Britt’s Classical Festival Starts

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JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — The Britt Festival is drawing in large crowds as it kicks off its 50th Anniversary Classical Festival.

The Britt’s Classical Festival began the opening night with a champagne picnic and some food, and this opening night is special – the organization is celebrating its 50th year.

The line up for this year is bringing people across Southern Oregon. World famous violinists Sarah Chang kicked off the night; she’s just one of many renowned musicians coming to Southern Oregon.

With some of the nation’s best musicians stopping by, it’s drawing in large crowds outside of Oregon. A business like Merrill Cellars welcomes them with open arms. Owner O. Jay Merrill notices a different crowd with the classical festival.

“the classical profile seems to be that they kind of go directly to the Britt and they get there early and do the picnic and have their wine,” O. Jay Merrill says. Merrill is fine, however, with those who don’t get there early. “The young crowd, of course, is last minute. Most of them just kind of show up late and they’re grabbing things as they go.”

“Grabbing things” at his store. He hopes the Britt experience will leave a lasting impression, turning them into regular customers.

“But that is what our hope is, that they’re going to somewhere be lodged in their mind that, ‘oh! There’s a tasting room on that corner’,” Merrill.

The Britt’s very own peter bay will be conducting at the last concert. He is returning for his 20th and final season as the music director.