World Music Day helps downtown Aberdeen bar participants, winery

Jessy Knutson had a big smile on her face as she sat on a chair in the 21-plus area inside of her bar as World Music Day ended.

She had good news to report.

“It was the busiest night yet since opening,” said Knutson, who renamed the bar Messy Jessy’s in April 2023. “World Music Day brought so many people out and about (and it) really helped being a business downtown. There were more people downtown than I’d seen in a long time.”

The live music, as it usually does for Messy Jessy’s, helped business that day.

“Having the Plank Island (Theatre Company) start out the open mic was awesome.” Knutson said. “We were really happy to see the different age groups on our stage. And Luck’s performance of course was outstanding. And of course we had Ty Wulf and I always love hearing his voice.”

Knutson also shared a little bit about the future of her own weekly open mic nights that the bar hosts.

“We will definitely continue our open mic every Tuesday and (we’re) working on continuing to book more live music to bring more people together.”

Mount Olympus Brewing

Orlando Maldonado, owner of Mount Olympus Brewing (MOB), said the bar had a “very successful” day.

“(It was) our best day of sales ever,” Maldonado said. “It seems like it was a hit.”

Maldonado enjoyed the band Electric Eye as well.

“I only caught a bit of the last performance from Electric Eye and it was great,” Maldonado said.

While staff had to deal with “a few unruly patrons” and some people who wanted to bring some outside alcohol — strictly prohibited at MOB as well as any other bar in town — overall, it was a big success. Maldonado is already thinking of how to make next year better.

“Next year, we will have to staff it a bit better and prep a lot more food,” Maldonado said.

The Tap Room

Bryce Romero was a busy guy on Friday during his shift at the bar that celebrated its fifth anniversary with a big bash the weekend before.

While the anniversary party was also a boon for business, June 21 — World Music Day — was different for what it meant for downtown Aberdeen.

“(Last) Friday was a huge success, not only business-wise, but for downtown,” Romero said.

Romero, a well-known music lover who can stump just about anybody on facts about bands, artists, songs and so on, was really happy to see World Music Day bring so much joy out of people.

“Being a musician, I love World Music Day,” Romero said. “It’s great to see all of the love and appreciation for all of the artists who performed.”

One popular feature that afternoon that made The Tap Room quite the scene for people were the live tunes from Mike “Burdman” Burdoff. They were dancing and clapping to the beat of the music Burdoff played.

“Oly’s Burdman was awesome,” Romero said. “He played a lot of classics and folk tunes. I’ve never gotten to hear him before so it was a pleasure.”

The bar also had another act start at 9 p.m., and that was the talented Jon Reynolds. Earlier in the day, Reynolds said he was “beside myself today,” and that “I can’t believe it” over how great the day was. Reynolds helped make it better for The Tap Room.

“Jon Reynolds was fabulous as always,” Romero said. “Everyone I talked to raved about how well he performed.”

GH Wine Sellars

Karen and Ryan Rowe were hard at work at their wine shop GH Wine Sellars, but it all sounds like working on a Friday was worth it for the couple.

June 21 — World Music Day — was their second busiest day in business.

“Friday was wonderful,” Karen said. “It was great to see everyone downtown and enjoying all the music that was happening throughout our wonderful city.”

Not only did the Rowes’ have their own fun style of tending the business with quick and witty comments between themselves that make it a lively establishment in which to have a glass of Malbec, but on World Music Day they hosted Barney Perrine. The Rowes were excited to have him play.

“We hand-picked our musician, Barney Perrine, for our shop” Karen said. “He was absolutely amazing. We couldn’t have asked for a better person to play.”

The Rowes, who have owned and operated the shop together for more than a decade, just hope for more fun times ahead.

“Our hope going into 2025 is to just continue being a successful business in downtown,” Karen said. “We’ve been open 11 years and we’d love to be open for many, many more.”

As for World Music Day and its effect on Aberdeen? Romero wants it all to continue.

“My only hope is to just keep it going year after year,” Romero said. “The community seemed to really like it, which makes it easier to pull off, I feel like. It’s a great way to celebrate the arts.”

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at