WV Music Hall of Fame to host ‘Garden Party 10’ at the Capitol Market

By Elijah Newell, RealWV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame (WVMHOF), on Sunday, is hosting its 10th Garden Party at the Capitol Market in Charleston. The event begins at 1 p.m., and is scheduled to conclude at 4:30 p.m. Food and drink will be provided during performances by Josh Pantry, Of the Dell, Parachute Brigade, John Ellison, and The Carpenter Ants with Mary Hott. The WVMHOF will also announce the 2025 Inductees to the Hall of Fame during the event.

Michael Lipton, director and founder of the WVMHOF, Recently spoke with RealWV, and described the event in more detail.

Lipton said that the WVMHOF previously held the Garden Parties at Café Cimino in Sutton, but moved the annual event to Charleston’s Capitol Market for 2024.

“We partnered with the Capitol Market, which makes a whole lot of sense, and I think it’s going to really be a nice spot for it.” Lipton said.

Lipton said that the 2025 Inductees announcements during the ceremony will kick off the bulk of the year-long Induction process in the WVMHOF. Lipton noted that during the induction process, a voting committee for the WVMHOF considers the candidates for Induction and selects them based on a variety of factors, including the styles of music the artists performed, their popularity both within the State and nationally, as well as inclusivity and other elements. Lipton said the inductees are selected more subjectively when it comes to the number of sales and overall popularity.

“It’s not like you have to have so many records or record sales or anything like that, because someone who is a traditional musician won’t have the same kind of resume that Brad Paisley has, who’s out there and basically doing popular music,” Lipton said. “So we weigh all those differences.”

The Induction ceremonies are then planned out, with each inductee segment including a ‘vignette,’ a presentation, an acceptance ceremony, and a performance from the inductee.

The biggest project the WVMHOF works on during the Induction process is what Lipton called ‘vignettes’—mini-movies covering each year’s inductees. The WVMHOF has already created 62 vignettes for the current inductees from previous years. After the film is played, the presentations and acceptance ceremonies are held, usually conducted by other influential or famous artists. Lipton explained that having the artists and inductees conduct the ceremonies helps bring more people to the Induction events.

“Sometimes, if the inductees are living, we always ask them, and for our purposes if we can get some big fish to come in, it helps fill seats. That’s how we pay for the event too, and sponsors,” Lipton said.

Lipton added that the WVMHOF, a non-profit organization, is primarily funded through grants and donations from foundations. He said that due to changes in the culture of WV governance over the last several years, leadership in WV is much less arts-friendly, and artistic institutions receive much less funding and grants than they used to. He also noted that getting grants has become much more complicated and convoluted, and the grants are for much less than they used to be.

“Every year it’s a fight to the finish,” Lipton noted. “We almost start from scratch every year, which makes it really difficult.”

Information for purchasing tickets for the Garden Party this Sunday can be found on the WVMHOF website, wvmusichalloffame.com. Lipton said he is hopeful that new people will attend the event.

“Part of it is, sure, it’s like a fundraiser thing, but it’s also awareness, which is just as important. We hope people will buy a ticket, but the market will be open, so people can mill around, and they can hear the music. The difference is that there’s food and drink which you get with a ticket, and you support the Hall of Fame if you want to. Getting new people into the fold, and getting people to go to a different venue, those are two of the hardest things you can attempt to do,” Lipton said.

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