This Sunday, be ready with a picnic blanket, some friends and a healthy appetite for music when the Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom music concert, sponsored by KDVS 90.3 FM, descends on Plainfield Station in rural Woodland.
Held outside Plainfield Station restaurant and bar on 23944 County Rd. 98, the performance will feature 12 bands from across California and even one from Australia. Tickets are $8 presale and $10 at the door, and guests are welcome to purchase food and drinks from the restaurant while they enjoy the music.
The event, originally planned to last from 2 to 10 p.m., may change to noon to 8 p.m. Details are currently being negotiated.
O:RMF has been held roughly twice a year since 2005, making Sunday’s concert its ninth so far. Former KDVS office and volunteer coordinator Craig Fergus said three KDVS DJs, including current DJ Rick Ele, started the festival. The first festival featured 21 bands in a 12-hour show.
“These guys had been booking KDVS shows in the area for years and were looking to do something big, exciting and representative of the station’s community, freeform and non-commercial ideals,” Fergus said in an e-mail interview. “A diverse music festival in a rural Yolo County biker bar’s beautiful back yard fit the bill.”
Mike Mastrangelo, KDVS program director, said that local DJs now suggest bands and a group of KDVS volunteers vote to decide the concert lineup.
“[O:RMF] is an answer back to the other [big] college music festivals,” Mastrangelo said. “We can get a festival together for $10 that is just as entertaining.”
Plainfield Station’s rural location is also part of what sets O:RMF apart from many other concerts.
“It’s a really cool location. It’s out of the way,” said Dan Harkin, assistant record label director. “It’s a rural spot with a restaurant and bar and a big backyard so we can play outdoors. It’s really laid-back, and in good weather you can sit outside.”
Mastrangelo said that the country setting ensures that no neighbors complain about the loud music.
“There’s no one around there so there’s no sound issues at all. I can’t think of a comparable venue that would let us play late into the night,” he said.
Sean Johannessen is a recent UC Davis graduate and KDVS volunteer. He will be playing with his band, Mucky the Ducky, on Sunday.
Johannessen said he’s looking forward to experiencing O:RMF as a musician, not a festival organizer.
“It’s exciting to take it at a different approach. It’s been a big part of my life,” Johannessen said. “It’s very much a celebration of not just [UC Davis] music but our music scene here in Davis and Sacramento and it’s really exciting to be a part of that and be part of this daylong celebration.”
Johannessen said that Mucky the Ducky relies on improvisation to create its music, so he can’t predict what the band will play at the concert.
“It’s almost like developing a dialogue or a way of speaking through music as opposed to through language or writing. We’ll just decide [what to play] when we get there,” he said. “It’s weird to plan out far in advance what we want to do because then the day comes and it’s like, ‘I kind of feel like doing this instead.'”
Sanae Yamada is one half of San Francisco-based Moon Duo, which is scheduled to perform at O:RMF for the first time. She said she and her bandmate, Ripley Johnson, are inspired by a wide range of music and are especially motivated by the idea of repetition.
“We’re inspired by repetition and minimalism but also expansion at the same time,” Yamada said. “We build on repetition and add layers.”
Yamada said she was excited to play O:RMF after attending a previous show.
“It had a chilled out vibe. It’s a great way to spend the day,” she said. “I feel lucky to be a part of it.”
Chelsea Wolfe is also a first-time O:RMF performer who said she has heard great things about the festival.
“I haven’t actually been to an ORMF ever probably because I am afraid of the daylight, but I am very happy to play this year!” Wolfe said in an e-mail interview. “I know they have a history of putting on a great show with great bands, and my bandmates and I are especially excited to play with [Australian punk band] X! I just think it will be a rad new experience.”
The KDVS concert organizers are also excited about this year’s lineup, which includes X, in its first United States performance, A Frames, Foot Village, Robedoor and Sacramento’s Delorean, among several other groups. They said students are sure to enjoy all the music and the day’s relaxed ambiance.
Fergus said that the atmosphere at O:RMF concerts is one of music appreciation and fun.
“By the time the headliners come on, the sun has gown down and they are bathed in stage lights. Most people are right up front for the main event reveling in the epic riffs of SF’s Moon Duo before pogo-ing with X under the stars to end an awesome day of music and fun.”
For more information and to purchase presale tickets, visit myspace.com/maximumfreedom.
ROBIN MIGDOL can be reached at email@example.com.