NEW PORT RICHEY – Sharing a passion for music has brought together more than three friends since childhood, this widened the opportunities for local artists to perform in New Port Richey’s premier Monufest.
Ashtray Monument, a local label created by Drew Williams, Louis Ciper and Jay MacDonald in 2018, has since signed 40 groups. The record label’s first festival is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 23 at Ordinance One, 5738 Main St., New Port Richey. Doors will open at 1 p.m. and tickets are available for $ 20 on EventBrite.com by searching for “Monufest.”
During the event, raffles and a silent auction featuring regional artists will be held with proceeds going to local organizations Mullins Music and Cindy’s Pets. Mullins Music is a school committed to providing quality music education to students of all ages, regardless of ability, background or personal situation. Cindy’s Pets purchases, packages and delivers pet food to seniors who participate in the Meals on Wheels program.
Bands scheduled to perform include Gainesville’s Thunderclap; St. Augustine Telepathic Lines; Top of New Orleans; Curtains, The Hamiltons, Teresa Rose, and Orlando’s Grave Return; and Sons of James from New Port Richey.
“Drew, Louis and I have been friends since elementary school,” MacDonald said. “Drew and I started playing music together in college and we were in all kinds of bands in college. Louis was part of one of our very first punk bands, Punk Floyd. Music has been the connecting force between all of us.
Throughout the moves and early careers, music continued to keep the three friends together. MacDonald credited Williams’ ear for the good music that launched the idea of creating Ashtray Monument. Williams had the idea of reviving old Florida punk bands by releasing their music that had never been heard before or promoted online.
Ashtray Monument seeks passion, honesty and a real voice in the bands he signs – not just by posing as other bands that have made him grow, he said. The three friends find joy in their work and see bands playing live for the first time.
By launching Monufest, MacDonald shared that the label hopes to see it become an annual event.
“We started to get a lot of people supporting the idea who liked the concept and wanted to see something like this happen in our community here,” MacDonald said. “The driving force behind all of this is to keep the music alive and to create a small music scene. It would be a dream scenario where maybe in five to 10 years some decent sized bands would like to stop and play in New Port Richey because it’s a quaint little place.
To learn more about the event, visit www.ashtraymonument.com/monufest.