BIG STONE GAP — No one could ever accuse the organizers of the annual 'Gathering in the Gap' Music Festival in Big Stone Gap of ever going Hollywood, but this year's ninth annual event will do just that with the appearance of actor Patrick Wilson and his brothers, Paul and Mark.
The Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony award nominated Wilson and his brothers have a family rock band, The Wilson Van, and the trio will headline the 9th annual Gathering in the Gap Music Festival on May 23 at the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park in Big Stone Gap.
A native of Virginia, Wilson also has some recent familiarity with Big Stone Gap, co-starring in a film bearing the town's name alongside Ashley Judd, Whoopi Goldberg, Jenna Elfman, Anthony LaPaglia and John Benjamin Hickey. The movie was filmed on location last year in downtown Big Stone Gap.
Wilson's eldest brother, Paul, the lead singer of The Wilson Van, appears in the movie as well. While details are pending on the worldwide release and distribution of the film, 'Gathering in the Gap' organizers have decided to theme this year's event around the movie.
"Big Stone Gap itself was the star of the movie, and while I'm sworn to secrecy on when and where the movie will be released, I can tell you we will make this year's Gathering in the Gap very big," said Adriana Trigiani, Big Stone Gap native and author of the novel as well as director of the film.
"It's like going home when we go to Big Stone Gap," said Wilson. His father, John Wilson, was born and raised in Big Stone Gap.
"To have shot the movie here and now come back with my brothers and our families, and to have The Wilson Van perform with If Birds Can Fly and Michael Trigiani, both artists we worked with in the movie, is very special. I just hope the Gap is ready to rock."
Sharon Ewing, museum park manager, said music fest organizers "wanted to celebrate news of the release of 'Big Stone Gap' the movie by celebrating the area, the music, the people and the town who starred in it. So we'll have the movie stars and the movie's writer and director, our hometown star, Adriana Trigiani."
The 2015 Gathering in the Gap will feature performances by acclaimed artists If Birds Could Fly, and Trigiani's brother, songwriter Michael Trigiani, who will perform some of his original music featured in the movie.
A special performance will feature Grammy nominated cellist Dave Eggar and Deoro. Because the festival coincides with Memorial Day, active duty military and veterans who show military identification will receive a discounted ticket price.
Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for active duty military and veterans. Tickets at the gate are $20 for adults and $17 for active duty military and veterans. Kids 12 and under are free. Tickets are available at www.gatheringinthegapmusicfestival.com or by phone at 1-276-523-1322.
The Friends of Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park sponsors the Gathering in the Gap at the park each year. Along with the main stage lineup, the festival features instrument and band competitions, a songwriting contest, a children's area, arts and crafts, food vendors, and a Youth Workshop for kids 18 and under led by Eggar.
The annual music festival celebrates the rid tradition of old time, Americana and bluegrass music in the region. The 'Stitch in Time' Quilt Show, now in its 18th year, will also be featured at the museum with over 100 quilts showcasing regional quilt making artistry.