With the Eugene Celebration on hiatus, local music freaks are lamenting the loss of one of the southern Willamette Valley’s oldest and biggest music festivals. But Eugeneans are nothing if not resourceful, and upstart Festival of Eugene, Aug. 22-23 at Skinner Butte Park, was quickly born. The free event has a schedule of local music to satisfy even the most desperate music junkie jonesin’ for a live fix.
Performing at the event is popular Eugene-based pop-rock outfit Edewaard. “The band and I are super excited to play the Festival of Eugene,” Edewaard frontman Matt Edewaard says.
“It’s a brand-new opportunity for so many people, especially for the wonderful volunteers this event has been blessed with,” Edewaard continues. “The Festival of Eugene will bring new faces, yet draw the same large and familiar crowd that we’re used to seeing at the Eugene Celebration. It will be a breath of fresh air, with a sense of familiarity. So what’s not to look forward to?”
Edewaard performs 4:15 pm Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Frontier Airlines at the Eugene Airport Stage.
Also performing at the festival is blues and Motown group Robert Blair & the All Stars (2 pm Saturday), featuring longtime Eugene musician Skip Jones. Elsewhere, catch the instrumental world music and new age-tinged prog rock of Springfield’s El Flowious (6:15 pm Friday). Also, don’t miss the eclectic Latin-influenced rhythmic jam rock of Maca Rey (8:45 pm Saturday); the genre-defying SoundTrek Paradox (like Primus and Tool covered by Django Reinhardt — 4:45 pm Friday) and the blues-rock of Heavy Chevy (9:15 pm Friday) and The Dennis Smith Project (7 pm Friday).
In addition, Festival of Eugene will highlight a showcase of students from Music’s Edge Rock Camp (11 am Saturday). Hosted by well-known Eugene musician and educator Tim McLaughlin at the WOW Hall, Music’s Edge Rock Camp is an opportunity for local aspiring performers to learn the ropes of the music business from local musicians.
So let’s cross our fingers for a successful Festival of Eugene 2014. Perhaps next year, with the return of the Celebration, we’ll have two fun and local music fests punctuating the beautiful summer in Eugene.
For more stage information and a complete lineup, go to festivalofeugene.com; all events are free.