Eclectic event will bring a mix of art, music, food and craft beer to North Park’s art district on May 20
By Monica Garske | SDUN Reporter
Showcasing the uniqueness of North Park, the 16th annual North Park Festival of the Arts will take place May 20 at the intersection of University Avenue and 30th Street, in the center of North Park’s historic commercial district. The free outdoor festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and celebrates all types of expressive art, including crafts, children’s art, dance and music.
Angela Landsberg, Festival spokesperson and North Park Main Street executive director, said she expects around 35,000 attendees at the Festival.
“North Park is a designated art district and this event is a way for people to see all the creativity this community has to offer,” Landsberg said. “It’s an opportunity to highlight North Park.”
Landsberg said there will be more than 30 live musical performances and 25 dance performances throughout the day across six different stages.
In addition to the art and music spanning several blocks, Landsberg said another big draw to the festival will be the Craft Beer Block set up along Ohio Street.
This area will provide beer samples from over 25 San Diego breweries, including Ballast Point, AleSmith, Mother Earth Brewing Company, Green Flash and Coronado Brewing Company. The Craft Beer Block is the only facet of the Festival with an entrance fee, and tickets are $30 in advance or $35 the day of the event.
The North Park Festival of the Arts will also cater to foodies, with dozens of specialty food booths lining University Avenue.
Next to the food court on Illinois Street at University Avenue, the Beats & Eats stage presents what might be the most eclectic lineup at the festival.
Scheduled performers include local rockabilly- blues- and swing-fusion band JinxKing, San Diego beat-boxer Brent “Beehive” Campbell and diva drag troupe Tootie and The Lips Girls.
JinxKing is headlining the Beats & Eats stage and will perform at 3 p.m. Front man Larry Teeves, a foundation repair contractor with an office on Adams Avenue, said he wants to introduce younger generations to their style of music.
“Our music isn’t something kids usually hear on the radio, so it’ll be fun to see their reactions,” Teeves said. “Everyone is in a great mood at a community event like this, so it’s a dream gig for a musician.”
With this year being the band’s first time performing at the Festival, Teeves said he’s looking forward to putting on an energetic show and he hopes the crowd dances to their music.
“We really hope for some improv swing dancers that day,” he said. “They add extra fun to our show.”
At 5 p.m., Golden Hill resident and champion beat-boxer Campbell will take the stage for a 15-minute set. Beat boxing involves making drumming sounds or rhythms with a performers mouth.
“It will basically be a 15-minute drum solo with my mouth. I don’t plan on using any other instruments at all this year,” Campbell said.
The beat-boxer, a commercial artist by trade, said this will be his sixth year performing at the Festival and the varied mix of music, art and people keeps him coming back.
Closing out the Beats & Eats lineup at 5:15 p.m. will be Tootie and the Lips Girls, a drag queen quartet from Lips San Diego, located at 3036 El Cajon Blvd.
Tootie, a fan favorite at Lips, said she is a huge advocate of the arts and live entertainment so this recurring gig at the Festival is very special to her.
“[The girls] and I are used to performing for 8-year-olds to 98-year-olds, and this performance will fall somewhere in between,” Tootie said. “It’ll be totally fun and appropriate; a celebration of North Park and the arts.”
Beats & Eats stage manager Lisa Vincent said the lineup grew out of an open mic night she hosted at Filter Coffee House in North Park. The night consisted of diverse performers, including “musicians, politicians, beat-boxers, poets, actors [and] singers,” she said.
“I chose the acts for the Beats & Eats stage the same way. Diversity is key,” Vincent said. “Whether it’s a southern grunge rock singer, an 8-year-old violinist, an opera singer, a spoken word poet or a drag queen, everyone is encouraged to [be] who they [are].”
Dozens of information booths from local organizations will be at the Festival, including Victoria House Corporation, who recently became the host for the North Park Toyland Parade.
To help attendees find instant information about the event, stages and vendors, Landsberg said there is a free mobile application available for Smartphones. She said the application acts as a “GPS system” to guide people as they are navigating the Festival.
Participants can download the application, which will be specially programmed that day only featuring the location of vendors, art displays, ticket booths to the Craft Beer Block, parking options and restrooms. The download is available at get.antengo.com.
For parking, Landsberg said in addition to street parking, the North Park parking structure located on 29th Street will be free to the public all day. There will also be a free bicycle valet service.
For more information, including tickets to the Craft Beer Block, visit northparkfestivalofarts.com.
North Park Festival of the Arts:
University Avenue & 30th Street (center)
Craft Beer Block:
Beats & Eats Stage:
Illinois Street & University Avenue
North Park Parking Structure:
3829 29th St.
Dance Stage (live dance performances):
32nd Street & University Avenue
World Music Stage (live music performances):
Grim Street & University Avenue