Arts Council music festival : More than 50 bands play

Some music fans have described it as the “Woodstock of Temecula.”

May 16, 17 and 18, 53 bands and other musical performers will come together for the three-day long Temecula Valley Music Fest.

The fest – which will take place at the Community Recreation Center – will showcase the talents of local bands, solo musicians and dance troupes.

The Arts Council of Temecula Valley started the annual event four years ago under the name “The Identity Band Clash.”

The event was an effort to give young musicians a way to be heard, according to Ruth Hobbs, the executive director of the Arts Council.

“We wanted to address arts for younger people. We had lots of classical arts but nothing for younger people,” she said.

The arts young people admire are overlooked too often, she said.

“In a few years people are going to think of Queen and the Beatles as classical musicians… Mozart, Van Gogh, many artists were not appreciated in their time,” she said.

The all-day event showcased the talents of not only musicians, but of graffiti artists.

“That could have been controversial because kids aren’t always P.C.,” Hobbs said of the event’s inclusion of graffiti art. “But you’ve got to take these chances.”

The event which more than 500 people attended was a success.

In 2006, the event expanded to take place over five days at various locations around Temecula and Murrieta.

In 2007, however, the event downsized to take place over three days, with the first day taking place at the Old Town Temecula Community Theatre, and the rest at the CRC.

This year, they’ve decided to put on the whole event at one place to avoid confusion, according to Bill Gould, the event’s organizer.

The fest has grown up a lot in the last three years, according to Gould.

“I’m more pleased with the variety we have this year,” he said. “The caliber [of the performers is] a little higher.”

This year will include a wider variety of music than previous years, he said, and the genres are divided into separate days.

Friday will feature mostly hard rock. Indie rock groups Cetas Aspire and Starving for Gravity will headline the concert.

Saturday will feature mostly alternative rock. Pop rock groups Opus Humanus and Jupiter will headline.

Sunday will feature mostly folk, bluegrass and swing. The 22-piece Robert Holts Orchestra and contemporary rock group Guilty Conscience will headline.

“I didn’t want it to be just a high school festival,” Gould said. “I want to reach out and draw in more of the community.”

This year, part of the proceeds will benefit Safe Alternatives For Everyone and the Oak Grove Center in addition to the Art Council.

Last year, the event raised more than $300 for the Arts Council of Temecula Valley.

The Oak Grove Dancers and Rhythm of Our Dreams, both dance troupes from Oak Grove, will be performing at the festival.

The fest is an important event for musicians and music fans because of the area’s lack of a night life, according to Ryan Rocha, the lead vocalist in Cetas Aspire.

“It’s really important this show’s going on,” he said.

Too many young people living in suburbia lack the social interaction necessary for a healthy state of mind, Rocha said.

The first day of the fest will finish with an “after party” concert at the mercantile building on Main Street in Temecula.

The party will feature performances by Nice Day and Soul Profit.

The fest will take place at the outdoor Temecula Amphitheatre at the Temecula Community Recreation Center at 30875 Rancho Vista Rd.

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