Local music and arts festival Shabang returns to Laguna Lake Park Saturday, Oct. 20 with a new music genre and larger structure.
Shabang began in 2014 as a small concert and has since grown into a bi-annual festival attended by more than 4,000 people. This year, the organizers expect to see 5,000 attendees, making it the largest Shabang to date.
“Having more people around you and more people enjoying it definitely improves the feel of the festival,” Shabang Public Relations Coordinator Ilianna Salas said.
New to the main stage will be Leven Kali, an R&B/Soul artist whose sound differs from that of the musicians typically featured at the festival.
“He’s a little different from our previous headliners, but we think he is going to be a hit and he is going to become really popular in years to come,” Salas said.
Shabang will see the return of the silent disco experience introduced last May. This year’s silent disco, presented by Respect the Funk, will have a “Funk Safari” theme.
“We wanted to bring in bigger and better bands, better sound capability, better lighting,” Salas said. “We improved our silent disco and our structures are going to be bigger.”
Shabang’s growth has also been reflected in the price of tickets. Prices have increased by $7 since the last Shabang in May, now totaling $20 online.
Some of the proceeds from ticket sales will be given back to the community through a donation to a nonprofit organization. Attendees of the event can vote on which nonprofit through a poll on their Facebook page.
This year, the charity poll includes Transitions – Mental Health Association, Pacific Wildlife Care, GALA – Central Coast, San Luis Obispo County Womenade, The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County and CASA of San Luis Obispo County. Voting is open until Friday at noon.
While music fills the park, local artists’ pieces will be on display and local vendors will sell food and merchandise.
“We like to refer to ourselves as an outlet for local artists, local bands — just people who are passionate about their music and art — to come out and share their passions with everyone in the community,” Salas said.
While tickets are on sale online for $20, at the event they will cost $22. Online purchases offer the option to add a shuttle pass for a total of $28. The shuttle pass will help transport students from the Performing Arts Center or Campus Bottle to Laguna Lake in an effort to lower surge pricing for ride share services.
“At the end of the day, we just want everyone to have a really great time and people to enjoy themselves and enjoy the artists and enjoy the vendors,” Salas said. “That’s always stayed the same, but what’s different is we are just trying to improve on what has been done and make it better.”