By LEVI PASCHER
Fulton County Express

PINE LAKE – Twenty bands and thousands of music fans are expected to fill the Pine Lake Park Saturday for the third annual Eddie Music Festival, which celebrates the life of a local musician and raises money for youths in the community.
The live acts scheduled to play the festival, hosted by the Edward Lakata Memorial Scholarship Fund on Saturday, Aug. 15, will provide live musical entertainment from noon to midnight.
Edward Lakata was a Johnstown musician who passed away June 25, 2013, after being struck by a pickup truck while riding his bicycle.
Lakata’s brother, John Lakata, said the annual festival was started to honor Eddie and raise funds for a scholarship awarded annually in his name.
The Edward Lakata Memorial Scholarship Fund recently gave a $1,000 scholarship to two graduating seniors from Johnstown who excelled in music and math.
John Lakata said both math and music were important to his brother, considering his musical endeavors and his work as an engineer.
“My brother loved music and was always involved in the industry locally so after the accident we decided to organize this event in his honor,” he said. “If he was still around he would be pretty humble about it but I think he would also be thrilled to see this type of festival becoming an annual event for our community.”
He said this year’s event will include a variety of music and feature musicians from across the Capital District region. He said Ed Lakata’s original band Dream Team will be getting together for a reunion during the event.
“They don’t play together anymore but they decided to get back together for this gig,” John Lakata said.
Each band will perform about 40 minutes and will alternate on two stages with one located inside and another outside, he said.
Lakata said all the bands have agreed to provide their time at no charge because of the relationship they had from playing with his brother throughout his life.
“They just love to support this event and we have a waiting list of bands who want to participate every year,” he said.
This is the third year the music festival has taken place and about 3,000 people attended last year.
The music festival will feature an auction and will also have a variety of souvenirs available for purchase including shirts, koozies and guitar picks.
Entry to the festival requires a minimum donation of $5 and the event will be held rain or shine.
“Where else are you going to see 20 bands for just $5?” Lakata said. “It’s an incredible value and the environment is amazing.”