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Davis

Davis, California

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Annual Whole Earth Festival brings music back to its roots

The Whole Earth Festival is about returning to our roots and bringing the community together through the basic necessities of music, dance and food. And just as the tradition has upheld its integrity by promoting alcohol-free and zero-waste festivities, it’s all about the entertainment.

This year, the list of performers hopes to supply an endless amount of dancing and good fun. But what can students expect from this year’s event?

“Students can look forward to having the best time of their lives,” said festival co-director Morgan S. Woolf. “They should expect to have no control over their bodies and uncontrollably gyrate to the swanky rhythms of the festival. They should expect to go back to their respective homes on Sunday, pour themselves a big glass of juice. Down it in seconds and exclaim: ‘Why can’t Whole Earth Festival be every weekend?”

The program for the festival is divided into themed sections: Quad Stage, Cedar Stage, DJ Stage, Soular Dance Stage, Experimental Space, Sacred Space and Kid’s Space. Each area will have its own unique events such as poetry, yoga or body painting. Other yearly favorites and highly recommended events to check out are the fire dancers starting at sundown on the Soular Dance Stage.

The following are previews of some musical performers to look out for on the main stages, Quad Stage and Cedar Stage, in the quad during The Whole Earth Festival.

Random Abiladeze &Zuhg, Friday, 5 to 6:30 p.m., Quad Stage

For many, Random Abiladeze is not only a regional hip-hop and spoken word artist, but a familiar face at Sickspits’ monthly Open Mic Night. This year, Abiladeze will unite with reggae band ZuhG on Quad Stage as one of the opening acts for the festival.

Since his first time on the Whole Earth Festival stage back in 2008, Abiladeze has continually embraced the accepting audiences and the openness of cultures, art and community.

“The Whole Earth Festival actually goes beyond the realm of any particular scene,” said Abiladeze. “It literally does invite the Whole Earth – it’s more about community building and multiculturalism. Davis is definitely a place to find different cultures, but the festival reaches far beyond its immediate environment.”

Abiladeze joined ZuhG last year at an after party at the co-ops where they improved a 30 minute-set together. It was also Abiladeze’s first time seeing the dubstep pit.

” Seeing the dubstep pit for the first time last year was breathtaking,” said Abiladeze. “I couldn’t believe how all those people were in tune to the same groove and did much of the same moves in unison without looking at each other.”

Abiladeze plans to perform an eclectic range of songs ranging from some older tunes such as “Don’t Stop It” and newer materials such as “Life of the Party”, and bluesy melody “Lonely Blues” which Abiladeze created from his alter-ego, Lanky Jenkins.

Tempest, Friday, 7 to 8:15 p.m., Quad Stage

Tempest first performed at The Whole Earth Festival as a very young band when their agent booked a show at the festival back in 1990.

Tempest was formed in 1988, with members Lief Sorbye, Michael Mullen, Adolfo Lazo, Damien Gonzalez and James Crocker.

With a style described high energy Celtic Rock music, Tempest plans on translating great energy onto the audience, as this marks their 10-year performing at the Whole Earth Festival.

“We were booked through our agent at the time, and that’s how we first connected with the event,” Sorbye said. “Since then we’ve had the pleasure of many return engagements, and this year will mark the 10th time Tempest plays the festival. We are a perfect fit for the event, as our purpose is to lift the spirit of our audience, and make people dance and feel good.”

Tempest’s music is influenced by Norwegian influences, Scottish ballads and other ranges of world music elements.

The Souterrain, Saturday, noon to 1 p.m., Cedar Stage

Created as a collective band only six months ago, The Souterrain will make their debut at the Whole Earth Festival on Saturday.

The Souterrain is currently made up of Lauren Norton on vocals, Sam Shirley on guitar and David Sachs on upright bass. Although they are not necessarily new to the music scene, this will be their first time playing specific songs on set. With an extremely smooth and soulful voice, Norton will join Shirley and Sachs for sweet, folk-y songs.

“Our set-list looks something like a Greek comedy,” Norton said. “We start off in a slower, more contentious place and by the end of the hour we’re all bopping around and doing cheesy over-the-head hand claps.  A lot of our songs start as a kind of sickness. I do most of my songwriting when I’m feeling jilted or unhealthily obsessed with someone.”

The Souterrain played their first gig at The Domes back in January. However, the band is progressing fast. Currently, the band is wrapping up their first in-studio album with hopes of a West Coast U.S. tour in June. The Souterrain will be flying back to Norton’s hometown of Dublin, Ireland, in September to start a European tour.

For more information about The Whole Earth Festival or to download this year’s program, go to http://wef.ucdavis.edu.

UYEN CAO can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.

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