Ventura Hillsides Music Festival on hold
By Shane Cohn 08/01/2013
With new music festivals in Ventura popping up each year, one of the largest and most consistent annual music events has been postponed for 2013.
After 10 years of song and dance, the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy announced, in an e-mail to its members earlier this week, that the Ventura Hillsides Music Festival would be shelved this year in order to focus on its expanding goals of land conservation. The e-mail stated that the nonprofit group wants to strategize and focus “on active restoration and stewardship of newly donated land we have received and [is] committed to continued progress in … current projects in both river and land preservation.”
The annual hillsides benefit concert has traditionally taken place in Arroyo Verde Park, with national acts ranging from Jack Johnson to Emmylou Harris to Taj Majal, attracting thousands of people and raising around $600,000 in funds for the Conservancy’s open space conservation projects, according to the Conservancy’s Development Manager Lee Sherman.
“There have been no negatives,” said Sherman, about the festival. “We’ve had 10 great years.”
Sherman said that after the seventh festival in 2009, the Conservancy held just one acre of land. Since then, it has acquired about 30 acres.
“It’s a lot of land to manage and steward. We’ve had great year, over 500 volunteers and to put on the music festival may not be the best thing for land trust programs,” said Sherman. “But we’d like it to come back next year.”F