Brooke Robertson

Music, dancing, and food will be abundant at the thirdannual SLO Music Festival on Saturday. The all-day event at Mission Plaza will feature local artists and musicians as well as those from around the world.

“I wanted to bring all that joy that comes from being at a festival,” said producer Wendy Oliver. “Life is too short. You need to have fun.”

The third annual event is held as a way to welcome new and returning students to the community. Previously, the event had been held on the Fourth of July and WOW weekends, but Oliver decided that schedule didn’t give students enough time to settle in.

“I just really want to bring what the students want,” Oliver said. “I don’t want to be stale; I like that fresh outlook and I want (the festival) to grow.”

Reggae is the predominant style of music at the Music Fest this year, but it wasn’t intentional.

“The artists just all want to pitch in so every year it will change,” Oliver said. “Last year there was more world music.”

Oliver said she wants to support more local artists, such as The Kicks, who have played at the event since the beginning.

“As a band full of locals and Poly alumni we do everything we can to promote music in our hometown,” said The Kicks’ lead singer Reese Galido. “Plus, it’s a great excuse to get out and play some music outdoors in one of the most beautiful stages in the city.”

The band’s saxophone player, Mike Galtress, said the SLO Music Fest is one of the band’s favorite events to play.

“The range of different musical and dance performances along with the variety of food and clothing vendors make the festival a day full of culture, which is really great to see in (San Luis Obispo),” he said.

Oliver’s husband, Derrick “Ras Danny” Reid will also play at the music fest along with artists such as Stevie Culture, Leroy Shakespeare, the Reggae All-Stars, The Lambsbread and many more.

Oliver, who owns Bali Isle in downtown San Luis Obispo and has sponsored reggae shows for Cal Poly’s KCPR, said the event will benefit the Earth Day Alliance and give people a chance to register to vote.

“I’m not politically charged one way or the other, but I’m into responsibility,” Oliver said. “It’s all about expressing yourself and your voice. I really want people to care.”

Oliver said she wants to reach out more and wants the event to reflect the community.

Tickets to the event are on sale now for $8 at Bali Isle and Boo Boo Records downtown, and $10 at the gate. Wristbands give people access all day long. Oliver wanted the festival to be affordable because she wants to cater to the students.

“I’ll even give students a discount because I just want them to come and have a good time,” Oliver said.

A Green Expo, children’s area, ethnic and world vendors and artists, international cuisine, and an organic beer garden will also be available at the event.

“Wendy at Bali Isle has really done a fantastic job the last couple of years bringing everyone together,” Galtress said. “As Cal Poly alumni we’re really hoping to see students out on Saturday to support local music and culture here in SLO.”

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