'Tomtoberfest' Is Here

Sep 22, 2017

Tomtoberfest is here! Today and tomorrow, the Tom Tom Fall festival is celebrating creative community and local innovation with, among other things, two free days of concert at Emancipation Park in Charlottesville. WMRA's Marguerite Gallorini talked with founder Tom Beyer about how the fall’s events differ from the big festival in the Spring.

PAUL BEYER: Tomtoberfest is the Fall festival for the Tom Tom Founders Festival. The fall is more of a local, kind of a time to turn back to Charlottesville and also increasingly Virginia, and say "What is it that makes our cities here in Virginia ready for the new economy, ready for the culture"? The Fall festival is really a celebration of the local contemporary founders that are shaping Charlottesville.

Paul Beyer is the founder and director of the Tom Tom Festival.

BEYER: It really kind of goes back to what Tom Tom's roots are, and what we've tried to do for years which is bring the community together in a diverse and inclusive way. It really is something that is intended to appeal to everybody.

Tomtoberfest has always taken place in Emancipation Park, which was formerly called Lee Park, and is the location of the controversial statue of Robert E. Lee. Paul says this year’s Tomtoberfest will be all the more important following the summer’s events.

BEYER: I think having a reminder that there've been these inspiring civic leaders that have spent decades trying to build really positive things in the city is a really important narrative to tell at this point. I think especially as we go back to Emancipation Park, and say "That's not what we want this city to be about."

On top of the free concerts this weekend, today they also have the Fall Forum, looking at the new Virginia economy; and on Saturday night, they'll have a check presentation from the city's Heart campaign for the Heal Charlottesville Fund, raising money for the victims of August 12.