CongaDr+ Tony's Conga Adventures: Creating the Ashland World Music Festival

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Pin It

CongaDr

Creating the Ashland World Music Festival

I relocated from the bay area to the Pacific NW, in part, to bring the cultures of the world to what has historically been an area dominated by European culture.

When I arrived in this little town, I was told I should not try to change Ashland, but to respect what has been here.. the things I was attracted to when I moved here.. the peace and quiet, the natural beauty, the silence of the open space.

After a couple of years of watching the music scene die in front of my face.. I was like.. hell no.

Founder of the Ashland World Music Festival, Tony "Popeye" Stern plays and teaches AfroCuban folkloric percussion in Ashland Oregon. The Ashland World Music Festival is his gift to Ashland for welcoming him into the community
Ashland World Music Festival founder Tony "Popeye" Stern

Thus, as in the bay, I put together something to solve the problem. I pitched an annual music festival on the city of Ashland, the Ashland World Music Festival. They liked the idea, so I booked a series of world music acts the first year and helped them get rolling with how to produce a music festival.

Here are some clips of the year I booked.. some serious dancing going on in Ashland!


So fun to see, its now being run by the city, and I can just show up and enjoy the show.



Im so proud to have contributed 7 gigs a year for local world music acts, and I hope eventually they will have big acts in from out of town, serve beer in the park and blow this thing out!


This year I counted some 350 people enjoying the show.. although the line-up lacked dancable acts for the most part?? ug.. perhaps they will clue into the dance factor next year.

Im so proud to have contributed 7 gigs every year for local world music acts, and I hope eventually they will have big acts in from out of town, serve beer in the park and blow this thing out! After all, my vision is to educate the town about cultures outside of their direct experience through the art of these countries.. so with the new sponsors.. we have money to bring in some serious acts! Get on it RWM.