Thousand Oaks is turning the traditional summer concert series up a notch. The Pop-Up Arts and Music Festival, hosted by the city of Thousand Oaks and the Thousand Oaks Alliance for the Arts, consists of eight events over the course of three weekends in June. Ranging from live music and storytelling to group singalongs and an art show, the events are free and open to all. Barry McComb, Cultural Affairs Director of the city of Thousand Oaks, says the festival “provides an opportunity for residents to come together in shared cultural experiences.”
“We tried to have events all around the city so people can walk to them. They can bring a picnic and enjoy,” says Colleen Debler, director of marketing in the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs.
The festival kicks off with a family movie night featuring Disney’s Moana and a Polynesian dance performance on June 16 at Dos Vientos Community Park. On June 22, John Zipperer and the Current Band and the Honeysuckle Possums perform on the Stagecoach Museum Lawn.
“I’ve been dying to do a show with the Honeysuckle Possums,” Zipperer says. “We’re a good complement to each other.” Zipperer describes his music as a mix of 1980s rock and folk, and he loves performing. “My favorite thing in life is when the audience sings back. You can’t beat it.”
“Our goal is to leave the audience feeling better than when they came,” explains Susan Marie Reeves, one of the lead singers of the Honeysuckle Possums. The all-woman band plays bluegrass and old-time mountain music as well as original songs.
Other events include storytelling by Michael Katz and Antonio Sacre at Oakbrook Park on June 17, and a visual arts pop-up at the Oaks Mall on June 23. Joe Gray and the Late Nite Big Band featuring Bonnie Bowden and the Mariachi Divas will perfom at CLU’s William Roland Stadium on June 24. Members of the New West Symphony will play a classical concert at Triunfo Community Park on June 29. The festival ends on June 30 with a group sing with Choir! Choir! Choir! at Civic Arts Plaza Park.
The festival takes place over 14 days this year, but organizers have high hopes for the future. “Within the next few years our goal is for the festival to grow to 30 cultural events over 30 days,” says McComb. Sounds like a plan.
The Thousand Oaks Pop-Up Arts and Music Festival takes place June 16-30. For full schedule and more information, visit www.toaks.org/departments/cultural-affairs.