Benefit concert to support Davis School Arts Foundation
This year’s Davis Music Festival — which will run from Friday, June 16 to Sunday, June 18 — happens to coincide with UC Davis spring commencements, so it is a perfect time for students to attend this local music event before leaving for summer break.
“The music festival is a South-by-Southwest-style benefit concert to support the Davis School Arts Foundation and features one venue on Friday, five on Saturday and two on Sunday,” said Danny Tomasello, the festival’s director.
Since not many students are aware of the local bands that exist in town, the event’s main goal is to bring attention to the oft-overlooked Davis music culture. The event is also an opportunity for community members to have a good time while supporting a local cause.
“We do have a music scene here, and people should know more about it,” Tomasello said. “Part of the mission of this festival is to showcase our local talents as well as our local venues. We also want to reward our local fans by bringing some bands from the Bay Area and beyond.”
With the growing popularity of large music festivals like Coachella and Outside Lands, people often expect concerts to have larger venues with more artists. In contrast, the Davis Music Festival has not increased the number of performing bands over its lifespan, but rather remains intimate by hosting a small collection of unique, talented musicians.
“We fine-tuned the Davis Music Festival for a better experience as opposed to a bigger experience,” Tomasello said. “This year in particular is the first time the festival coincides with UC Davis commencement, so that will be interesting. Since the festival is usually after school gets out, we don’t have a lot of students attending.”
The event takes place across a variety of downtown locations, such as Sudwerk Brewery, Armadillo Music, Delta of Venus and Odd Fellows Lodge. The festival also includes a variety of musical genres: folk, funk, indie, jazz styles, world music, pop-punk, indie, garage rock and more. As Tomasello mentioned, the festival is not only a fundraiser to support the Davis arts, but also a means of supporting local businesses.
Brian Morgan, one of the organizers for the festival, will also be performing with his band, Sometimes Warren. They will play on the trackside stage, an outdoor venue that will feature five different bands from 5 to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday.
“The festival starts on Friday, and we have a kickoff event at Sudwerk’s dock store,” Morgan said. “I play lead guitar in our band, Sometimes Warren, performing at 7:30 p.m. [Saturday] on trackside [stage]. It’s really cool because the performances are within a short distance from each other, and you can see each one with your wristband.”
Among the performers is UC Davis alumnus Kasra Mirblouk, who graduated in 2016. Mirblouk has previously performed at the festival, and he will be kicking off the festival Friday night.
“It’s really hard to hear about the house shows in Davis, and I think I was fortunate to learn about them in my freshman year because I used to work for the radio station,” Mirblouk said. “I was actually the primary booker for bands out of town, up until I left school. Even to this day I get requests from bands […] the best way to find out about these shows is to get involved in parts of campus that work with the music scene like the radio station. If people want to be aware of what’s going on, there’s always a way to find out.”
Although Davis may not be well known for its music culture, it is full of community members that have a deep admiration for local artistic talent.
“The vibe we get from the festival is an appreciative music audience who are music fans first and foremost,” Tomasello said. “It’s always been a town event for the community and a fundraiser for our local schools’ art foundation. We are a music-loving community, and you might find some of the older residents rocking out that you might not see on a typical Saturday night in downtown.”
The Davis Music Festival is currently looking for volunteers to help out at the door. Two hours of volunteer work with earn you a wristband for full access to all three days of the festival. A wristband will cost $30 for the presale general admission, and a single access pass will cost $15. For more information, go to www.davismusicfest.com.
Written by: Becky Lee — firstname.lastname@example.org