June is bustin' out all over and nowhere as much as Southern Humboldt this weekend. The first weekend in June means it's time for the Summer Arts & Music Festival — a two-day celebration on the banks of the beautiful Eel River at the Benbow Lake State Recreation Area that's saturated with music, dance and art. The event has brought good vibes and great memories to people for 42 years and is a major fundraiser for the Mateel Community Center, which could use a lot of love right now. The festival falls on Saturday and Sunday, June 2-3, with gates opening at 10 a.m. each day and going until 10 p.m. ($40 at the gate for both days, $25 single day tickets, kids 12 and under are free).
Musical headliners this year include eight-piece funk/soul group ORGONE and Nkulee Dube, the daughter of the late South African reggae superstar Lucky Dube. Four stages will showcase 70 musical acts, dance troupes, DJs and kids' entertainment, including Captain Bubbles and Wizards of Play/Circus Nature. Attendees can check out the wares, info and goods at 150 handmade craft, food and nonprofit booths. There's the Lunar Stage, with a new Basscraft sound system helping DJs spread tunes of all genres out to the crowd and the Lawn and Trees stages, hosting some of the best regional and local bands, like Rose's Pawn Shop, Cold Blue Water, Object Heavy, Jammies by 9, Latin Peppers and Soul Majestic. More attractions can be found at the Belly Dance Temple and Generation Green Dome. Too many great vendors, artists and musicians to pack into this space here. For a complete schedule of events/performers, see the special insert in the May 10 Journal or visit www.mateel.org.