Happy Friday music fans! This edition of Fan Friday highlights spunky music fan Kassy Jean McHenry, whose passion for local music and festivals inspired us to talk to her a little more about what drives her to contribute to the music community. Kassy is a huge LITZ fan constantly showing support on the Facebook posts and groups and in person at their shows, proving herself to be a super fan with emotional ties to the music and the family. Read our interview to find out her other favorite bands and events she likes to get involved with and why.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Warren, Ohio, but have lived in Erie, PA, for just over three years now.

What was your first concert?  What was your first festival?
My first ever concert was Tina Turner at age 10!  My first festival I honestly can’t remember, I was 13 or 14. 

When did seeing live music become a big priority in your life?  Was there a certain band that inspired you to follow them?
I was 19 when I decided to start volunteering at shows and festivals.  It was not until working these times that music became a constant thing for me.  Growing up the music of Sublime always spoke to me, so when working festivals at Nelson Ledges I discovered the tribute band Badfish.  After following them for some time I was introduced to the band Tropidelic and then began to follow them near and far as well! The crispness of the horns drew me in.

Photo by Adam Berta (Kassy is on the right with the heart hands).

Tell us about one of your favorite recent festival or show experiences?This past New Year’s Eve I was gifted a two-night ticket to Asheville, NC, from Savannah and Allie–both fellow members of The Flock (a fan page for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong).  I had never met either of these ladies, not even Andrea who coordinated the entire thing. Erie to Asheville was the longest trip I’ve ever taken in the name of music.

Who are your current top three bands and why?
LITZ – Over the past few years their music has helped me through some trying times and I’m forever grateful.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong – Of course the music just keeps getting better and better. However, out of all the bands I’ve followed in my lifetime, I have never received as much love anywhere else as I have with The Flock.

Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers – From their stage presence down to their lyrics, pure love radiates through every move and word.  They are all such kind people, I just can’t get enough.  

What is your favorite festival and why?
The Gathering at Chaffee’s held in Girard, PA.  This festival is on the smaller side topping out just under 1000 last year.  Smaller festivals leave room to form bonds with repeat goers. This year is to be the 40th consecutive year, I’m hoping to continue the tradition this year.

How do you get more involved in the music community besides just going to shows?
I am a part of many different band’s street teams.  I have also worked shows and festivals in their honor. 

Why do you enjoy being part of the jam band music community in particular?
Again, for me it’s all about the people.  I have met some truly amazing individuals simply through music.  Going to certain events has become a yearly happening for certain pals of mine.

Kassy goofing off (in the back) with some friends and Nick Thrasher (center) drummer for LITZ.

How have you been spending your quarantine?  How do you still get your music fix?
I have been doing a lot of planting.  I cleaned out the front flower bed, and re-potted some house plants as well.  I have also been reading into various DIY body wash techniques and essential oil uses.  On the music end of things, I have been constantly watching and re-watching multiple band’s streams.  Bumpin’ Uglies, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, The Quasi Kings, LITZ, and many more.

What keeps you going and motivated day by day?
My grandmother who offers me daily advice and just brightens my day.  Also, my lovely boyfriend Tony who helps me calm down and realize my true potential in life when I find myself feeling empty.

Can you please leave us with your favorite quote?
“Celebrate the people you love.”