists and announced the evening’s highlights, keeping the crowd pumped. Amidst the performances, it was revealed that Senator April Weaver had secured a $50,000 grant for the Woodstock Public Library. Senator Weaver’s efforts ensure that funding is directed back to her constituents, demonstrating her dedication to the community. 

Due to missing his own high school graduation ceremony, Sammy Kershaw presented performer Jackson Chance with a cap, gown, and diploma to commemorate his accomplishment! After his graduation ceremony got rescheduled due to weather, he chose not to attend and instead keep his commitment to performing at the Woodstock Music Festival – and he was certainly celebrated!  

April Rice started the event with a stunning rendition of the National Anthem and treat us to additional songs as well. From the heart of West Blocton, April’s musical journey started in local choirs and stages, shaping her into the powerhouse vocalist she is today. Every Sunday, April’s passion for music radiates at Mount Grove Missionary Baptist Church, where she leads worship, blending her deep love for people with her devotion to God. 

Jackson Chance’s musical journey began at the age of 3, singing at home and in church. At 12, he entered a local talent show on a friend’s suggestion, leading him to win first place in a national competition in Los Angeles. Inspired, Jackson committed to music full-time, mastering guitar, mandolin, and songwriting. His music blends Southern Rock and Country, influenced by legends like Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. Passionate about preserving traditional country storytelling, Jackson infuses his sound with a modern twist, appealing to fans of all ages. Releasing his first EP at 16, featuring collaborations with John Anderson and others, Jackson continued his musical journey with his second EP, “My Redneck of the Woods.” Touring extensively since 2022, he’s played over 85 shows in his first 9 months, including iconic venues like Nashville’s Station Inn. With his band, Southern Division, Jackson captivates audiences across the Southeast, aiming to share his love for music with fans of every generation. Check out Jackson Chase Music on Spotify and Apple Music for his latest releases! 

Like many Southern musicians, Bryan Parks’s musical odyssey commenced in church and harmonizing with relatives. At 19, he acquired his first electric guitar, teaching himself a few chords, igniting a passion that would define his path. Transitioning from various bands in the 1990s-2000s, Bryan delved into original songwriting, pursuing the singer/songwriter dream by 2004. With over 40 copyrighted songs to his name, Bryan embarked on his recording journey in Nashville in July 2023. The result: several acclaimed releases on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, with more anticipated in 2024. Bryan’s dedication to crafting heartfelt music continues to resonate, marking his ongoing evolution as an artist. 

Hailing from McKinney, Texas, Garrett Payne’s music reflects a blend of influences from his southern roots in Cullman, Alabama; Picayune, Mississippi; and Carthage, North Carolina. With over a year of crafting his own sound, Garrett’s heartfelt storytelling and authentic country style resonate deeply with audiences, echoing the essence of his upbringing. His music, infused with genuine emotion and a touch of Texas charm, takes listeners on a journey through life’s highs and lows. Garrett’s performance showcased his powerful lyrics and melodies, a true embodiment of country music’s timeless spirit. 

Aaron Tippin, known for hits like “You’ve Got to Stand for Something,” has defied the odds in both life and music. Surviving lightning strikes and airplane engine failures, Tippin’s resilience shines through with over three decades in the industry, six gold albums, and one platinum. Originally aspiring to be a pilot, he transitioned to music after economic shifts in the aviation industry. His career blossomed in Nashville, first as a songwriter and later as a recording artist with RCA Records. Tippin’s music, rooted in faith, patriotism, and family values, resonates deeply with fans. Despite accomplishments like having his music played in space, Tippin remains humble and devoted to his craft. Refusing to retire, he embraces the resurgence of ‘90s country music, driven by his love for connecting with audiences nationwide. With an unwavering work ethic and genuine affection for his fans, Tippin continues to thrive on stage, embodying the spirit of a true country troubadour. 

Sammy Kershaw is an American country music artist known for his rich voice and a string of hits in the 1990s. Born on February 24, 1958, in Kaplan, Louisiana, Kershaw’s career took off with his 1991 debut album “Don’t Go Near the Water,” which included the hit single “Cadillac Style.” Over the years, he released several successful albums and singles, such as “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful,” “Queen of My Double Wide Trailer,” and “Third Rate Romance.” Kershaw’s music is characterized by its traditional country style and relatable storytelling. In addition to his music career, he has also dabbled in politics, running for lieutenant governor of Louisiana. Kershaw remains a beloved figure in country music, known for his contributions to the genre and his authentic Southern charm. 

Collin Raye, known for hits like “Little Rock” and “Love, Me,” ventures into new territory with his album “Scars,” featuring a diverse lineup including Miranda Lambert, Vince Gill, and Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Raye’s first album of all new music in over a decade, “Scars” showcases his storytelling prowess across 14 tracks, with Raye writing or co-writing 12 of them. Produced by David “Fergie” Ferguson, the album defies genre boundaries, embracing Americana’s eclectic spirit. Raye’s journey from his musical roots in Arkansas to his rock influences shapes tracks like “Rock ’n’ Roll Bone.” Family ties deepen the album’s emotional resonance, with his son and daughter contributing to the songwriting. Collaborations with Gill and Lambert add depth, while personal reflections, like the poignant “Dancing Alone in the Street,” underscore Raye’s enduring creativity. With “Scars,” Raye delivers a compelling testament to life’s ups and downs, crafting an album that resonates with authenticity and emotion. 

The Town of Woodstock extends its gratitude to the sponsors who made this event possible: 

Stage Level Sponsors: Bibb Medical Center, Stan Pate/Pate Holdings, Woodstock Village-Parrish Building, LLC 

Gold Level Sponsors: AMAC Design Builders LLC, Mercedes Benz, Bibb County Commission, Charles Caddell, Matt Downs, Jeremy Lightsey, Rodney Stabler 

Silver Level Sponsors: Advantage Services, Highway 11 Recycling, Kelley Group, McKinney Wrecker Service, Patriot Mini-Storage, Tru-Floors 

Bronze Level Sponsors: ATS Hydraulics, Inc., Downs & Davis, Bibb County Officials (Craig Cargile, Kayla Cooner, Ty Corbell, Judge Stephanie Kemmer, Angie Langston, Jody Wade), Carcel & G Construction, LLC, First Financial Bank, First US Bank, Highway 59 Signs & Graphics, Mike’s Truck & Trailer Repair 1, LLC, Sibley Equipment, StepOne Chevrolet, Tuscaloosa Toyota, State Farm Insurance – Lee Thompson 

In-Kind Services: AM/PM Food Mart, Bounce Rentals 4 You, Caffee Junction Shell, Cahaba Valley Event Rentals, Courtney Dowdle Catering, Elite Productions, Exxon, Holiday Raceway, Sweet South Cakes, Taylor Power, Texaco, The BLOCton Sports Grill, White Willow Events, Vance-Ellison House 

Friends/Supporters/Volunteers: Mayor Jeff Dodson, Cheryl Dodson, Bridget Chambliss, Billie Dailey, Library Board, Michele Dickey, Dorcas Gaines, Malinda George, Frankie Grammer, Steve Grammer, Jay Matthews, Tiffney McCulley, Rodney McCulley, Lexi McCulley, Cannon McCulley, Alex Robinson, Dorinda Smith, Rodney Smith, Carla Smotherman, Eddie Smotherman, Fred Williams (Ret., FBI), Town of Woodstock Park & Rec. Board, Town of Woodstock Police Force, Larry West 

The 7th annual Woodstock Music Festival was indeed a night to remember, filled with community spirit, outstanding performances, and significant contributions to the local area. Here’s to next year!