Carmel Magazine

CM Summer 2014_Final

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SHORTCUTS EVENTS 74 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 4 Fir st City Festival Returns to Monterey T his August 23 and 24, the First City Festival sets up at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center for live shows by some of music's biggest names—including Beck, The National and The Naked and Famous. But the event, now in its second year, promises more than just three stages of musical performances. Attendees can also expect a playful atmosphere complete with carnival rides, vaudeville acts, art and food, all framed by twinkling lights strung throughout the trees. The venue offers a more intimate feel than traditional arena shows or open-field events, explains festival producer Paul Billings of Goldenvoice. Organizers also drew inspiration from legendary events like the Monterey Pop Festival and Monterey Jazz Festival. "In 2012, we did a Mumford & Sons show at the Monterey County fair- grounds and we loved the laid-back, old-school vibe. We thought it would be fun to do a small boutique festival there," he says. "And, there's already a really cool musical history attached to that location." The all-ages show welcomed lively crowds during its 2013 launch, and this year's presentation brings more than 30 popular acts. Phantogram, Dawes, Best Coast and Unknown Mortal Orchestra will join headliners during the two-day affair. In addition to main-stage music, the event includes a variety stage featuring performing artists as well as aerialists, acrobats and dancers from the Vau de Vire Society. Unique USA will be back this year too, showcasing an even bigger selection of made-in-the-America gifts, fashion and art. A new craft beer pavilion makes its debut, and local restaurants, wineries and food vendors will be selling throughout the weekend. Concert ticketholders can also enjoy free carnival rides and games, and the Beat Swap Meet will set up its traveling record shop on the grounds. Organizers are partnering with The Offset Project to work toward zero- waste goals for the event. Schedules, parking info and one- and two-day tick- ets for the First City Festival are available at —Renee Brincks The Monterey County Fair & Event Center plays host to the First City Festival for the second time this August 23rd and 24th. More than 30 acts will perform, including Beck, Phantogram, The Naked and Famous, The National and Dawes. Photo: Misha Vladimirskiy

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