Lennonfest, an annual community event featuring local bands performing tunes by John Lennon and the Beatles, takes place this Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Union Bar in Athens.
The concert was started in 2000 by local musician Eric “Junebug” Leighton to commemorate his late friend and fellow local musician John Bartlett, as well as rock and roll superstar John Lennon.
Lennonfest serves as a fundraiser for the Johnny B Fund, named for Bartlett, and the John Spataro Fund. Both funds raise money for young student musicians.
Leighton began Lennonfest after Bartlett died unexpectedly in 1994 to continue his friend’s contribution to Athens’ local music scene.
The 20th annual Lennonfest will feature seven confirmed local acts performing songs from the Beatles’ catalogue, including the Come On Come Ons, Wild Honeybees, the Local Union 910 (composed of members of the Blam Blams and the Serfs), Zapple Pie, Sun Boats (members of the Awful Kind and Velvet Green), Steve Zarate and members of the Water Witches.
Saturday night’s show was organized by Blackout Booking and WLCI 97.5, the student-run radio station at Hocking College’s School of Music. Both organizations have taken part in numerous local music events, including last week’s Benefest, also held at the Union. Blackout has been organizing Lennonfest for the past decade.
The bands will take the stage Saturday night around 8 at the Union.