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Music is Art returns next month, will auction autographed guitars Saturday

Four individuals stand in front of a display of signed guitars, set on top of amps and on the ground, and in front of the TV. All of them are wearing shirts with a music note on it, which is the logo of Music is Art.
Emyle Watkins
Music is Art staff gather with the guitars that will be available for auction on Saturday.

While the COVID-19 pandemic stopped live music for a while, a popular Buffalo music festival is coming back next month. This week, they’re offering a chance for people to buy a guitar signed by artists like Nirvana and AC/DC and many more, to help raise funds to bring back the festival which draws over 200 bands.

Music is Art Board Chair Jill Casullo said holding the festival is important because it's a really special opportunity for families to share in something they love.

"It's incredible to watch kids, even like my own kids, who are teenagers, enjoy music that like my dad enjoyed and that I enjoy, and just to be able to pass that kind of music down through the ages," she said. "And to be able to learn, you know, about new music and hear new things. Music is something that's generational."

Casullo said this year, things will be a little different, but it certainly won’t be lacking in listening options.

"We're not going to be across the river that we've been in the past. We're going to be keeping it to the one side. We tried to scale down, but there's still going to be 20 stages. So there's going to be over 200 bands," Casullo said. "I think we're just going to pretty much make sure that people are kind of social distancing and kind of keeping into not too crowded of areas and things like that.” 

But to put on a show like this one next month is no small feat. That’s why Music is Art holds smaller events as fundraisers, including one coming Saturday, to help prepare financially for this big musical undertaking.

From 5 p.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday at the Variety Club in Lancaster, people can attend a benefit that includes an exciting event for any music fanatic: autographed guitars for auction.

“We've got Jimmy Buffett, AC/DC, The Clash, Prince, Tom Petty, Garth Brooks, The Highwaymen with Willie Nelson, Nirvana — still pretty incredible to me on that when I say that every time — David Bowie, Eric Clapton and BB King — which is another favorite of mine — The Eagles and we even have a Beatles guitar this year,” Casullo said.

Three signed guitars sit on top of amps.
Emyle Watkins
Some of the guitars that are available for auction at Saturday's Music is Art fundraiser.

All the money raised will go toward putting on the festival, which will be held Sept. 11 at Buffalo Riverworks.

Emyle Watkins is an investigative journalist covering disability for WBFO.