Although they had gone out to a concert Saturday night, two sets of sisters weren’t quite done dancing so they decided to check out the music and dancing Sunday at the Live Edge Music Festival in Jefferson.

“This is a whole other experience (from seeing Hailstorm and Alice Cooper),” said Lyta Mitchell.

“But this event gives back,” said her aunt, Melissa Woodbury of Freeport, who learned about the event on Facebook and encouraged her sister and two nieces to attend with her.

The four danced to the Primo Cubano band, who were performing at the festival for the fifth time.

The band was the third act. Tricky Britches, Sibylline and Paranoid Social Club also performed beneath The Barn, a timber frame, open-sided building at Hidden Valley Nature Center where the Midcoast Conservancy holds events, including timber-frame building workshops.

At around 550 people, the attendance was higher than conservancy director Andy Bezon expected. Proceeds, he said, will benefit the conservancy. In its seventh year, he credited the 40 volunteers who helped put on the event.

Communications manager Ali Stevenson said that besides raising funds for the conservancy, she hopes that people will learn about the 35 miles of trails at the nature center and gain an interest in using the trails and conservancy properties.

“The festival is a great opportunity because it draws people from further afield,” she said, “and maybe they come back for the trails.”

Midcoast Conservancy formed in 2016 when four land conservation groups combined. It protects more than 12,000 acres of land. This year, Medomak Valley Land Trust joined it.

“(Hidden Valley Nature Center) is a place where we get the most touches with people and land in terms of falling in love with it,” Stevenson said.

Lindsey Currier, of Bristol, and Mike Evan, of Woolwich, came to the festival to also check out the trails. On mountain bikes, with Currier’s 3-year-old daughter, Saffron, riding in front on Evan’s fat-tire bikes, they learned their way around the trails, visiting the huts and yurts.

“These trails double-track and are good for riding with kids,” said Currier.

Lyta, her sister Bianca Mitchell, mother Angela Mitchell, and Woodbury planned to hike following the musical performances.

“We got caught in the mood of the music first,” Angela said.

All ages were dancing, both on the dance floor and while waiting in line for beer, which was donated to the Conservancy by local breweries, and for food, like wood-fired pizza.

Many enjoyed the music from a distance as they hiked and bicycled on the trails, while others relaxed in camp chairs around The Barn.

Mitchell’s mother, Angela Mitchell, plans to be back next year.

“And I will bring a bigger posse,” she said.


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