Music News & Reviews

This new SLO music festival is channeling the Summer of Love

Singer-songwriter Kristen Black will perform Sunday in San Luis Obispo as part of the inaugural San Luis Pop Festival.
Singer-songwriter Kristen Black will perform Sunday in San Luis Obispo as part of the inaugural San Luis Pop Festival.

Break out the bell bottoms and tie-dye T-shirts. A new San Luis Obispo festival is celebrating the spirit of the Summer of Love.

The San Luis Pop Festival, which mixes music and activism, premieres Sunday at Mitchell Park in San Luis Obispo. Sponsored by SLO County Progressives Democratic Club, the event was inspired by the 50th anniversary of the summer of 1967, when thousands of people headed to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in search of peace, love and social change.

“It’s about bringing a diverse group of people (together) to enjoy an afternoon of music and learn how to make a difference,” said festival co-organizer Gabriel Granados, who leads educational efforts at SLO County Progressives.

About 500 people are expected to attend Sunday’s festival, which will feature performances by Jody Mulgrew, Kristen Black and B and the Hive.

Speakers at the event include Emerge California executive director Kimberly Ellis, Economic Future Group president and CNN commentator Jonathan Tasini, and Karen Bernal, who chairs the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party. San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon will speak along with other local leaders.

Also in store are information booths, food trucks and locally crafted beer and wine.

Formed by local supporters of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, Granados said SLO County Progressives is the largest progressive club in California with about 1,700 members. Now the group is looking to bridge the gap with others in the Democratic Party in hopes of creating a unified political movement.

“When there are injustices, it’s important that we stand together,” Granados said, united by “a message of love and respect.” He wants to see festival-goers “taking that love and turning it into action.”

The inaugural San Luis Pop Festival will serve as a fundraiser to support local progressive candidates in the 2018 election.

San Luis Pop Festival

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday

Mitchell Park, 1400 Osos St., San Luis Obispo

$15 to $50, free for 12 and under

805-762-4922 or sloprogressives.org/pop

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