The long-running Adams Avenue Roots Festival is going to be a little different this year. In fact, its not going to be the Roots Festival at all.
The cost of closing a city street just doesnt make a street festival worthwhile anymore, so the Adams Avenue Business Association came up with a new plan and a new name: Adams Avenue Unplugged, which runs Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22. Adams Avenue will stay open to traffic, with most of the gigs inside restaurants and bars from Texas Street in University Heights all the way to Vista Street in Kensington (with a free shuttle in between).
We needed to reduce costs, and we also wanted to emphasize more than one area of Adams Avenue, says Judy Elliott, the business associations executive director. To do that, we thought we could do small venues . That way, people not only get to hear music up close and personal, but see what we have to offer in terms of entertainment, and going through the entire business district, in terms of retail and services.
Unpluggeds numbers are impressive: two miles long, 24 venues, 150-plus musical performances. And the cost to the folk, country, Americana, jazz and blues fan: Zero. Its free.
Folk musician Patty Hall (wholl play at El Zarape at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Kensington Library at 3:30 on Sunday) has been involved in the festivals various incarnations since the 1960s. Her enthusiasm hasnt waned with the new orchestration.
It will be really interesting to kind see how it plays out, Hall says. It gives all of us musicians a covered, protected environment to play in, with seats for the audience. Before, there was no place to put them.
Hall recommends blues musician Robin Henkel, cowboy singer Martin Henry and topical songwriter John Bosley. We further endorse the worlds greatest cover band, Geezer; Styletones frontman Stevie Harris; and fire-eater Murrugun the Mystic. For times and locations, visit adamsavenueunplugged.com.
Fresh to the Stage
Theres a fresh crop of plays coming to the stage at the Baldwin New Play Festival, happening from Wednesday, April 18, through Saturday, April 28, in two different theaters at UCSD. The four new plays, written by student playwrights at UCSDs School of Theatre and Dance, tell stories ranging from a father who loses everything in Gas House Baby by David Myers to a slasher play about college girls being slaughtered by a serial killer in Lauren Yees Hookman. Theres also Santa Barbarian, by Sharif Abu-Hamdeh, about Bush II-era college grads figuring out life, and the intersecting stories of people attempting to flee Haiti in 1964 in Jeff Augustins Cry, Old Kingdom. Tickets cost $8 to $20 for each play, with discounts available for Cry, Old Kingdom.
CityBeat will bring back its popular pubquiz this week, teaming up with San Diego Coastkeeper to raise funds for the groups environmental advocacy and to support our continued journalistic endeavors. Hosted by staff writer Dave Maass and editor David Rolland, our Earth Day Trivia Challenge at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 19, will draw from pop culture and the natural world and, of course, feature an illustration round. Well have a ton of prizes, plus a raffle. And if all that isnt reason enough to come, this is also the perfect opportunity to check out the new New Zealand-style Raglan Public House (1851 Bacon St., Ocean Beach), which we profiled in our April 4 Food Issue. Youre allowed up to six players to a team, and it costs $10 per player.