North Park Festival of the Arts

As many may or may not know, I had the opportunity to book and manage the main stage for the North Park Festival of the Arts this past weekend.

The story behind this is that I have attended this festival in the past but found that it was extremely lacking in a number of ways. As an event planner by trade and by nature, I couldn’t resist in offering my help. I didn’t want to step on anyones toes so I waited. When they were deciding who was doing what, no one claimed the main stage so I stepped up. Kevin Hellman joined in later mainly with the Festival of Beers, but couldn’t resist at trying to help with the main stage.

In the end the line up was:
The Paul Green School of Rock Music
Tan Sister Radio
Silent Comedy
Get Back Loretta
Truckee Brothers
Steve Poltz

The festival itself hosts 4 stages: a dance stage, an open mic style stage, a Latin American music stage (formally world music), and the main stage (with rock bands). The dance stage is the only stage that did not go through some sort of revitalization this year.

The day of the festival I was there at 8:15 a.m. they were just starting to put together the stage… I knew then that it was going to be a difficult day. When the stage was finally put together, the School of Rock kids had gathered, ready for a sound check. I had a stage, but no sound. I radioed the festival coordinator to find out about sound set up. I was informed that the sound crew was one hour behind. I proceeded to ask if that meant that my stage was going to be one hour behind. Although I did not hear a direct answer from him, the answer turned out to be “yes.”

So although late and continued to have monitor problems, we did our best to catch up and with my preplanned cushions, we manged to fished the day at 6:03 p.m. Only three minutes past the festival permit… with SDPD glaring down my back.

The day was awesome, the sound was shitty (for the bands at least), but everyone seemed to have a great time. Here are my personal highlights for the day:

By far, Tan Sister Radio was the biggest hit of the day. The best I can describe is that they are a three piece band sounding a bit Pixiesque with bit of punk and Elliot Smith, each who are 17 years old with skills that can rival any professional musician in San Diego. They rocked out in their own set and were invited up to perform in two more sets (Truckees and Poltz). Hereditary or not, they are destined for greatness.

Adam Gimbel stretched out one of the long breaks, as they were trying to fix the monitors, with Tan Sister Radio with a beat poetry, jazz rendition of the stage sponsor information.

Silent Comedy and Get Back Loretta blow me away… I don’t think I have ever seen them so on their mark.

The Truckee Brothers finally overcame their frustration with the sound when Steve came to the stage. Seriously, you can’t be mad playing with Steve…

But, by far my favorite moment of the day was watching Tan Sister Radio while they were sitting on the back of the stage watching the Truckee Brothers. Two girls, who couldn’t of been any older than nine, nervously coming up with CD’s in hand to ask for their autographs. It was the most awesome/adorable thing that I’ve seen in my entire life.

Unfortunately, my camera battery died as I was taking my first photo of the day. So if you have any good shots, particularly of Tan Sister Radio with their new fans, please send them my way.

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2 thoughts on “North Park Festival of the Arts

  1. Twas a blast. You did an AMAZING job. Everyone that knows anything about local music was impressed by the lineup. Thanks for asking me to be a part of it. Congrats!!

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