Success of recent music festival prompts River Reach Foundation to plan fall event

Several changes are in store for next festival

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Officials at the River Reach Foundation, the nonprofit organization that presented last weekend's inaugural Animas River Jam in Farmington, were so pleased with the event that they have decided to stage a second festival in the fall.

Foundation president D'Ann Waters said the feedback her organization received from those who attended the event and filled out a survey was overwhelmingly positive. She said 250 surveys were filled out by visitors.

"We thought it was a big success," Waters said of the festival, which took place May 29-30 in Berg and Animas parks along the Animas River and featured 14 bands, along with several food trucks. The event was planned as an alternative to the annual Riverfest celebration, which was cancelled for the second year in a row because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"People were so happy to get out and enjoy it and felt it was family friendly," Waters said, describing the nature of the comments that were found in the completed surveys.

The Fetz X-tet performs May 29, 2021, at the River Reach Terrace stage in Berg Park in Farmington during the inaugural Animas River Jam.

Some visitors expressed disappointment that the event did not include arts and crafts tents, children's activities or tables and chairs, she said. But organizers purposely avoided making those elements part of the event for safety reasons and to keep things simple as they staged the festival for the first time, Waters said.

She said foundation officials are still discussing a date or dates for the fall version of the event, but she said it was likely to take place in October. Waters said River Reach officials are checking with the city to see when the spaces are available.

Visitors to the inaugural Animas River Jam dance to the music of Julie & the Boyz on May 29, 2021, at the Rocky Reach Landing stage in Animas Park in Farmington.

She said it could be a one- or two-day event. If it is a two-day event, she said it could take place on a Friday and Saturday or a Saturday and Sunday.

That festival likely will include arts and crafts tents, and some children's activities. She said a beer and wine garden also would be a likely addition.

More:Animas, Berg parks host live music, food at Animas River Jam

Waters did not have an estimate of the number of people who attended the festival, but she said that figure likely would be compiled soon.

"It was a good result," she said.

Rafters enjoy a trip down the Animas River during the inaugural Animas River Jam on May 29, 2021, in Farmington.

Waters also said organizers would work to streamline some of the snags that may have discouraged some of the food truck vendors who wanted to take part in the event. She said there apparently was a misunderstanding by some vendors about what type of insurance policies were available to them from the city, keeping some of them from participating.

Visitors to the inaugural Animas River Jam dance to the music of the Fetz X-tet May 29, 2021, at the River Reach Terrace in Berg Park in Farmington.

"We did not have as many food trucks as we would have liked," she said. "That is one issue we would like to see resolved in the future."

The River Reach Foundation board will meet within the next two weeks to select a date or dates for the fall festival, she said.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or Support local journalism with a digital subscription.