EXPERIENCING LIVE OAK
When I told someone we were going to the Live Oak Music Festival they said "Oh, Woodstock West!"
For 24 years they've gathered at the Live Oak campground in the Santa Ynez mountains just north of Santa Barbara for a Father's Day Weekend of music and good times. "Peace, Love and Dirt" as they say.
Live Oak is sponsored by KCBX, Public Radio for California's Central Coast. It features a wide array of music, living up to the Festival moniker. It is also a major cultural event. This post is a photo odyssey, attempting to capture a bit of the breadth and nuance of Live Oak.
The drive to it and the setting are gorgeous, along the mountains dotted with forests and copse of Live Oak. Once you are there, it's up the hill, on foot or on hay.
One glimpse of the main stage area and you understand the name. The Live Oaks also provide a blessed shade.
The music flows from breakfast to midnight as the sun arcs through canopy and sets behind the mountains.
The spectacular setting is bounded by a kind of main street.
The vendors and "shops" range from tie dye to massage. Our friend Mike, a veteran of Live Oak, played his flute at the massage tent.
My favorite was the shop selling guitars and banjos made
from an unbelievable array of material.
I've posted a short YouTube video below-Sound Check.
Clustered around the hills were thousands of camp and RV sites, a virtual city. And almost everywhere you'd see and hear people jamming.
There was a second stage, Stage Too, for workshops, and interaction with the artists.
And there were the "sights!" Some of them just inexplicable.
Not everyone opted for a straw hat, but they are the popular head gear.
ABOUT THOSE INSTRUMENTS-
It is easy to see why people keep going back. Woodstock West? No, I don't think so. This is a multi generational, family event. Maybe Son or Daughter of Woodstock is more accurate but it is a uniquely California mellow gathering. Next year will be its 25th Anniversary. For the record, the music was superb!
See you down the trail.