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MixFest Draws Thousands of Fans

MixFest, presented by radio station Mix 104.1, included five musical performances at the Hatch Shell Saturday.

Electric guitars and drum sets took to the stage on Saturday, drawing thousands of fans to the Hatch Shell for free pop and rock music.

Mix 104.1’s annual MixFest concert returned to Boston on Saturday, but for the first time, the festivities were free at the Hatch Shell along the Charles River. This year’s event had five musical performances, including Javier Colon, Michelle Branch, Sara Bareilles, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, and Lifehouse headlining the show was.

Jordan Hinahara, a Brandeis University student, came to see Sara Bareilles, one of her favorite musicians.

“I saw her in Boston two years ago and also in Madison, Wis. right before she got popular, and she does a great live show,” Hinahara said. “There’s no denying that it’s a gorgeous day out here, and we’re out listening to free music, which is always fun.”

Furthermore, Mary Poole from Brockton is an avid listener of Mix 104.1, so she decided to attend the outdoor concert on Saturday.

“I know Gregg Daniels [of 104.1]; I talk to him all the time, and I got a hug from him today,” Poole said. “I’ve been listening to that same station for 20 years.

“And it’s free this year, which is great,” Poole continued. “I don’t go to paid concerts, really, but I wouldn’t miss this free one. I’m 56, but I still like to stay young and have fun.”

Music started at 3:45 p.m. with Colon, the season-one winner of The Voice on NBC. Then Branch, who is a Grammy Award winner, brought out her guitar for the second act. The middle performance was Bareilles, who has been nominated three times for a Grammy Award.

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, a rock band from Vermont, took to the stage for the fourth act. Then MixFest concluded at 8 p.m. with Billboard Music Award winning band, Lifehouse.

In addition to the musical performances, there was a free festival for kids, which started at 2 p.m. along the Charles River. The kids area had face painting, arts and crafts, games, and performances by The Rockettes, David Grover, and Shushybye.

Cailin Boucher, who was the executive director of “Kids Island,” said they were very busy during the three-hours of kids activities.

“We have a lot going on for the kids, and it’s great how people just keep on coming down to have fun,” Boucher said. “We wanted to welcome everyone from the city of Boston and the state of Massachusetts to come on down to the Hatch Shell and have a wonderful time. And we couldn’t ask for better weather.”

As mentioned before, the concert and activities were all free at MixFest. Mix 104.1 and CBS Radio Boston said the they opened up this year’s show for all to enjoy as a way to show appreciation for their listeners and the Boston community.

“MixFest began 18 years ago as a free event on Boston Common,” Mark Hannon, Senior Vice President/Market Manager of CBS Radio Boston, said. “By bringing this year’s event to the DCR Hatch Shell, we are returning MixFest to its roots as a free, outdoor festival that we produce in an effort to say thank you to all of our loyal Mix 104.1 listeners in the Boston community.”

John Keith September 20, 2011 at 06:04 PM
This sounds as if it was a grand success so I hope they continue to hold the event in either location. I jogged on the Charles on Friday and noticed that they had fenced off most of the Esplanade in front of the Hatch Shell. A minor inconvenience to run around it but I don't remember this ever happening for any other event. Even during the Fourth, you can still gain access to the circle although you have to go through security. I don't know why they had to have all those fences anyway; it was free, right?

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