FlingFest Fun

“[Flingfest is] a rockin’, family-friendly good time for a good cause. Great food, great drinks, great people, and great music!” says Dave Hamilton, drummer and singer for local band Fling.

On Friday, March 23rd from 7-10 pm, there will be a FlingFest music night at The Stone Church in Newmarket. Headlining the event will be local band FLING, with performances by hip-hop artist Lufty and the rock band Junction. This will be an event for all ages, with lots of good music and good company. Proceeds from event will benefit Oyster River High School’s Project Graduation.IMG_7172.jpeg

FLING first began hosting FlingFests in 2013. Most members of the band, and their friends, had young children at this time. The band realized late night performances at bars weren’t really the right platform for this crowd. Hamilton said, “bar gigs just weren’t what our crowd wanted, but we weren’t sure what to do. In retrospect, the answer seems so simple… and it was, once we had the idea.” He explained that once the band came up with an idea for an event for “their crowd,” the rest fell into place. “What our crowd wanted was essentially an ‘indoor cookout’ type of vibe where they could bring their kids, enjoy food and maybe a drink or two, and listen to some great music,” he said.

Hamilton noted that including a band of kids in the lineup for each FlingFest helped engage the younger crowd. Overall, these events have donated a lot of their proceeds to charity. “We’ve basically followed the same formula ever since, having at least one band made up of kids/students each time, and it’s been a blast. I think every FlingFest we’ve done has had the proceeds go to a different charity except one or maybe two. I recall paying the kids one night and ourselves, of course,” Hamilton said.

As far as the band itself goes, FLING has been together for over ten years. Hamilton noted that three members of the band are exceptionally good at songwriting, which has helped some of their original songs become popular, sometimes more popular than their covers. Hamilton said, “on the surface we’re a bunch of dads from Oyster River, Durham, Lee, Madbury. Everyone can sing, and everyone plays their instruments really well. Most importantly, we’ve really found some magic together, in both our playing and our harmonies.” Hamilton noted that the band is looking forward to playing for everyone on Friday, March 23rd.

Max Wagner, known on soundcloud and by ORHS students as Lufty, performs often at Mouth of the River’s Coffee Houses, the Freedom Cafe in Durham, and other events at ORHS such as the Snow Ball Dance. (For more info on Lufty, check out his profile by Felicia Drysdale in Issue 1 of Mouth of the River.)

This Friday, he’ll be playing some of his popular, older songs as well as one new song. He said, “people should come out because FLING and Junction are unique and interesting bands and provide wicked live performances. And if you can’t handle them, my music could be a softer alternative. The Stone Church is a cool place as well.”

Next up is Junction, a newer local band made up of five ORHS students: Jake (Weggy) Weglarz (‘18), Jake Kaplan (‘18), Colin Flores (‘20), Liam Weglarz (‘20), and Ian Miles (‘19). Similarly to Lufty, they often perform at Coffeehouses, and have really come together as a group this year. (For more info on Junction, see Jess Speechley’s article coming up in Issue 3 of MOR.)

Kaplan, who plays keyboard and guitar for Junction, has never done an event like this. He said, “Colin, our lead guitarist, Liam, our drummer, and Ian, our bassist all have. Colin and Liam have actually performed at the Stone Church before and all three of them have even played at a wedding. So they definitely have more experience performing than I do. However, I’m really excited to see how this event turns out.”

Junction will be playing four brand new songs at Flingfest, including the first one they ever wrote together. Kaplan stated, “two of these songs are very mellow, Goodbye and Memories, while the other two lean more towards hard rock and blues, Midnight Drive and Jam in G.”

Kaplan and the rest of Junction are looking forward to this event not only for the performing aspect, but also since it is a fundraiser for the senior class. Kaplan noted, “not only will you hear great music from us, Lufty, and Fling, but you will also be supporting the senior class.”

While the music is such an important part of FlingFest, there is also a substantial amount of planning that goes into making this night so successful.

As far as the location goes, the Stone Church was a natural choice. Many community events take place there, and it is owned by ORHS parents Cheryl and Michael Hoffman. They bought the building in late August, and have since held many events and activities. Cheryl Hoffman, also a member of the Project Graduation Committee, said, “music and community go hand in hand, and we have had many opportunities to facilitate fundraisers. Last week we did one for Newmarket High and we will be doing one for NexGen Climate Action soon.”

Hoffman is excited for Friday’s event. She stated, “FlingFest was easy! The band has a history at Stone Church and a passion for sharing their talents to help out causes they support. They are doing what they do so well – bringing people together for a night of fun and dancing. Sometimes they get paid. This time they are donating all the proceeds from the door to Project Graduation.”

Hoffman went on to explain that FlingFest will be similar to other events at the Stone Church, where people can order food off the menu, listen to great music, and get groovy on the dance floor. There will also be raffle calendars and 50/50 tickets for sale.

If you’re looking for something to do this Friday night, come out to the Stone Church from 7-10. You’ll get to listen to some great music from local bands, all while supporting the ORHS senior class!

Photos by Lisa Hamilton