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Davis, California

Friday, March 1, 2024

Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom to offer live music, art, vendors

On May 17, KDVS will be holding the 14th semi bi-annual Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom Music and Art Festival (O:RMF) in collaboration with Sudwerk’s Brewery and Third Space Art Collective. From 12 to 10 p.m., a flurry of musical talents from the Sacramento Valley and beyond will be performing, along with activities and features that are being added to the festival, including craft and food vendors.

Fourth-year Spanish and English double major Estefania Alvarez, events director at KDVS, explained that Sudwerk’s Brewery will feature two music stages, while Third Space will be showcasing art. According to Alvarez, the involvement of both has allowed her more freedom in her vision for this year’s festival.

“[O:RMF] used to be both in the fall and spring, but now we’ve moved toward an annual festival in the spring,” Alvarez said in an email. “The festival is completely different this year. It’s no longer at Plainfield Station or one stage, but at Sudwerk’s Brewery with two stages (one under the overpass and another inside the actual brewery) and craft and food vendors … We’re not bringing in Third Space as a venue, we’re bringing them in as the art portion of the festival. They’re working with us to provide the art installations and artistic vision of the festival.”

According to Alvarez, each year KDVS books performers that have never played at the festival before, offering audiences an array of musical acts they may have never previously seen play.

“O:RMF works toward not having the same band perform twice, so a lot of the musicians are new bands or artists that the station enjoys listening to,” Alvarez said.

One such performer is second-year computer science and engineering major Kasra Mirblouk, primary member of the self-titled band Kaz Mirblouk. He plays guitar and sings for the group, and will be performing first on the main stage at Sudwerk’s

Mirblouk explained that the “keep it simple” ethos posted in his band’s Facebook page description is pervasive in Kaz Mirblouk’s  garage-rock, surf-inspired sound.

“I started playing guitar because I was in love with Jack White  everything — that’s why I originally kept [Kaz Mirblouk] as a two-piece — I like being in control of all things melodic,” Mirblouk said. “I almost went to music school for jazz, which is simple in the chord structures and song structures. Now I’ve been writing more complicated stuff. I do feel like when you get too complicated you lose sight of the basic raw feeling of music.”

Mirblouk looks forward to the festival atmosphere of O:RMF and the eclectic group of musicians that will be taking the stages at Sudwerk’s.

“It’s going to be fun playing in daylight; I’ve only played in small dark rooms usually at night… I’ve noticed [the sound of music acts are] a lot less polished up here [than in Los Angeles]. There’s a lot more emphasis on experimental electronic stuff like Genius, but there’s also stuff like Dank Ocean and Whiskey Business; there’s a solid eclectic part to the music scene here,” Mirblouk said.

According to recent UC Davis graduate Rebecca Sicile-Kira, publicity co-director at KDVS, her role in publicizing O:RMF and other KDVS events allows her ample flexibility to express her own vision.

“As KDVS is completely student run, we have a lot of freedom and room to cultivate our own ideas in relation to our position,” Sicile-Kira said in an email.

Sicile-Kira explained that she and co-director Joshua Hong spread the word about O:RMF through traditional radio advertising alongside social media and a more grassroots approach to reach out to both avid KDVS listeners as well as those less acquainted with the station.

“As O:RMF is a way for KDVS to directly give back to our listeners; our listeners are our target audience. Talking about the festival on air is a great way to get our listeners out to O:RMF, and our social media and flyering opens up the possibilities of folks who don’t even listen to KDVS coming out,” Sicile-Kira said.

Sicile-Kira explained that she hopes listeners and non-listeners alike accept this invitation to experience what KDVS has to offer at O:RMF.

“My hope for O:RMF is the same each year. I hope for not only KDVS-related folks to come out, but also community members and students who may not have heard much about KDVS. O:RMF is our way of giving back to our listeners, and hopefully opening the door for new ones,” Sicile-Kira said.

PAUL SANCHEZ can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.


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