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Why I’m Excited for Live Oak Music Fest ’15

June 18, 2015

2015-Logo-Box3For the third time, we are heading with our white VW van with the tiedye pop top to the 27th Annual Live Oak Music Festival at the Live Oak Campground Hwy 154, Santa Ynez, California 93460 for Father’s Day Weekend. This year, headliners include Steve Earle who performs on Sunday night and tickets for the weekend and the day are still available! So join us and here’s why!


The beautiful Live Oak Campground is located among the rolling live oak dotted hills behind Santa Barbara. A fundraiser for San Luis Obispo public radio station KCBX, the festival offers an eclectic collection of traditional musical acts from around the world on several stages with an emphasis on Americana and family fun. Musical styles showcased this year include blues, reggae, bluegrass, jazz, rockabilly, African, country, folk, and more!

“Arkansas Traveler”  Phil Salazar & Friends. featuring Scott Gates, Hans Ottsen. Video by Phil Taggart.

The music opens with a jamming workshop with Ventura local and fiddler extraordinaire Phil Salazar and continues:

2:00 pm – 12:00 am
8:00 am – 12:00 am
8:00 am – 10:30 pm

with amplified music and workshops. But as soon as people are on site, the acoustic music begins in camps and around campfires.

In fact people are lining up NOW Thursday, for an annual land grab: people park along the road waiting for the gates to open so they can get a camping spot and settle in. It’s quite a party on the side of the road I hear but we can’t leave until Friday.

If you’re not ready for Phil on Friday, Phil will be performing with Mark Heyes on Saturday at 9am (bring your coffee!) and leading a workshop on Saturday and Sunday.

Other highlights from the weekend include the Glen David Andrews band on Saturday from 8:45=1015pm Saturday. If you go to their Facebook page, you will see how the lead singer and trombone player played and sang “It’s A Wonderful World” on their flight to LA the other day! Or just watch them play the song in the Jam Van at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Andrews picked up trombone before he was 12 and has played with many brass bands including New Birth, L’il Rascals,  ReBirth, and Treme. You wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he is related to Trombone Shorty!

People who go to Live Oak are HUGE music fans. And they love to dance!

This has led to two traditions I appreciate:

One, the ACORN ROLL. At 6am, people line up and when the acorn rolls, people rush with their chairs to snag a spot. Then their chair is there whenever they want to enjoy it. And if they’re not there to enjoy it, YOU CAN! That’s right, anyone can sit in any vacant seat! And if you want to dance, there’s plenty of space on the sides at the front.

Two,  the late night dancing by the HOT LICKS stage! On Friday and Saturday night, there’s a small stage where people really shake it after the Main Stage acts are over.

On Friday, Nikki Hill rocks the house with songs like this one by Chuck Berry “Sweet Little Rock n Roller”

On Saturday, dance with me until midnight to Burning James and the Funky Flames

So far we’ve got some country fiddle, rockabilly, rhythm and blues, so how about some more bluegrass with Hot Buttered Rum playing twice on Sunday:

Last but not least is a poet, novelist, short story writer, and actor as well as three time Grammy Award winner for folk Steve Earle & The Dukes who headline Sunday, June 21st, 7 – 8:30 PM on the Main Stage. 

A legend with an extensive songbook “stuffed with literate, confessional roots-rock gems,” Earle is a protégé of songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark.  Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, and Joan Baez have all recorded his songs.

Kids at Live Oak Music Festival have an entire area set aside for them with their own entertainment including jugglers, crafts, and musicians. My son loves it!

imagesAnd now how much would you pay?

  • Adult Full Festival Pass: $130
  • Teen (Ages 13 – 17) Full Festival Pass: $80
  • Child (Ages 4 – 12) Full Festival Pass: $40
  • Children under 4: FREE.

This is a camping festival and Camp Parking Passes are available to Full Festival ticket holders or move your vehicle to long-term parking after unloading and receive 20 Live Oak Bucks which can be exchanged at The Mercantile for $20 cash or applied to the purchase of $20 worth of Live Oak merchandise or ice or drink tickets throughout the 2015 festival. Fewer cars creates a more spacious camping environment for all, so please be courteous and move your vehicle to long-term parking if you are not sleeping in it.

    • Vehicles, RVs, and trailers 22’ and over in Main Campground: $85
    • RVs 22’ and over in RV Corral (limited spots available): $100
    • Vehicles, RVs, and trailers under 22′: $60
    • Trailers 10’ and under: no charge
    • Vehicles, RVs and Trailers 22’ and under with handicap designation (state-issued parking placard or license plate required): $40
    • Motorcycles: no charge.

Don’t forget to follow on Twitter and Instagram: @LiveOakFest. We’ll be posting my Live Oak photos and tweets with the hashtag ‪#‎LiveOakFest‬.

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