To conclude a week of discounts aimed at boosting the local economy and enticing students to become involved in the local community, Downtown Davis will be hosting a free street concert on Oct. 5 from 2 to 9 p.m.
Discover Downtown Davis Week (from Sept. 29 to Oct. 6) is a week-long jamboree of discounts given to students by over 75 downtown businesses. The Discover Downtown Davis Fall Welcome Street Concert, which is the capstone of the week, will be featuring indie bands from across northern and southern California. The event will be headlined by the San Francisco-based band The Family Crest.
“When I heard there was kind of a dead week for Fall Welcome, I thought ‘what a perfect opportunity to get the kids to be familiar with the town,'” said Nina Gatewood, marketing, arts and entertainment director of the Davis Business Association (DBA).
Gatewood, together with DBA board member Stewart Savage and Sophia’s Thai Kitchen owner Kevin Wan, have been working closely together with the UC Davis Fall Welcome Student Affairs Committee to make this event possible.
“We have a very strong art and music scene and it’s very much more condensed than, say, San Francisco where it’s all sprawled out,” Gatewood said when asked what distinguishes Davis’ downtown from others.
Richard Ronquillo, chair of the Fall Welcome Student Affairs Committee, first proposed the idea of having a Discover Downtown Davis Week when he heard from students that one reason they chose to attend UC Davis was because “they really liked the city.”
“The Fall welcome event was initially geared more towards first-year students. But now discounts are available to all students as long as they have their ID,” Ronquillo said.
According to Ronquillo, Gatewood and Wan took the Fall welcome event to the next level when they decided to finish off the week with a free concert, something which hasn’t been done before at this scale.
Most concerts or music festivals in Davis in the past have acted as fundraisers to benefit particular organizations. This time, First Northern Bank, Sophia’s Thai Kitchen and 2407 Graphics are its primary sponsors, ensuring that this event will be free.
“This is to benefit the community, this is to benefit UC Davis, this is to get people excited about the new school year,” Wan said.
Wan said that he wanted to make sure there would be variety when booking bands for the event.
“If you listen to the first few songs and it’s not your thing, you can leave; come back an hour later, and it will be a new band. In the meantime you can go grab a gelato or a cup of coffee, explore, go to the bookstore and still be downtown,” Wan said.
Among the bands are Cold Eskimo, The Seshen, Races, Only You and Big Tree. The headliner, The Family Crest, is an orchestral indie rock band from San Francisco.
When booking artists, Wan specifically looked for energetic bands who replicate and capture all the energy of their lyrics and recorded music onstage.
“It’s kind of a pilot concert of sorts,” Wan said, since the concert is the first of its kind in Davis. But should it prove successful, there is talk that there could be many more free concerts in the future, including bigger headliners.
The free concert will be held on D Street between First and Second streets. For more information, visit davisdowntown.com/fallwelcome.
DANIEL STAECHELIN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.