Philosopher Plato once said, music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. That is what the Manzanita Music Festival (MMF) embodies.
By Max Kirkendall
North Coast Citizen
Returning to the coastal town for the third time, the MMF is bigger and better than ever. Slated for Sept. 14-15, the MMF will be held at three separate venues. The main host venue is the iconic San Dune Pub, listed as one of Oregon’s most iconic bars. Other venues include Mighty Thai and MacGregor’s Whiskey Bar.
MMF is selling wristbands that will gain access to all three venues for $50. Attendees will get a chance to see world class artists perform from many different genres of music.
“We have quite a varied lineup this year,” Founding Director Beth Boyer said. “Our genres this year are Rock, Americana, Bluegrass, Reggae, R&B and Blues.”
The headlining act will be the Michael Williams Band with special guest Tony Coleman. Michael Williams’ father was a member of the Stevie Ray Vaughn band and works with the same producer as the late great Jimi Hendrix. Joining Williams at the festival will be Coleman who is well known as the longtime drummer for B.B. King.
The Michael Williams Band will be accompanied by many other world class artists according to Co-Producer of MMF Richard Silverman.
“I go to a lot of music festivals and the quality and quantity that people are going to be getting is a great value,” Silverman said. “You usually have to go all the way out to Portland for these kinds of artists. But we’re trying to bring them here to the coast.”
Not only is the MMF about experiencing great music, it is also for a great cause. The goal for MMF is to support artists, enrich the community and support local schools through ongoing music performances. This year, the focus is on their instrument scholarship program for the Neah-Kah-Nie (NKN) school district. They will be funding scholarships for instruments that are not currently available to students.
“There are a number of middle and high school students that would like to be able to have an instrument and learn, but it’s expensive,” Boyer said. “Our goal is to provide as many scholarships as possible so it’s accessible.”
In addition to the world-class performers, the NKN High School band will be opening the festival on Friday with a performance in downtown Manzanita starting at noon. Music will begin at both stage venues at 1 p.m. running until 9 p.m. at A Mighty Thai and midnight at the San Dune. MacGregor’s will serve as a solo acoustic, mellow stage.
“The two stage venues are on opposite ends of town,” Boyer said. “They are within walking distance, but we want to have music for people to listen to along the way, which is why we have the Macgregor’s venue.”
While minors are prohibited at the San Dune Pub, all ages are welcome at A Mighty Thai, as it will serve as the family friendly location according to Boyer. Artists will swap locations between the two-day event to give everyone a chance to experience the bands.
In addition to the MMF, Boyer said they would be having a separate event on Sunday, Sept. 16 that coincides with the festival. The Sunday event will be a full-fledged concert by world-renowned musician Fareed Haque and his Funk Bros. Haque will also be hosting a two-day intensive adult music camp, which will be held at the historic Reed House in Manzanita. MMF sponsor The Houses on Manzanita Beach genrously donated the Reed house.
Camp tuition is $750 and includes three nights lodging Sept. 16-18, two days of instruction from Haque, admission to the Sunday night show and continental breakfast and lunch on Monday and Tuesday.
The goal is to make the camp an annual event, so Silverman and Boyer are hoping this first one is successful.
“If we are successful with the music camp concept it will help feed back into the music festival mission,” Silverman said. “If we are successful financially, then we can afford to bring in A-List artists. It’s all under the bigger umbrella of funding the music education in the community.”
Wristbands will be available at the San Dune Pub for the MMF and registration for the music camp can be found online at manzanitamusicfestival.org. Passes for the MMF will be limited to 300 and proceeds will be going into the NKN music scholarship program.
“Music is a powerful healer,” Silverman said. “Especially if you get it to kids at a young age; it gives them a positive outlet and that’s something that is important to us.”