If you had friends from out-of-town stay with you over Memorial Day weekend, you no doubt felt some righteous, defensive indignation rise up into your chest when you, once again, heard some version of the whiny conclusion “it’s sooooo cold” emanate from their ungrateful, non-local lips for the umpteenth time. Pfff.
To be fair, we'll agree that Humboldt County’s Eureka/Arcata population hub and the sun are not always on speaking terms, which can leave summer warmth-seekers out in the... right. But, as veteran Humboldtians are aware, it’s a big county. Savvy sun worshippers need only drive an hour south or east to get their fix, and this coming weekend provides a second great excuse to do so.
Question: How’d you like a soundtrack to go with them rays? You got a deal, friend. Because Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5, is the 35th Annual Summer Arts and Music Festival at the Benbow Lake State Recreation Area.
Like Reggae, those who’ve never attended will have a hard time comprehending that an event this size takes place every year in seemingly isolated SoHum; believe me, it’s a big one. With more than 100 performances on 4-plus stages and more than 150 handmade craft and food booths running parallel to the inviting Eel River, the $25 two-day ticket price feels like a steal.
Especially when you factor in the caliber of the performers. If you don’t recognize the name of headliner Lyrics Born, there’s a good possibility -- assuming you’re a radio listener -- you’d recognize his music. Try this chorus: “Callin' out to all area crew, we gonna make this shit happen right here, right now.” Yeah, that guy. Add to that local favorites Yogoman Burning Band, Rebirth Brass Band, The Brothers Comatose, Skampida and a butt-ton of other artists, and you got yourselves a festival, people.
And you can leave your coat at home. For more info on SAMF, check out www.mateel.org. Stay warm.