Join the fun!
What: Fourth annual Davis Music Festival
When: 3 p.m.-midnight Saturday, June 21, with an opening night kickoff Friday, June 20, and a “Hangover Brunch” on Sunday, June 22
Where: 40 bands will play at eight venues in downtown Davis
Tickets: $22 online or at Armadillo Music, 207 F St.; $25 at the door
Despite the heat, there will be dancing in the street at the upcoming Davis Music Festival.
For one weekend each summer, downtown Davis is transformed into a mini South by Southwest, a popular music festival in Austin, Texas. Concertgoers buy a wristband and bounce around the bars and clubs downtown, and watch a variety of bands playing rock, folk, funk, hip-hop and more.
The fourth annual Davis Music Festival takes place from 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday, June 21, featuring more than 40 bands across eight venues in downtown Davis. In addition to the main event, there’s an opening night kickoff on Friday, June 20, and a “Hangover Brunch” on Sunday, June 22.
Tickets are $22 online, $25 at the door, which comes with a full-access wristband to all venues. Single-entry tickets are $10 and will be available at each venue. Tickets are available at davismusicfest.com and Armadillo Music, 207 F St. in Davis, 530-758-8058.
The Davis Music Festival is a fundraiser for the Davis School Arts Foundation. It’s organized by the nonprofit organization Music Only Makes Sense, whose purpose is to raise funds for the benefit of elementary, middle school and high school arts, music and performing arts departments.
Kyle Monhollen, a Davis Music Festival volunteer and founder of the Davis Live Music Collective founder, is looking forward to this year’s festival.
“We’ve really learned from three years of experience and put together an event informed by what we know about our local audience, as well as making new connections in the Bay Area, Sacramento and beyond,” Monhollen said.
After attending the first festival and having a blast, Monhollen wanted to get involved.
“I loved that it was a benefit for the Davis School Arts Foundation and that it was run by volunteers,” he said.
Later that year, he helped form the Davis Live Music Collective.
“It grew out of a desire to take the house concert scene out of the back yard to a bigger audience and involve more people, not only as an audience but to help organize and promote events,” he said. “The Fest is a great model for that. (The Live Music Collective) has been helping with DMF ever since.”
This being the fourth festival, organizers have worked out some of the kinks of years past.
“We started organizing earlier,” Monhollen said. “We got more support from the community and interest from bands early on. We’re gradually building a system of volunteers and organizers to spread the workload.”
Speaking of workload, Monhollen designed the DMF posters, tickets, schedule and T-shirts. With 2407 Graphics, Monhollen designs and prints promotional and souvenir materials for local music events.
“Visual branding and design for each (Davis Live Music Collective) event, including the Fest, is one of my primary contributions,” he said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s a great challenge, and I’m supported by a terrific team who offer me a lot of freedom. I love the chance to create a unique yet familiar, hopefully lasting image.”
Besides volunteering, Monhollen is excited to attend the festival. Which bands is he most looking forward to?
“Dead Winter Carpenters are worth the price of a ticket on their own,” he said. “Same with John Vanderslice. I’m super-happy to see Opus Orange is back for a second year.”
He continued, “Vandella are so much fun it’s impossible to resist. Same with Double Duchess, who will be my hip-hop stop. Owl Paws, Contra and French Cassettes are new to me, but I like what I’ve heard, so I’m eager to check them out.
“I’m a loyal supporter of my favorite local artists, so Bottom Dwellers, Hollow Point Stumblers, Boca do Rio, West Nile Ramblers, ToadMortons, Smoke Shovelers and MAU are on my list, too.”
The beauty of the Davis Music Festival is that there’s something for everybody. If you don’t like a particular set, move on and check out another band at a different venue.
“There will be some tough choices to make until we figure out how to be in two places at the same time,” Monhollen said. “But we worked carefully to build a line-up and schedule that will allow festgoers to have a great time, see as much of what they are hoping for and catch a few surprises along the way.”
— Reach Landon Christensen at [email protected]