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Davis, California

Monday, March 4, 2024

Annual KDVS festival to host an abundance of local and Bay Area musicians


Operation Restore Maximum Freedom XVI to be held at Sudwerk Brewery this Saturday

Given the prominence of Spring Quarter’s music scene — from Picnic Day to Lawntopia to Whole Earth Festival — it’s no surprise that KDVS’ annual festival, Operation Restore Maximum Freedom (ORMF), has surpassed students’ radar. If their lineup (stacked with a diversity of sound and ranging from up-and-coming student musicians to well established Bay Area bands) doesn’t persuade you to attend, perhaps the location will.

This year’s festival, held at Sudwerks Brewery as opposed to previous years’ locations outside of Davis, is a deliberate attempt to better its accessibility to students. Kaz Mirblouk, recent UC Davis computer science graduate, as well as KDVS events coordinator and three-pronged promoter, organizer and stage manager of the festival, said hosting the event at Sudwerks will hopefully increase students’ attendance. Well, that, and the alcohol is more accessible.

But Mirblouk’s consistency with this underlying theme of conveniency and open access extends beyond the festival’s location; he has also scheduled musicians to only overlap slightly — if at all — by stacking performances such that listeners don’t have to choose between sets. Outside Lands schedulers could perhaps take note.

But the lineup, too, is a reflection of this motif; the bands, mostly hailing from the Bay Area, also consist of local Davis musicians — all at the forefront of the underground scene.

Assisting Mirblouk in the festival’s production is good friend and performer (under the lineup as Doofy Doo), Drew Walker.

“[The festival will boast] an attitude geared towards maximum freedom, with some cool music and interactive people,” Walker said.

But describing the music as “cool” is a justifiable understatement. Kris Nguyen, a recent biotechnology graduate, will also be performing in the festival as Kalm Dog.

“The lineups for ORMF are always really diverse and attract different bands and different crowds while still maintaining the feeling of a tight-knit community in the music scene that we have here,” Nguyen said.

Mirblouk — his own band also performing at the festival — stresses that the lineup, though indeed consisting of such variety, was put together with cohesion and an underlying theme in mind. The result? A lineup that reads more like a killer playlist:

Mall Walk: Hailing from Oakland, this band — described by Mirblouk as “simple, yet driving” — has released a single, eponymous EP, commendable for the solidarity of its sound.

The SHE’S: The name, in addition to being an obvious testament to their all-female sound, is actually an acronym for their first names. Their attendance at ORMF will be only their second visit to Davis.

Froth: Signed by local Burger Records, this LA band boasts a psychedelic sound that satisfies all the necessary guitar riffs.

Kalm Dog: UC Davis’ own garage rock project has recently released its first album, and we can expect to hear a few new tracks this weekend.

Chimera: Another local Davis band, their shoegaze but generally instrumental sound can be described as an “emotional ride” according to Mirblouk.

Operation Restore Maximum Freedom is this Saturday, May 28, from 1 to 10 p.m. Doors open at noon, and tickets can be purchased online for $17, or at the door for $21. Check out their Facebook event for more information.

Written by: Ally Overbay — arts@theaggie.org


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