What started as a one-time benefit show has grown into an annual, 10-hour music festival.
Called "Lovefest," aspects of the show have changed since its formation in 2008. However, Saturday's fifth-annual Lovefest will benefit the same cause as its predecessors: the David W. Love Memorial Scholarship.
Love, a Jamestown High School graduate, died at age 19 after suffering a pulmonary embolism. The memorial scholarship benefits one or multiple JHS graduating seniors each year who exhibit the greatest passion in the study of history and political science. The scholarship also specifies that the beneficiary must possess a positive attitude and sense of humor.
Phantasm, formerly of Jamestown, will be among the bands playing during Saturday’s Lovefest Volume 5, which will be held at The Gateway Center, 31 Water St., Jamestown. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m.
Thus far, eight JHS graduates have received the scholarship.
According to co-organizer Shawn Sprankle, Jamestown's Sebe Margaglio put together the first Lovefest in a couple of weeks following Love's death. Eight bands played in the Arena Club of Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.
"There was an overwhelming amount of support the first year," Sprankle said. "We felt we needed to bring it to a larger venue."
Lovefest organizers accomplished that by moving over to the Allen Park Ice Arena for years two through four.
For Lovefest Volume 3, Sprankle and Margaglio began booking touring musicians in addition to local acts.
With 17 acts booked, the fifth annual Lovefest will be held in The Gateway Center, at 31 Water St., Jamestown. Sprankle booked the show along with fellow promoter Mike Ball. Margaglio, a University at Buffalo student, stepped down to pursue his studies.
In years past, heavy metal musicians and acoustic acts have dominated Lovefest lineups. The festival will once again feature two stages Saturday, but the acts are more diverse than ever.
Heresy, an Erie-based artist, will bring rap and hip-hop to Lovefest for the first time. Notixx, a DJ, will play dubstep and more.
"He makes his own music, and he remixes on songs," Sprankle said of Notixx. "We've always been looking for hip-hop acts and DJs, but we've never had much luck in years past. There really is an untapped market in Jamestown for other people who listen to music that's not metal."
Along with Heresy and Notixx, Ohio metal bands Inhale Exhale and Before Their Eyes will headline.
Among others, post-hardcore band Red Light Departure, metal band Awaken The Ancients, alternative rockers Candle Jack and Philadelphia rockers Phantasm return to Lovefest this year.
"Lovefest is a great event; it's really cool," said Jay Yachetta of Phantasm, a band that got its start in Jamestown. "I didn't know Dave personally, but the people in charge of the show are really hard working, and we're happy to have the chance to work with them. The event has grown so much, and it's great to be a part of that and be asked back every year."
The rest of Saturday's acts include Belie My Burial, Bruno, Barrow, Joey Cobra, Onomatopoeia, Lowlife, A Door A Bull, Vice & Virtue and Flashback.
Tickets for Lovefest are $15 and can be purchased at the door the day of the show. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m., and the first band will hit the stage at 1.
The importance of Lovefest extends beyond the scholarship it benefits, according to Sprankle.
"I think sometimes people really don't realize how big Lovefest is for us and how big it is for the community," he said. "We get the opportunity to take the funds and give them to a graduating senior (or seniors). It also serves a dual purpose in the progression of the music scene. A lot of kids come to the show because it is one of the few things they can do in Jamestown. Lovefest is one of the few shows that goes after the kids who don't have that much to do."
To make a donation to the David W. Love Memorial Scholarship, contact the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation at 661-3390 or visit crcfonline.org.
Ryan Atkins contributed to this report.