Beverly church to host Shelter Fest


The Evan Goodrow Band will headline this weekend’s Shelter Fest at First Baptist Church in Beverly

An all-day music festival will bring nine local and regional rock, folk, country and popular music bands and solo musical performers to the stage at First Baptist Church in Beverly this weekend for a very worthy cause.

North Shore Shelter Fest 2018 will be held on Saturday, Jan. 27, from noon to 9 p.m. at the church, which is located at 221 Cabot St., Beverly. All proceeds from the event will benefit Harborlight Community Partners, the North Shore’s oldest and largest not-for-profit affordable housing developer and provider.

The music festival is the brainchild of Brian Gregory, a member of the congregation at First Baptist.

“We have a men’s group that is always trying to come up with new things,” he said. “We have a great facility that’s right downtown … we’re at a prime location, so we thought we’d see if we could do a benefit concert.”

And when it came to picking a beneficiary, Gregory said the choice was pretty obvious.

“First Baptist Church has had a longstanding relationship with Harborlight Community Partners,” he explained. “They really started at the church, so it only made sense that the first one of these benefit them.”

Harborlight Community Partners provides housing with supportive services for low and moderate-income individuals, elders and families living in nine communities in Essex County. Andrew DeFranza, executive director of Harborlight Community Partners, said he thinks Shelter Fest is a great idea and is honored his organization will be the recipient of the community event.

“We expect to use funds raised to help renovate a family unit in Beverly,” he said. “To have an all day event that draws attention to local affordable housing needs is an amazing effort by First Baptist Church in Beverly, and to have A & B Burgers involved makes it even better. We are grateful to them and for this opportunity to create awareness around regional housing needs.”

While the original idea for the festival came about last spring, the planning didn’t really start coming together until around October or November. And Gregory’s been busy making sure things go off without a hitch since then.

“There are so many moving parts to organizing a concert,” he admits, adding that at first, it was difficult trying to get performers on board. “Now, we’ve got all kinds of people clamoring to be a part of it.”

Headlining the Shelter Fest 2018 lineup will be the Evan Goodrow Band. Evan Goodrow is a noted singer-songwriter and guitarist who performs locally, nationally and internationally. He has released 11 studio albums and 3 live albums of soul, funk, blues, rock, and R&B. A Boston-area native, Goodrow got his start playing jazz guitar and singing acoustic folk music in coffee houses, more than a decade ago.

“I look forward to playing and supporting this event,” says Goodrow, “And I am happy to be helping out with this good cause.”

Other local favorites include Beverly-based Dreamtigers, Tree House Charlatans of Gloucester, North Shore-based Sweet Escape. For a full list of bands, visit www.fbcbeverly.org/calendar/shelter-fest.

While the inaugural event has yet to happen, Gregory said he’s already looking to the future and holding Shelter Fest on an annual basis to benefit local non-profits that focus on human services, whether it be River House, LifeBridge, Family Promise or even a local animal shelter.

“Who knows who the next one will benefit,” he said, adding he’s already had some exciting acts express interest in being part of Shelter Fest 2019. “We’re really pumped about what could happen next year.”

General admission of $10 provides full day access to Shelter Fest, with all proceeds going to Harborlight Community Partners.

“With a wrist band, people can come and go as they please all day,” Gregory said. “We’re doing it for Harborlight, but we’re also doing it to have fun. And we hope that everyone who does come out has a good time.”

For more information about Shelter Fest 2018, visit www.fbcbeverly.org/calendar/shelter-fest or www.facebook.com/NorthShoreShelterFest, or contact Gregory at at bgreg@albagoose.com.