By Dan Kuss
The Larry and Brenda Olsen 18th Annual Music Fest was recorded for the fourth time by Pioneer Public Television over Memorial Day Weekend to be broadcast on “Funtime Polka” programming.
“Funtime Polka” originally began when Pioneer recorded bands and dancers at the Gibbon Ballroom from a July 1996 recording session and produced eight half-hour programs.
The first “Funtime Polka” episodes aired later that year and became so popular it earned a regular spot on Saturday night at 5:30 p.m., eventually growing to Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. with half-hour segments also aired during the weekdays.
“We started recording Larry Olsen’s Music Fest atLakeBentonin 2005 when the Gibbon Ballroom Polka Fest ended and returned in 2007, 2009 and now 2012,” said Pioneer Production Director Tim Bakken ofAppleton. “We’re still playing stuff from Gibbon and the earlier Larry Olsen Music Fests, but always seek new footage since we keep repeating programs because people like them.”
Bakken said this is the first time “Funtime Polka” has been recorded in high definition (HDTV) with the crew using new camera and audio equipment including a full production truck to capture and mix the footage, which will be edited into half-hour segments and begin airing in October.
“It’s a complicated but rewarding business and all the hard work pays off in the end,” said Bakken. “We came in on Wednesday night to set up lighting and had a crew of 10 guys working at all times during the festival to the final hour.”
“It’s music for all ages and it’s nice to see the younger people continuing to dance because we don’t want to lose the heritage.”
Students from Stone Path Studios out of Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato Media Arts and Communication program made up part of the crew.
“It’s a real job with real clients and real experience plus we’re fully paid,” said Landon Brands, who will be a junior next year atBethany. “I ran the shoulder rig on the floor for eight hours today and totally broke the six hour record a guy set yesterday.”
“It was fun and certainly an experience to be here. I’ve been all over Minnesota and every corner of the state is different.”
The crew recorded bands, dancers and events in the main ballroom including the parade of musicians and programs honoring America’s veterans on Friday and Saturday.
The bands recorded were the Top Notchmen from Wisconsin, the Barry Boyce Band fromNebraska, Julie Lee’s White Rose Duo fromNorth Dakota, the Good time Dutchmen from Wisconsin and the Larry Olsen Band from Minnesota.
“People tell me that the ballrooms are dying but Music Fest keeps it alive,” said Larry Olsen. “We like having Pioneer Public TV out here because “Funtime Polka” keeps it alive all year long.”Filed under Community | Comments Off